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Anonymous Survey Looks At Your Views On Drugs At Music Festivals


Everyone loves a good music festival! Some people love to hit the gear to make their festival experience even more special. Some people don’t need to double drop for days because the music already takes them to a good place. No judgement to either group, because everyone loves a safe music festival. And that’s what the good folks at Perth’s Curtin University are trying to reinforce with their research survey into drug usage at music festivals.

‘Drug Use At Music Festivals’ is an anonymous survey currently being conducted by Professor Simon Lenton, Dr Monica Barratt, and National Drug Research Institute PhD candidate Jodie Grigg, and the team are hoping that their research will help governments to formulate evidence-based drug policy. Speaking with Music Feeds, Ms Griggs spoke of the need to reduce drug-related harm.

“The survey asks festival-goers about their history of attending festivals, their use of drugs — including alcohol — at festivals, motivations for using drugs, their positive and negative drug-related experiences and access to and barriers to health or support services,” said Ms Griggs.

The survey also explores what precautions people take when they’re getting a little messed up, such as bringing water or knowing first aid, as well as people experience with police and sniffer dogs. Finally the survey gauges perceptions towards further harm minimisation strategies such as pill testing and drug checking.

The survey comes at an important time for the Australian music industry. The Global Drug Survey (also co-authored by Dr. Monica Barratt) has shown the purity and associated danger of MDMA is at an all time high. Every time a music festival is staged around Australia, there is a very high likelihood that at least one headline in the following day’s paper will be dedicated to the number of overdoses that were treated.

Punters will remember Stefan Woodward and Sylvia Choi who both died from overdoses during last year’s Stereosonic Festival. In April, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that seven people had died due to alleged drug overdoses in the previous 12 months.

There are a lot of eyes on government responses to the danger, with a number of senior police and politicians discussing the need for pill testing at festivals to allow punters to find out exactly what they’re taking and how it may effect them. At the same time, people are questioning the effect that sniffer dogs have, with some claiming that they can often scare people into stupidly taking all drugs they may be carrying at once, leading to overdoses.

However, as Curtin University’s survey may uncover, punters’ attitudes towards harm prevention may be contributing to the danger, with many refusing medical help due to a fear of facing ridicule form peers or legal trouble.

If you’re from WA or Victoria, consider heading along to Curtin University’s website and join the over 1,000 people who have contributed their views. You’ll go into the draw to win a neat $500 JB Hifi voucher as well, so it may not be all work and no play. If you need a little more info before you sign up, head HERE.

Also check out Why Illicit Drug Use at Music Festivals Is a Red Herring.

In the meantime, Sassy has some words for you:

Written by Max Higgins