Leadership / 12.05.19
'Drug Checking Is Just One Piece of the Jigsaw': Q's With Professor of Criminology Fiona Measham
Pollstar (11/26/19) Gottfried, Gideon
University of Liverpool criminology professor Fiona Measham has earned the U.K. Festival Awards' Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award this year for "her lifelong commitment to equality and social justice causes." Measham founded the nonprofit non-governmental organization the Loop, to reduce the harm of drug abuse at music festivals and other events. She says U.K. festivals are "moving in the right direction" to mitigate drug use, but their momentum remains agonizingly slow. "On average one in two festival-goers take illegal drugs at some point over the weekend with half of these taking larger quantities of drugs than they normally take," Measham notes. The Loop's actions include conducting pilots of city center testing. "In this way drug checking is open to any drug using communities and festival-goers can be proactive about testing their stash before taking it onsite," Measham says. "So if there are any concerns, then alerts can be issued that will reach everyone before going onsite and hopefully before they have taken that substance." Measham believes drug checking will ultimately save money by reducing drug-related casualties, hospitalization, and burdens on health services, and these efforts are strengthened by the fact that "we are slowly chipping away at the stereotypes and relatedly the stigma surrounding drug use, as with other caricatures of marginalized groups in our society."
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Tags: Security , News , Venues