A new harm reduction campaign by drug safety organisation The Loop in partnership with the Metro newspaper is warning clubbers to stay safe as venues open after 18 months of lockdown restrictions.
‘High Alert’ is urging people to pace themselves and not ‘make up for lost time’ by taking more drugs than they otherwise would have, especially as their tolerance may be reduced.
The campaign is urging people to ‘Go slow, stay low’, and avoid taking entire ecstasy pills. According to EMCDDA’s recent European drug report the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets remains high, along with purity levels of MDMA powder, with The Loop issuing warnings about pills containing three or four times the common adult dose of MDMA.
‘High-strength drugs are one of the main factors behind an increase in drug overdoses and deaths for “party drugs”,’ the campaign states, adding that there is ‘good reason’ to think that there will still be a number of these drugs in circulation over the summer. ‘At a time of high-strength drugs it is particularly important to start with smaller amounts,’ it says. ‘Remember, you can always take more of a drug, but you can never take less.’
It also warns festival-goers and clubbers to be wary of substances such as cathinones being mis-sold as party drugs, and urges people to use drug-checking services where available. A recent study by the University of Liverpool found that using these can permanently influence behaviour, with many people saying they’d become more cautious about buying drugs from strangers or using multiple substances and around a fifth of respondents saying they’d continued to take smaller doses since the intervention.