Safe beats down under: Investigating the support of drug checking at a regional festival in the Northern Territory, Australia

Felicity Wardle, Timothy Piatkowski, Sarah Clifford, Amy Peacock, Paul Dietze, Megan Lim, Caitlin Douglass, Penny Hill, Samuel Moore, Mia Miller, Jonathan Brett, Cassandra J.C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: In the context of Australian music festivals, including those in the Northern Territory (NT), drug-related harms persist. This study focused on gathering local insights into drug-related behaviours and attitudes, particularly regarding drug checking, among NT festival attendees. Methods: In May 2022, attendees (aged 16+) at a single-day multi-genre music festival in the NT were surveyed onsite about their drug use and harm reduction behaviours. Logistic regression was employed to explore factors influencing attitudes and preferences toward drug checking. Results: Out of 539 participants, 40% reported recent drug use in the past month. About 12% planned drug use at the festival. Notably, 73% supported drug checking, with 81% approval among people who use drugs. Older participants (>25 years) had 2.6 times (p =.001) greater odds of supporting drug checking. Participants with recent drug use had 2.1 times (p =.006) greater odds of supporting it. Among those opting for drug checking (n = 270), people who have recently used drugs had 5.5 times (p <.001) greater odds of preferring an onsite service. Additionally, 67% believed any drug checking service increased their safety. Conclusions: The study reveals NT festivalgoers’ widespread support for drug checking and suggests the need for on-site drug checking services in the NT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Safe beats down under: Investigating the support of drug checking at a regional festival in the Northern Territory, Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this