Harm reduction services such as adulterant screening and drug user peer counseling are proven means of reducing risks related to drug use, and shows the attendees of your event that you care about their well-being regardless of the drug-related choices they make. Amnesty bins and intense pat-downs of attendees upon entrance cater to drug elimination. Providing access to EMTs cater to those who have already taken their experience too far. There is a large gap in responsibility between these extremes that needs to be addressed that harm reduction methods help provide. Adulterant screening services such as those provided by DanceSafe/StaySafeSeattle work as secondary drug abuse prevention in a way that doesn't compromise existing security measures. Rather than encouraging drug use, such harm reduction services address the needs of those that choose to use despite the best efforts of you (USC Events), public health officials, and law enforcement.
Harm reduction is not simply adulterant screening or peer counseling, but a holistic approach to reducing the health risks at your events. The absolute biggest risk to any event attendee, high or sober, is heat stroke compounded by dehydration. Any event with high energy music in the heat of the day should provide shade, free water refill stations and misting tents so attendees can cool down.
Heat stroke and drug-related emergencies are not events that 'just happen.' Event promoters can, and should, take reasonable steps to protect their patrons' health and safety regardless of ones' attitudes about drug use. USC Events, you can do better, and you should.
Please Work with StaySafeSeattle and King County Public Health to provide comprehensive harm reduction services at all productions affiliated with USC Events.
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