The UK Addiction Treatment Group experts are warning those who are set to revel in a substance-fuelled long weekend to stay aware and on their guard as this could save their lives.
Their concern comes as only earlier last month, the Office for National Statistics revealed that more people lost their lives to drugs last year than ever before.
This weekend sees the return of music festivals at Leeds and Reading and the dance-festival Creamfields in Warrington, festivals notorious for young accidental drug deaths.
In 2019, just before the Covid pandemic struck, three people died over the August bank holiday weekend, including two teenagers. Last year, a 20-year-old woman lost her life to drugs at Reading Festival.
The drug and alcohol treatment providers at UKAT are warning those who are set to be out all weekend drinking and dancing in the August bank holiday weekend sunshine to be mindful of what they’re putting into their bodies.
Nuno Albuquerque, Consultant Treatment Lead for the UK Addiction Treatment Group, comments: ‘Ultimately, every time you take a drug, you are risking your life because you have no idea what you are taking.’
‘Think about what impact your decisions might have, and then ask yourself, is it worth gambling with your life for a short-lived high? We know young people die at festivals and bank holiday events, so this year, make sure it isn’t you.’
UKAT have put together five ways to stay safe this bank holiday weekend
Understand the law
Taking drugs to festivals, selling drugs at festivals or on the streets and even having a large number of drugs on your person for your use could come with serious legal ramifications.
Understand your tolerance
Some festival-goers this weekend might have had a lengthy break from partying since the pandemic, so it is important to respect your body and pace yourself when it comes to drinking alcohol and taking drugs. What you were used to before will have changed, and your tolerance to substances will likely be lower than usual so that you will feel the effects quickly.
Understand the combination
It goes without saying that if you are under the influence of alcohol, you might be more open to trying drugs as well, as your level of risk is diminished. Still, the combination of alcohol and some popular drugs like street Benzos, cocaine and ecstasy is a cocktail for disaster.
Assess your situation
If you’re in a large crowd in the middle of a field this weekend, the time it would take a medical professional to get to you or your friend will be increased. If you take a drug and have a life-threatening reaction, you could wait longer than usual for help to arrive.
Always be honest
If you or a friend becomes unwell this weekend and you’re receiving medical treatment, always be honest with what you have consumed. They’re there to ensure you are OK, and they can only do that with all the facts.