The implementation of drug testing services at music festivals is something we’ve been witnessing more and more. In the new study outlined here, the drug checking service at Boom Festival 2016 is explored, along with the impact on users’ behavioral intentions.
For the study, 753 drug samples were collected for testing. Those who checked their drugs were also invited to fill out pre-analysis and post-analysis questionnaires. In total 310 pre- and post- questionnaires were submitted and successfully matched.
When test results came back as “unexpected,” 94.3% of people said they would not take the drug. When test results indicated “the expected substance plus adulterants,” however, only 32% of service users stated they would not take it.
Conversely, when test results yielded “only the expected substance,” 98% of users said they would take the drug.
The research concludes that drug checking services in large-scale festival environments may help users better manage their drug intake. Testing may also help users deal with and better understand drug adulteration — and thus, make more responsible, health-protecting choices.
“Additionally, these results can contribute to the design of tailored harm reduction interventions that take into consideration clients’ characteristics, profiles and motivations.”