DanceSafe is an organization that has made a commitment to promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. They do this by setting up tents at festivals and events and not only testing attendees’ drugs (with permission), but also by educating everyone on safe drug practices and giving out free information. The “Drug User Liberation Front” in Canada, however, is taking a very different approach.
DULF aims to use a more in-your-face approach to highlight the importance of clean drugs in society. In an effort to promote pharmaceutical-grade heroin and cocaine, they’ve simply started giving those drugs away for free themselves.
Demonstrators yesterday set up in downtown Vancouver and handed out free doses of cocaine that had been tested for fentanyl, carfentanyl, benzodiazepines and other dangerous contaminants. They also planned to hand out up to 200 doses of free heroin, writes The Tyee, but existing supply lines have become so contaminated that they couldn’t find any.
“It really speaks to the level of contamination that’s out there on the street,” said Jeremy Kalicum, one of the demonstration’s organizers.
Merely seeing the group handing out free drugs doesn’t do its mission justice, however. According to Tyee, more than 5,545 in people in B.C. have died of an overdose since January 2016 with 170 deaths just last month, the deadliest month on record. Most of the deaths were attributed to “extreme” fentanyl concentrations in the drug supply, something that could be eliminated entirely with proper testing education and pharmaceutical-grade drugs.
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions acknowledged the challenges faced by people who use drugs are “unprecedented.”
“We are working as fast as we can to keep people safe by separating them from the toxic, illegal drug supply,” the statement said. “We are aware of some of the concerns and are working with our partners to ensure the (prescription) guidance works for everyone. We will continue to evaluate its effectiveness and update as needed.”
Ultimately, DULF believes the “government should eliminate barriers preventing people from accessing life-saving medication in the midst of the worst spike in overdose deaths since the crisis began at least five years ago.”
Read more via The Tyee.