Harm Reduction

HARM REDUCTION

Let's face it, the world today is not the same! Wicked Woods is making all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our Wicked Woodlanders, staff, and team! There are many concerns regarding the participation in illicit substances and we want to provide our attendees with an open space of comfortability. In accordance with Canadian law, Wicked Woods Music Festival is a drug-free event and we strongly encourage abstinence from substance use. 

Since it's a known fact that people will find ways to get their substance of choice into a festival, those on the harm reduction side operate from the perspective that there are actions people can take to use drugs in the safest manner possible. We want to make it aware to our Wicked Woodlanders of the actions we are taking and what actions you can take to become aware of the public health crisis in British Columbia. It is important to become familiar with the festival site, educate yourself on your drug of choice, drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, take care of one another, and rest up to avoid burnout. Please take the time to review the information below so you all have a positive experience at Wicked Woods Music Festival for this year and many years to come. 

WHAT WICKED WOODS IS PROVIDING:

  • ANKORS

  • PARAMEDICS ON SITE

  • QUALIFIED FIRST AID TEAM

  • QUALIFIED SANCTUARY TEAM

  • PATROLLING SECURITY

  • NALAXONE TRAINED AND EDUCATED STAFF

  • NALAXONE KIT STATIONS

  • POTABLE DRINKING WATER STATION

  • FOOD VENDORS

HOW TO BECOME AWARE AND PREPARED:

  • ABSTINENCE IS THE BEST PREVENTION

  • EDUCATE YOURSELF ON ILLICIT SUBSTANCES. THERE IS INFORMATION POSTED BELOW

  • BECOME AWARE OF THE WICKED WOODS SITE AND STATIONS

  • UTILIZE ANKORS

  • TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY! EAT, SLEEP, AND REHYDRATE!

  • TAKE CARE OF ONE ANOTHER

  • DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TALK TO SOMEONE IF YOU NEED TO

  • BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE CONSUMING

A few of the services ANKORS offer:

  • Unbiased information about substances.

  • Free pamphlets and information packages.

  • Reagent drug checking services.

  • Trained volunteers that answer questions openly and non-judgmentally,

  • Disposal services.

  • Nalaxone training and kits for interested participants.

  • Have self-service harm reduction supplies such as ear plugs, condoms and lube, dental dams, latex or nitrile gloves, internal or female condoms, straws for snorting, syringes for measuring liquid doses, safer injection and safer smoking kits, sharps container for sharps disposal, empty gel caps, blue food colouring for marking liquids containing GHB. 

  • An info table with self-service information on drugs, ear protection, sexual health for diverse populations, drug combinations, cutting agents, safer drug use.

  • An easily accessible “drug bible”—i.e., a big binder with printed info on as many different drugs as you can find. Add to this binder as new psychoactive substances come into the scene. Include info on cuts and adulterants if possible. (Erowid is the best source for drug information.)

  • Display posters such as Tripsit’s drug combinations chart that is visible and accessible.

  • Post dosage charts for different drugs in a highly visible location—the effects of GHB and ketamine are highly dose-sensitive and the difference between an adequate dose and too much is small.

  • Sharps containers set out and well-marked for people to dispose of unwanted substances—many people who get unwelcomed results from drug checking will want to safely dispose of their drugs.

  • Have copies of a list of local services to give to people seeking help with substance use or sexual health issues.

Drug Checking:

Providing drug checking services helps achieve four important objectives for improving the health and safety of people who attend mainstream festivals and EDM events:

1. Drug checking services offered at mainstream events reach people who would not normally engage with drug programs.

2. Drug checking services provide personalized, timely and educational harm and risk reduction services to people at a moment when they are receptive and keenly interested in learning more about the substance they are contemplating using. Even better, these services are usually accessed before any consumption occurs.

3. Drug checking services with a peer focus suit the needs of the party and festival scenes, are perceived as trustworthy and appropriate by service users, and work well within the locations that this drug use is focused.

4. Drug checking services that are connected with local, national or international networks can act as an early warning system (e.g., REITOX in Europe, or NDEWS in USA).

Advantages

• New, easy-to-use tests that are suitable for use in drug checking at festivals are regularly being developed. For presumptive identification (i.e., educated guess based on available evidence) of drugs in the field, the colorimetric tests described in the next section have the following important advantages:

• affordable and economical costing less than $0.50 for each standard test (in most cases)

• do not require specialized equipment and can be done anywhere

• simple to use and can be interpreted by a layperson with minimal training

• provide results rapidly

• a large number of tests can be done in a short period of time, limited only by available staffing

• provide information that is good enough to influence the decisions people make about substance use that make a real difference in reducing harm and avoiding ill-health.

These advantages make reagent-based testing our best current option for drug checking. Reagent-based testing is likely to continue to be used even alongside other more complex methods (when they become accessible) because it fills an important screening need better than any current alternative.

Limitations

• interpretation can be highly subjective– two different people performing the test might interpret the same colour change somewhat differently

• in most circumstances colorimetric reagents cannot differentiate a mixture of different substances, which is a challenge in a harm reduction setting where we are almost always testing an impure mixture

• currently there is no available reagent test for fentanyl, which has caused many deaths, and the dipstick test reacts only to pharmaceutical fentanyl and its metabolites and cannot detect the fentanyl analogues common on the street. Nevertheless, even with mixtures, when used appropriately in a series of steps, the reagent-based tests can give us some information useful for decisionmaking by people considering substance use and has real harm reduction benefits