Rightly or wrongly, music festivals earned a reputation for being the site of drug and alcohol overdoses.
In the wake of a recent spike of incidents linked to street drugs organizers for the Contact Music Festival are taking no chances.
Nearly 16,000 music lovers will pack BC Place tonight for the electronic music event, and team of medical professionals is on hand to make sure the night goes well for all attendees.
“We try to approach any festival with the concepts of harm reduction in mind so we recognize that people are going to put themselves potentially at risk no matter what we do, so our job is to try and minimize the risk.”
That’s Dr. Samuel Gutman, who’s team has specifically trained for drug overdoses.
“We have a team of health care professionals including ER physicians, nurses, paramedics, and first-aiders who look after people who may or may not get into trouble – either intoxicated, injured or what have you.”
There is an added urgency to the precautions this month, with police issuing renewed warnings about the powerful narcotic fentanyl turning up in a variety of street drugs.
Eight people alone have died in the last week from suspected drug overdoses in the Victoria area.
Gutman says they’re aware of the danger, and have prepared accordingly.
“We’ve even outfitted our roving teams with naloxone or narcon, which is the antidote for an opiate overdose, so we’re well prepared for it and we hope we don’t see it.”
Gutman said the festival has been relatively problem free so far.