The Definitive Tutorial for Harm Reduction [VIDEO]


Shambhala Music Festival is the model of smart and effective harm reduction. For more than a decade, they have invited ANCHORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society) to come to the festival and provide pill and powder testing, and other harm reduction services to all of their clients.

Since Shambhala started providing these ANKORS services, they have only had one single death, while medical transport has dropped well in the single-digit figures (this year it only totals 5). This is unheard of for a four-day festival of this size, with around 15,000 participants in total this year. So why can’t we have the same in America? The reality is that we are going to have a very long battle to make these services available to us in the United States thanks in large part to the RAVE Act, which you can learn all about here.

At Dance Music Northwest, we fully support the efforts of organizations like ANKORS. We encourage all ravers to purchase your own kit to keep you and your friends safe, while having the tools to make informed decisions. To walk you through the process, we partnered with ANKORS in Shambhala last month to create a special tutorial, detailing how these test kits work. Watch below to learn more about these revolutionary services and to see firsthand why it is the best and most proven method for keeping people safe.

Something very important to note about these test kits: They will only test the most prevalent substance in the sample and will not give you any level of purity or quality. The best way to make sure you don’t get anything harmful in your body is of course not to take any medication in the first place, period. But if you feel the urge to imbibe, there is at least an easy way to find out which dominant substance has been sold to you.

We have come to the conclusion that we cannot stand idly by while this essential service is denied to us by archaic legislation that no longer meets today’s needs. We’re just as tired as you always see the same story about a tragic death at a festival.

To that end, we spoke with members of Seattle City Council and Mayor Ed Murray’s office to discuss the possibility of passing legislation that would grant amnesty to any organization providing these essential testing services. Although we have the support of some members, the biggest obstacle is showing that we all stand behind this fundamental question.

What we need from you as a member of the community: Sign our petition, urging Seattle City Council and the Mayor’s Office to pass this historic law. In it, we stress the need to allow amnesty to all organizations providing pill and powder testing, as well as anyone seeking these services. Our end goal is to set up pill testing outside of festivals in the greater Seattle area, and it starts with you. Under the auspices of the RAVE Act, no insurance company will cover a festival that allows on-site drug testing. We want to change that.

Share this article with your friends, get them to sign our petition, and make your voice heard. Together, we can do it. We just need your help to resonate our collective voices in the halls of City Council, demanding that we never hear from another deceased raver again.

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