Following on from fabric: a post by Amanda Feilding
If we want to be realistic in minimising drug-associated harms and protecting young people’s health, we must recognise that a certain section of the population will sometimes wish to celebrate and dance, as they have done throughout history, and that certain psychoactive substances, such as ecstasy (MDMA
), can enhance their enjoyment in this activity.
Fabric nightclub (Image: Metro.co.uk)
The fact is, that many people will take these substances willy-nilly, irrespective of what the law says.
And in fact, ecstasy is no more harmful than alcohol… indeed scientific evidence indicates that it is less harmful.
Society would therefore do well to learn from the abundant evidence now available
: namely, educating young people in safe and responsible use saves lives, as does permitting and encouraging drug testing on the premises in those venues where raving usually takes place. These are wise measures that have been proven to prevent accidents, as does the provision of water and chill out spaces, now usually provided as lessons learnt from previous fatalities.
Of course, the most sensible course for the UK to take in reforming drug policy is to follow in the footsteps of the Portuguese model: namely of decriminalizing all
drugs. Better still would be to cautiously and strictly regulate access to the least harmful substances that people most commonly take, namely cannabis
and MDMA, making safer access to adults possible.
These measures would undermine the illegal market and do away with the dangers of adulterated pills, and also the recent danger of unexpectedly high doses, which have tragically caused the recent deaths of several young people
, who were just setting out to have a bit of fun.
Words: Amanda Feilding