About one in ten drugs tested near the Osheaga music festival posed some risk to users, according to an organization offering this service for the first time.
The organization GRIP, which specializes in drug prevention, offered for the first time this year a mobile substance analysis service near the entrance to the Osheaga site. Anyone could have their drug tested there and store it.
“We had access to more than thirty samples,” said Magali Boudon, director of the organization, specifying that these had almost all been purchased as cocaine or MDMA.
While the majority of these substances corresponded to what users expected to consume, some of them were able to avoid very unpleasant surprises.
“We had a surprising sample [supposed to be MDMA] that contained only bath salts,” says Ms. Boudon.
According to Health Canada, this drug promotes the consumption of excessive and increases the risk of psychosis and hypertension.
Ms Boudon also says that another user arrived with an MDMA three times more concentrated than usual and that a third person intended to consume a substance containing glue.
“Without us, there would probably have been many more unpleasant and potentially dangerous drinking episodes,” argues Ms. Boudon.
Promoter Evenko reported no overdoses at the Osheaga site this year, although interventions were needed for bad “trips” of hallucinogenic drugs, mostly among people who are intoxicated by alcohol.
Alain Simoneau, Senior Director of Security and Asset Protection for Groupe CH, indicates that approximately three to five people a day festival had to be transported by ambulance.
“Often it's a mix of alcohol and substances,” he explains. I remain with the same balance sheet year after year. »
He believes he sees only positive » to the contribution of the substance analysis service and would like it to be present on the very site of the ÎLESONIQ festival, which begins Thursday.
Mr. Simoneau also wishes to extend the service to inside the Osheaga site next year.