Shambhala Festival Crowdfunds Drug-Testing Machine

BC fest is taking action amid fentanyl overdose crisis

The electronic music festival has quietly helped festival goers reveal the true ingredients in their recreational drugs of choice with test kits for years, but BC fest Shambhala is trying to take it to the next level.

Shambhala organizers have taking action to educate festival participants about fentanyl – the deadly drug that is often cut into commonly used recreational drugs. It ranges from being 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and has already been linked to hundreds of overdose deaths in B.C in just the first six months of 2016.

While drug testing kits are a good preventative measure, they do not effectively detect fentanyl. ANKORS, a non-profit that helps reduce harm at the festival, believes the best way to prevent individuals from accidentally taking fentanyl is by using miniature mobile mass spectrometers to precisely detect the substance. These machines can cost upwards of $250,000, and without government funding, organizers have created a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a spectrometer by Shambhala 2017 at least.

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(Photo: Shambhala’s Facebook)