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London Assembly recommends drug-testing facilities at venues

The report comes as drug-related deaths are at their highest since any comparative records began.

London Assembly recommends drug-testing facilities at venues

A new report issued by the London Assembly’s Health Committee suggests that drug checking facilities should be provided at the capital’s venues. 

Released on 17th March, the report urges London Mayor Sadiq Khan to work alongside the government and police to develop a new strategy to combat future drug fatalities at the city’s music venues.

The report comes as drug-related deaths are at their highest since any comparative records began. In England and Wales alone, about 3,000 individuals died from drug abuse in 2020, with 296 fatalities in the capital.

One of the main touchpoints in the report is the need for England to align with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on several Naloxone-focused requirements. The document asks Mayor Khan to collaborate with the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure that officers carry nasal naloxone spray regularly since officers frequently come into contact with drug users who are in danger of overdosing.

Speaking in a press statement, Chair of the London Assembly’s Health Committee, Caroline Russell AM, said: “Too many people are still dying from drug-related causes in London. We investigated how to address this tragedy and find out what practical, life-saving interventions could be used to reduce drug harm in our city.

“Our investigation found that naloxone could save someone’s life if it’s used quickly after an opioid overdose. That is why we are urging the Mayor to ensure the Met routinely carry naloxone, a simple and proven way to reduce opioid deaths.

“Additional measures recommended in our report, such as a pilot for safe drug consumption rooms and the introduction of drug checking services, can start to bring down the growing numbers of people sadly losing their lives due to problematic drug use.”

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