Nick Clegg | Former Deputy Prime Minister & former Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Member of Global Commission on Drug Policy
People who take drugs have no idea who has made them, how potent they are, or what impurities they contain. Regardless of your views on the legal status of drugs, we need to do more to protect people from harm. That’s why the work of The Loop is so important. It will literally save lives.
The Royal Society for Public Health
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) supports the deployment of Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) at festivals and in the nighttime economy, as a common sense harm reduction intervention that has the capacity to both reduce the quantity of potentially harmful drugs in circulation in such settings and reduce the probability of serious or lethal harm occurring as a result of their use. RSPH supports The Loop as the leading and trusted best-practice organisation delivering this intervention in a safe and responsible manner in the UK.
Greater Manchester Police
GMP have built up a successful partnership with The Loop at Parklife over a numbers of years. Harm reduction and public safety is our primary aim and The Loop have played a key role in providing analysis and insight into the drugs markets on site. It is not hyperbole to say that the work of The Loop helps save lives.
Chief Inspector Gary Simpson | Police Silver Commander, Parklife Festival 2014
Greater Manchester Police worked alongside the Loop Charity for the first time at this year’s Parklife Weekender Music Festival to reduce the danger of drug use at the festival. The event organisers, The Loop Charity and Greater Manchester Police worked in partnership to develop an approach which included fast time testing of seized drugs at the event site.
Professor of Fiona Measham and her team from The Loop Charity were fantastic; they offered advice at the planning stages through to setting up their mobile laboratory and testing on the festival site. The Loop team identified substances of concern that we believed might be in circulation at the event we then public safety messages to festival goers through the event organisers and their social media to warn of the dangers.
Often the Police can solely focus on detection of drug offences and capturing offenders, whilst that is important it I also essential to include a prevention and public health element to you plans, the loop Charity were instrumental in providing this element to overall public safety plan.
As Police Commander for such events I am always interested in new ideas that can reduce the risk to the public, after all, we are all here to ultimately protect the public. I look forward to working with Fiona and her team at future festivals.
Professor David Nutt | Founder, DrugScience
Fiona has been a founding member of DrugScience since 2010 and I have followed the development of the Loop with great interest. The Loop effectively combines Fiona's academic research and policy development with the evidence-based delivery of drug and alcohol services on the ground, all with a humane and harm reduction ethos. DrugScience fully supports the Loop's work and we have various members actively involved in the Loop's service delivery. We are particularly delighted to see the successful introduction of forensic testing services on site to drug users at festivals and other events, as this is a successful and well established harm reduction measure in several European countries. We feel this can only be a positive development in the UK at a time when we are experiencing an alarming increase in drug-related deaths across the board.
Kim Blauenfeldt Gosmer | Project Manager, Danish drug consumption room (DCR) Skyen
In February 2017, the Danish drug consumption room (DCR) Skyen, located in central Copenhagen, launched a 12 months drug testing project. The primary drugs used in the DCR is cocaine (approx. 80%) and heroin (approx. 20%) and the purity of these drugs on a national basis (based on public figures from police seizures) are quite low, 37% and 19% (2015), respectively. One of the primary aims of the project is to get an insight in the composition of these drugs on street level to increase safety for the users and to support the staff working in the DCR.
Before the project was launched, we were lucky to have the possibility to meet with Fiona from The Loop to discuss their strategies, protocols and experiences with festival and night club drug testing. The meeting and subsequent mail correspondences have been a major support during the planning and startup of our project. For instance, we ended up acquiring the same FTIR-equipment The Loop is working with based on Fiona’s recommendation and our drug testing protocol was also written with inspiration from Fiona and her team. Basically, we are happy that we didn’t have to re-invent the wheel and Fiona has truly helped our project to a running start.
Pete Morris | Manchester Medical Services
I first started working alongside The Loop during the 2013 season of The Warehouse Project. As part of the event medical provision, I regularly have to treat patients who are under the influence of recreational drugs, both legal and illegal, some of which are life-threatening. Having staff from The Loop on hand has proved to be invaluable, not just due to their extensive knowledge of the recreational drug scene, but also because of their calm and collected approach to welfare. We have been able to make use of volunteers from The Loop to build trust with patients who might be nervous of talking to uniformed ambulance personnel. Because of their non-judgemental approach and focus on harm reduction, some of my patients who have refused to tell me what has been taken have subsequently told volunteers from The Loop, thus allowing me to provide the necessary medical treatments.
I have been impressed by the commitment of the staff at The Loop to their mission, and how they have been so reliable not only in terms of their knowledge and experience, but also in their approach to the practical consistencies of staffing events with their volunteers. I have come to rely on individuals such as Chris, Gemma and Fiona as one of my first ports of call of advice and recommendations on how best to plan for patients under the influence of recreational drugs. This was key in the preparation for The Parklife Weekender 2013, where I met with The Loop on several occasions to help plan the medical provision for the event. Having their knowledge allows me to ensure we have the right plans in place for each event being covered, and The Loop provided us with vital and up to the minute information about treatment for common recreational drugs in advance of the event.
The involvement of The Loop has directly led to better patient care at both The Warehouse Project and The Parklife Weekender, and the relationship between medical staff and volunteers from The Loop has gone from strength to strength. I look forward to working alongside them at future events, and know that their mission is not only invaluable and necessary, but specifically has led to real lives being saved.
Stefanie Jones | Director of the Drug Policy Alliance #SaferPartying campaign
The Loop is the ideal festival and nightclub harm reduction service – it includes top-notch drugs education and outreach as well as forensic testing services that allow people to know exactly what’s in their substances and make safer choices. Truly a model for the rest of the world to follow.”
Niamh Eastwood | Director, Release
The Loop’s forensic testing of drugs is a great example of the evidence-based initiatives around drug use that are increasingly needed in the UK. We at Release believe in harm reduction, and The Loop embodies this principle in its vital work that protects the lives of young people and deals with the realities of an unregulated drugs market.
Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Transform is proud to have been actively supporting and championing the Loop since its formation. The Loop is an organisation that has shown outstanding leadership in pushing forward the historically neglected harm reduction agenda in the night-time economy. Their remarkable achievements reflect not only their status as preeminent experts in the field but also a steely determination to deliver meaningful change in often politically challenging environments. Most of all the Loop is driven by an overriding passion for the cause and a desire to end the needless tragedies of the past; to keep people safe and save lives.
Anne Marie Cockburn | Anyone's Child
A mother’s response to the #Crush DabWait campaign:
When I found out about the new #CrushDabWait campaign launched last week I felt relieved that common sense was finally prevailing. My only wish is that this campaign had existed 23 months ago before I lost my only child to an accidental ecstasy overdose. My 15 year old daughter Martha pounded down MDMA crystal to a powder that turned out to be 91% pure, she swallowed half a gram in one go and died 3 hours later.
The #CrushDabWait campaign was launched by The Loop drugs charity just ahead of Glastonbury to encourage users to think carefully about how much MDMA crystal they consume. I was delighted that it was supported by Radio 1 DJ B.Traits and drum and bass DJ Nicky Blackmarket, as well as being featured in Mixmag. This campaign fills me with hope that lives will be saved and other families won’t have to suffer a loss like mine.
The experts behind this campaign are keen to stress that they’re not trying to condone or encourage use, but due to the very high purity of MDMA crystal currently in circulation in the UK (on average 83%), this campaign is focussing solely on MDMA crystal rather than any other forms of ecstasy in order to put out necessary, informative and responsible public health information. This is an evidence-based response, based on research by The Loop’s Fiona Measham, showing that not only is MDMA crystal the most popular drug taken at UK festivals and EDM dance clubs, it’s also virtually pure and is causing serious medical problems for young people taking too much.
There will be those that say it is irresponsible and will encourage drug use – but I believe that the #CrushDabWait campaign could have saved Martha’s life had she known about it. Martha wanted to get high, she didn’t want to die – no parent wants either, but there’s one of those that’s preferable to the other.
Mother of Warehouse Project customer
Two weeks ago I had a phone call at 3am from a drugs worker at WHP. My 20 year old daughter and one of her friends had taken MDMA and possibly another hallucinogen, 2CB, and were seriously disturbed. So I picked them up, nice middle class kids both. Probably with some experience of this kind of drug but not enough. Off their heads, randomly striking out at ambulance staff and others, shouting, yelling, wrestling, carried into the car and then into the house- we only got them home with the help of the WHP security staff who were exemplary in their patience and tolerance. If no-one had picked them up they would undoubtedly been arrested (perhaps should have been arrested) and/or hospitalised. If they’d wandered away from whp they could easily have ended up under a bus. After an hour or so of screaming, throwing furniture, striking out they flattened out and started to come to some realisation of what had happened, and how fortunate they had been to come to no harm… (Goes on to say) … Be grateful for those drug worker volunteers and security staff on a low hourly rate who might just scrape you up and save your life.
Amanda Fielding | Director, The Beckley Foundation
The Loop plays an invaluable role in keeping people safe by helping them to inform themselves about what it is they are consuming. It is a right that should be afforded to everyone, and the The Loop is leading the way with evidence-based harm reduction.
Jon Liebling | Political Director, United Patients Alliance
United Patients Alliance are delighted to give our support to The Loop and their MAST Drug Testing and welfare initiatives. Their harm reduction work is both ground breaking and essential in protecting the lives and heath of young people enjoying clubs and festivals in the UK. The unregulated drugs market is a major issue for cannabis consumers too and we look forward to working with and learning from The Loop so we can better protect and inform our supporters and promote safer consumption. Fantastic work.
The Loop's very first customer to use MAST at Kendal Calling, 2016
I have always understood that there are dangers of Drug use. Having services like the loop available help to minimise these dangers by giving factual information about the substances that I going to be taking. I first saw the loop on social media andwas the first user of there front of house testing service at Kendal calling 2016. The service offered was brilliant from friendly, professional and knowledgable volunteers. In roughly 30 minutes I received accurate information about what my substance was as well as having the opportunity to ask any drug related questions.