Festival organisers need to face facts over drug deaths

Festival organisers need to face facts over drug deaths. By Miranda Devine.

Laissez faire approaches to illicit drugs are what got us into this tragic mess. They are not the way out. …

The horrible deaths detailed in the NSW Coroner’s Court ought to be a deterrent, exploding the myth that ecstasy is a safe or “happy” drug.

The most egregious testimony came from festival promoter Simon Coffey, who organised Defqon. 1 in Penrith last year, at which two people died.

He advocates “hugs” for festivalgoers rather than a “wall of police, riot police and drug dogs”.

This problem has emerged precisely because drugs are easy to come by, cheap and socially acceptable. …

Tony Wood, whose 15-year-old daughter Anna died in 1995 after taking ecstasy, has met more families devastated by drug use than most people, and he warns of the link between widespread drug use and the youth suicide epidemic.

“Most families I have been with who have lost a child to suicide point out that they were fine before they started using drugs.”