The Bureau régional d’action sida (BRAS) Outaouais focuses on prevention, and wants consumers to be well aware of what they are about to ingest.
The BRAS Outaouais therefore has employees equipped with a spectrometer, a measuring device used to break down an observed quantity, as well as colorimetry to analyze the drug.
The Safe Drinking Coordinator for the ARMSOutaouais, Alexandre Albert, explains that these festival-goers are not always well informed about the drugs they buy. Some may even be unaware of the expected effects of the substance in question or even the duration of said effects.
According to Mr. Albert, it is mainly important to focus on occasional users, who are more at risk of an overdose, since
their tolerance level is not the same.
They don’t necessarily know the intended effect of the substance. For example, if they bought MDMA [de l’ecstasy, NDLR]. Our analyzes can show that it is MDA.
MDA is known to be more stimulating, more hallucinogenic and more toxic than MDMA, which also has its risks. According to Health Canada, the consumption of MDMA
may cause long-term mental and physical effects.
Often people are surprised. The effects of MDMA last three to five hours. For the MDA, it can be eight to ten hours. [La prévention] helps prevent psychoses and overdosespopularized Alexandre Albert.
A slow start with festival-goers
a slow start. The organization was present in Old Hull during the Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities last week as well as at a festival in Papineauville a few weeks ago.
In these two events, ARMSOutaouais says it was able to analyze the substances of about 20 people.
We want to be more present and develop good habits in peoplesaid Alexandre Albert, who specified that the organization also does prevention of STBBIs in addition to supervised consumption.
It is also important for him to let drug users know that they can communicate with him and his colleagues without the fear of being judged.
It is still a taboo subject. We want people to feel comfortable telling us: ”I sometimes use drugs, but I want to stay alive”!
With information from Rosalie Sinclair