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3rd October 2019

Students find unlikely substances in Warehouse Project drugs test

The pills sold to students contained medication for diarrhea and Athlete’s Foot
Students find unlikely substances in Warehouse Project drugs test
Photo: Warehouse Project Press

Athlete’s Foot treatment and crushed Imodium were among substances found in pills confiscated at the Warehouse Project on Saturday night.

The drugs were tested by the Manchester Metropolitan University organisation Manchester Drug Analysis and Knowledge Exchange (MANDRAKE). MANDRAKE, which is England’s first permanent city-based testing and harm reduction facility, aims to safeguard the Greater Manchester community through the use of scientific testing.

Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor Sacha Lord, who runs the Parklife festival and set up the Warehouse Project, spearheaded forensic testing at raves after a thirty-year-old Nick Bonnie died at The Warehouse Project in 2013 due to ingesting a large dose of MDMA.

In response to the Imodium discovered, a diarrhea relief tablet, Lord joked that those who accidentally took it would benefit from “figs or a good strong curry”.

Lord’s partnership with ‘MANDRAKE’ is indicative of a long-standing commitment to ‘back-of-house’ testing. Samples are obtained by security and tested rapidly, so worrying results can be communicated to the crowd via social media. The Loop, a charity that provides harm reduction services for music events, has tested drugs confiscated or posted into an amnesty box at events run by Lord since 2013.

Ambiguity remains over the effectiveness of this approach. The Loop’s preferred method is ‘front-of-house’, which sees users submit samples for analysis and receive their results as part of a confidential harm reduction package. Lord has said he is “sat on the fence” about front-of-house testing, and the Warehouse Project are not expected to implement it.

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