The price of alcohol has been cited as the reason for more revellers than ever turning to drugs for a cheaper high at music festivals, and with 84 drug-related arrests, 20 overdoses and 1 death resulting from the recent Defqon festival in Penrith, there is a cause for concern. As reported by Fairfax, over 18,000 dance-music fans attended the International Regatta Centre in Penrith on September 14th where there were over 100 police officers using sniffer dogs trained to detect drugs on attendees. The visible police presence has been blamed for attendees consuming significant amounts of illegal substances at the one time to avoid being caught, where they might otherwise have more moderated their intake throughout the course of the festival. Such risk-taking behaviour is reportedly the reason why 23-year-old James Munro ingested three pills around midday, before he had a fit and was taken to hospital where he suffered cardiac arrest and died on Saturday night.
Following the death of his daughter from a single ecstasy pill eight years ago, anti-drug crusader Tony Wood has asked the question: should promoters be held responsible for the drug dealings that evidently go on inside their festivals? Detective Inspector Grant Healey told The Age that adults are responsible for their own actions and decisions, and likened drug consumption to “taking a lottery with your life”.