Shambhala Music Festival

ANKORS’ Drug-Testing Results at Shambhala Prove Why We Need Harm Reduction

    For years now, ANKORS has proven themselves to be an integral part of Shambhala Music Festival up in Salmo, BC. Unlike a vast majority of other festivals, Shambhala’s presence on private land allows them the leeway to bring in ANKORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society), providing free, no-questions-asked drug-testing to any and all attendees.

    This year, the BC-based non-profit came armed with a mass spectrometer, giving them the ability to rigorously test an even larger variety of substances. Suffice it to say, some of the results they got ranged from downright frightening, to utterly ridiculous. A collection of some of their tests can be seen below (click for enlarged slideshow, photos courtesy of Dominique Denis-Lalonde on Facebook):

    Some of the more eye-opening highlights include:

    • MDMA that tested as caffeine
    • MDMA that tested as 5-MEO-AMT, a “psychadelic tryptamine compound that is very potent, known to cause seizures if taken in high doses”
    • MDMA that tested as bath salts
    • Ketamine that tested as Oxycodone
    • MDA that tested as Ketamine
    • Ketamine that tested as 50% cocaine
    • MDMA that tested as gravel(!)
    • Cocaine that tested as MDMA
    • A ground-find that tested as sugar

    All this data tells us one, important fact: You can never be sure that the drug you put into your body is what you think it is. Drug-testing can’t tell the whole story, but it’s still a vital tool with the potential to save lives when utilized properly. That all being said, we’d like to extend our gratitude to the harm reduction team at Shambhala, and the hard-working folks at ANKORS for providing this incredibly important service every year.

    Looking to help with harm reduction on a local scale? Hit up DanceSafe, and sign the petition to amend the RAVE Act