NSW Ministry of Health
The team coordinated the Ministry of Health's response to severe drug-related harms associated with some music festivals over the 2018-19 summer festival season in NSW.
The response reduced drug related harms by:
- Promoting safer behaviours among patrons using
social marketing and peer-based services
- Supporting safer music festival environments
- Enhancing the onsite medical response
The team built relationships across agencies and partners, and worked in close collaboration with festival organisers, onsite medical providers and peer-based harm reduction services with an evidence-informed harm reduction approach. The team responded in real time to a complex, evolving situation, learning from each event and rapidly iterating the policy and service response.
The team systematised health risk assessments, provided advice and support for organisers and medical service providers, developed enhanced surveillance and coordinated toxicological testing for severe drug related illness, and fed all information back into an improved policy and interagency regulatory framework.