Harm Reduction at BITF 2019: Sanctuary and Resource Station
Harm Reduction at Burn in the Forest 2019 will include education, prevention, monitoring and aftercare services. Although this event is promoted as a family-friendly, drug free event, the Safety team recognizes that some problematic alcohol and/or illicit drug use may be present. Fortunately, substance use has never caused any significant issues in the past. Through education and prevention efforts, the Safety team hopes to maintain a low level of risk.
The 10 Principles and Harm Reduction
The Sanctuary and Resource Station promote radical inclusion and provide an opportunity for volunteers to gift their time (also participation and immediacy), to help other people through their tough times (communal effort). In turn, BITF participants who use harm reduction services can continue to be radically self-reliant and radically self-expressive, and therefore further fulfill their own civic responsibility. No person is an island; we are all social beings who need each other’s help!
Education and Prevention
Education and prevention will be provided at the Resource Station, which includes an Information table with harm reduction supplies, and a Testing table. The Resource Station will be open Thursday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. Confidential testing will be provided by a staff member from the Interior Health Authority (IHA) of British Columbia. An IHA staff member will advise participants of results, and may suggest disposal of substances.
Monitoring and Aftercare
The Sanctuary will provide monitoring and aftercare services, working together closely with the medical team. Sanctuary is a place of refuge for participants who, for whatever reason, are feeling temporarily overwhelmed. Sanctuary is a relaxing and cozy space, with dedicated, trained volunteers who provide peer support, helping participants through difficult emotional issues, exhaustion, issues related to pre-existing psychological disorders or temporary issues while in an altered state. Shift Leads are mental health professionals who will oversee participants in the Sanctuary, determine if additional medical care is required, and facilitate transfer to onsite or other medical services as needed.