Why closing nightclubs like Fabric does not save lives


Why closing nightclubs like Fabric does not save lives

9 September 2016

By Aimee Cliff

London's biggest nightclub Fabric doesn’t have a drug problem. The whole of the U.K. does. In the wake of north London borough Islington Council’s decision to permanently revoke the venue’s license on September 6, it might seem the local government are under the impression that the club is the only place in the country where people take ecstasy while they dance. But in fact, drug-related deaths in the U.K. are at an all-time high since records began in 1993. Drug use is rising, particularly MDMA, which 3.5% of young British people reported taking in the last year.

The fact is, pills and powders are a part of many ravers’ weekends up and down the U.K., and too many new users are dying due to a lack of education about what they’re swallowing. Two young men tragically died at Fabric this summer after taking MDMA. Outside of Fabric, though — to take just three recent examples — a 17-year-old girl died after taking ecstasy at Red Bull Culture Clash in June, a boy of the same age also died at Leeds festival in August, and a northern teenager overdosed at a friend’s house earlier in the summer. These young people lost their lives because of a society that refuses to talk about drugs, and instead takes a hardline criminalization approach.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Aiko Konishi