Despite a sell-out crowd, only four ambulances were needed during Saturday night’s Mardi Gras party.
Organisers have attributed the lack of drug overdoses to an aggressive pre-party campaign against GHB use.
Ads prior to the party warned attendees that GHB would be confiscated at the party and advised them on the risks associated with the drug.
We put some really strong messages out and people are listening, New Mardi Gras co-chair Steph Sands told Sydney Star Observer.
We want people to go and have a good time; we don’t people to hurt themselves.
Paul Dillon of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre worked with NMG on tackling the problem, which received national media attention this week when 10 people overdosed at a straight rave party in Melbourne.
We asked the community to be as responsible as they possibly could in this area, Dillon told the Star. What we’ve always said was that this is not just a problem of the gay community’s….And this weekend’s really shown that.
St Vincent’s Hospital recorded more than 30 cases of GHB overdoses on the weekend. Director of the emergency department Associate Professor Gordian Fulde told the Star he believed cases were from parties and venues around the city and were not isolated to Mardi Gras or the gay community.
To put it into perspective, there were a lot more admissions related to alcohol than GHB, Fulde said.