Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is John Rigolizzo.
The Chicago Department of Public Health warned attendees of the Lollapalooza music festival to test their recreational drugs for fentanyl.
In a public service announcement posted on its social media pages Wednesday night, the Department of Public Health warned festival goers about the dangers of a fentanyl overdose. The announcement warned that fentanyl can be mixed with other recreational drugs and urged festival goers to test their drugs before using them, not to take drugs alone, and to carry the anti-overdose drug Narcan with them.
"ATTN Chicago & LOLLA FANS: Fentanyl is a strong opioid that can easily cause overdose,"
the Department of Public Health tweeted Wednesday night. "Test your drugs before you use, carry Narcan, and don't use alone. Call 911 if you suspect someone is overdosing."
The tweet included two graphics telling festival goers to stay safe. "Fentanyl is found in Cocaine, MDMA, and other drugs - not just heroin,"
one graphic said. "Stay safe this weekend,"
said another. "Don't use alone. Test your drugs. Carry Narcan."
The tweet also included a department email address where individuals could acquire fentanyl test strips and Narcan.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady explained the announcement, along with signs in Grant Park, where the event is being held, which seemed to sanction recreational drug use, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"We regularly see - and have for years - that young people who attend festivals often are feeling very free and often experiment ... with illicit substances,"
Arwady said at a news conference Thursday, according to the Sun-Times. "The problem is that so many of those illicit substances now are laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a very strong opioid."
"If you have a young person ... who does not routinely use opioids and they experiment with a substance - even one that they think is something that their friend is giving them - we are increasingly seeing fentanyl laced into those substances,"
she added. "People think this is just gonna be a pill that helps them have fun."
The city of Chicago has been distributing free fentanyl test strips since October 2021. The Sun-Times noted that they are available for free at all Chicago Public Libraries. Arwady explained that if the strip changes color when exposed to a substance, "[y]ou know there's fentanyl in it. Don't use it."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was unambiguous in denouncing drug use at the festival. "I feel compelled, as the mother of a 14-year-old to say, 'Don't even experiment.' Don't pick it up. Don't try it. Go there. Have fun. But using illicit drugs is a huge risk. And frankly, you don't know if you're one of those folks who is predisposed to addiction,"
Lightfoot said at the same news conference. "So, I would just say, 'Go. Have fun. But leave the drugs to the side. Don't do it.'"
Law enforcement officials said last week that music festivals are a hotbed for experimental drug use.
"Lollapalooza is like Christmas for drug traffickers,"
Shane Catone, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago division, told Fox 32 Chicago. "There's going to be people walking around with backpacks at Lollapalooza, that are going to be selling pills that are going to be laced with fentanyl. There's not a doubt in my mind."
Lollapalooza began Thursday. It runs through Sunday, July 31.