For the first time ever in Ireland services will be provided at this weekend’s Electric Picnic Festival to prevent drug related harm. The Ana Liffey Drug Project will be set up in the Jimi Hendrix Campsite throughout the weekend, working alongside the Red Cross in the campsite’s Welfare Tent and will be supplying festival-goers with both general harm reduction advice and one-to-one mentoring where needed.
The Ana Liffey Drug Project’s goal is to supply high-quality drug and alcohol information to festival goers in Ireland, similar to that of what is happening in the UK at numerous events. The CEO of Ana Liffey Drug Project, Tony Duffin, has praised the festival organisers for their progressive step forward and allowing Ana Liffey Drug Project to be a part of Electric Picnic.
“An Garda Síochána provide an excellent public service in keeping communities safe and part of this is restricting the supply and availability of drugs,” said Duffin speaking to Hot Press Magazine. “However, drug use is a complex social issue, which is often more pull than push, and cannot be addressed by policing alone. The reality is that drugs are freely available across the country and there are no drug free music festivals – since the Woodstock-era drugs and festivals have been inseparable in many people’s minds. Policing alone cannot manage drug use at music festivals. The issue requires a dual law enforcement and public health approach.”
“We’d never share personal information with a third party without consent, except in very narrow circumstances such as a disclosure of abuse. Often, people can be afraid that they will be reported to the police simply because they have taken drugs – this is not the case. Although it’s illegal to possess drugs, it’s not illegal to take them; when someone has taken drugs the focus needs to be on health and minimising harm, and that’s what we do best.”
“Festival Republic, the organisers of Electric Picnic, should be commended for their proactive, health based approach to drug issues.”
Here’s Ana Liffey’s advice for people attending the Electric Picnic and other festivals…
- It is safer not to use illicit or unknown drugs at all, but if you do decide to do so:
- Do not purchase from a supplier you do not know.
- Remember – dealers at festivals do not know you and may never see you again.
- Do not use drugs alone.
- Remember – stay with your friends and do not leave anybody who is intoxicated on their own.
- Take a taster dose.
- Remember – nobody can advise you on what is a safe dose of illicit or unknown drugs.
- Take breaks, get enough sleep, eat well and rehydrate.
- Remember – you can take steps to ensure your own physical and mental wellbeing.
- Don’t mix your drugs
- Remember – alcohol and illicit or unknown drugs can mix to cause overdose and other adverse effects