The Health Service Executive (HSE) have announced a pilot programme of anonymous drug testing at this years Electric Picnic that is due to take place in Stradbally, Co Laois from the 2nd to the 4th of September.
This pilot programme is part of the ongoing ‘Safer Nightlife’ programme and drug harm reduction campaign. This campaign has already been involved in various other festivals this summer, supporting and advising individuals with the risks that are associated with drug use and making themselves known in the case of emergencies of any kind.
Professor Eamon Keenan, HSE National Clinic Lead in addiction services said; ‘This pilot is being trialled for research and monitoring purposes to inform health-led responses. It will allow the identification of anonymous substances which are surrendered either in a designated HSE surrender bin or discarded and brought to the HSE testers by Gardaí.’
If there is a case where substances have been tested and are deemed unsafe to use in relation to specific harms or a high potency level it will then allow for a message to be put out to the festival attendees and promoters to be weary of these harmful substances.
The HSE aims to expand this project to other festivals and other nightlife venues in future. Having these precautions in place will undoubtedly save lives and make many others aware of the potential risk factors involved in consuming such substances.