The HSE, in conjunction with Drugs.ie carried out their Safer Nightlife Program this summer at Life Festival, Body & Soul and Electric Picnic. This program provided a harm-reduction approach to Irish festival-goers while also carrying out ‘back of house testing’ on illicit substances that were surrendered across the three festivals which yielded some interesting results.
In total over the 3 events, a total of 76 hours of harm reduction were The harm reduction at these events included (but was not limited to) a non-judgemental point of contact for attendees, information about drugs and their interactions, how to reduce harm and emergencies, support for those impacted by emergencies as well as overall support for people’s wellbeing and mental health at these events. Additionally, outreach and intervention in campsites were carried out alongside liaising with medical providers, discussing trends and warnings and distributing informational resources.
220 drug samples were received from the public for analysis in an attempt to identify the substances in circulation. Of this, 8 risk communications were issued this summer and in addition to this that ‘Tuci’ pink powder could contain new drugs such as 2-FMA while vapes could also contain point synthetic cannabinoids. A list of all the samples and their contents can be read below:
- MDMA: 98
- Cocaine: 28
- 3-CMC (Sold as cocaine):2
- 2-FMA (sold as pink powder):2
- New psychoactive substances (under review):27
- Others (under review): 10
Overall it can be said that these initial findings are a step in the right direction when looking to understand what substances are in circulation, as well as giving festival-goers a place to go and discuss with trained individuals to better their understanding and implement safety measures if they decide to consume illicit substances. With these practices in place, you can educate people which will lead to fewer emergencies and a greater, more widespread understanding of various substances and the effects they have on people.
More information regarding these initial findings can be read on Drugs.ie here.