Earlier this month, we wrote about the push for the availability of drug testing facilities at Irish music festivals in the face of growing concerns about drug safety. Whilst the HSE has since entered into discussions with various organisations looking towards the viability of these services, drug testing is still not currently an option for festival-goers.
Ahead of Electric Picnic this weekend, the HSE-run Drugs.ie has been running a drug safety campaign outlining tips and best practice for ensuring you and your friends’ safety throughout the festival.
Their tips for the weekend:
Tell your friends if you decide to use drugs.
Think about your health. Females may be at greater risk to adverse reactions to drugs like MDMA.
Start low and go slow. Start with a very small dose and see how you react to the drug. Wait at least 2 hours before taking more.
Some ecstasy pills could be slow-release meaning you can’t be sure how long it takes to kick in. Drugs can look the same but may have different contents or strengths. High dose MDMA is currently circulating in Europe which can mean increased risks.
Leave the mixing to the DJ. Every time you mix drugs, including alcohol and prescription medication, you increase the risks.
Keep cool and stay hydrated. Take breaks from dancing and drink water but not over a pint an hour.
Access free water at the event. Pack a re-usabe bottle.
Get help. Find out where the medical tent is and don’t be afraid to get help if you or a friend become unwell or feel suicidal after using drugs.
Always be honest with medics about what was taken, they are there to help.
Use drugs if you are feeling low, anxious or depressed. Some drugs can make negative feelings or bad thoughts even worse.
Try new drugs or new types of drugs for the first time at a music festival.
Use banknotes to snort and avoid sharing snorting paraphernalia. This can spread blood born viruses from person to person.
Rely on drug testing kits to keep you safe. They have limitations.
Use in secluded locations. Be with people you trust.
Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Head over to Drugs.ie to read up on their full safety kit and stay safe this weekend.