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Counter Culture / May 26, 2022

HSE to create safe space for drug users at festivals

Image via Unsplash
Counter Culture / May 26, 2022

HSE to create safe space for drug users at festivals

Words: Eva O’Beirne

Three festivals will be included in the scheme including Life festival and Indiependence.

HSE teams are targeting three music festivals this summer to spread harm reduction advice to drug users amid “very worrying trends” at the drugs in circulation.

Life festival in Westmeath, Indiependence in Mitchelstown, Cork and a third event later in the summer, yet to be determined, will be included in their efforts.

HSE-trained volunteers will operate a tent and conduct outreach in the music arenas and campsites and will have a direct link with medics for emergencies.

The HSE is particularly concerned at new synthetic stimulants which are being sold as ecstasy to unsuspecting users, and cannabis being laced with synthetic cannabinoids.

The synthetic cannabinoids have been found by Forensic Science Ireland in cannabis herb for the first time this year.

The HSE addiction lead, Dr Eamon Keenan said HSE plans to introduce limited pilot drug testing at festivals was being discussed by the Department of Health and Gardaí over “logistic and legal concerns” – but that he hadn’t ruled out having it in place for the third festival.

Elsewhere on District: Half of counties in Ireland have less than 10 GPs offering abortion care