Electric Picnic will have anonymous drug 'Surrender Bin'

Electric Picnic will have anonymous drug 'Surrender Bin'

The HSE's drug monitoring programme is set to be piloted at next month's Electric Picnic Festival.

The new drug harm-reduction campaign aimed at people attending Irish music festivals.

It offers practical harm-reduction information, as well as advice on how to reduce the risks associated with drug use.

Drugs can be surrendered by the public through an anonymous 'surrender bin' at the event.


While the HSE will also analyse substances of concern identified by medics.

Director of Electric Picnic, Melvin Benn, says people will be notified if dangerous batches are in circulation.

"We actively test the drugs and we are able to then put messages out on the app to say; 'Be careful, you are in possession of this particularly drug, be careful it is 'this strength', etc etc'."

Prof Eamon Keenan, HSE’s National Clinical Lead-Addiction Services, says; “As we approach the 2022 festival season it is important that we keep up to date in relation to Drug Trends across Europe.


"Although we have limited access to drug market monitoring In Ireland we are aware of the emergence of some very worrying trends across Europe.

“As well as high strength drugs appearing, as seen recently in the UK, we are currently concerned about the possibility of new psychoactive substances being mis-sold as MDMA pills or crystal, cocaine and cannabis.

"New drugs are continuing to emerge and we must be aware of the risks they pose."

In a statement from the HSE they advise on 'How you can stay safe at festivals this summer'.

  • Tell your friends if you decide to use drugs at the festival.
  • Try to have one friend who doesn’t use and be with people you trust.
  • Be in the know before you go: See the new HSE festival information on the latest trends
  • Plan to take less. Your tolerance may have changed if you stopped using drugs for a while during COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Start low and go slow, take a small test dose. Pace yourself by taking a small amount and leaving time between use can help you identify how you are reacting to the substance.
  • Leave the mixing to the DJ: Avoid mixing drugs, including alcohol and prescription medication. This can increase your risk of becoming unwell or experiencing a drug emergency. MDMA could interact negatively with some medications such as antidepressants.
  • Keep cool and stay hydrated: Sip water but don’t drink over a pint an hour as drinking too much water can be dangerous. Take breaks from dancing and give yourself time to cool down.
  • Medics are your mates: Don’t be afraid to get help if you or a friend becomes unwell or feels suicidal after using drugs. Know the location of the medical tent at events and what you would do in case of an emergency. Be honest with medics about what was taken, they are there to help.

This harm-reduction campaign aims to help educate people who use drugs at events so they can make informed decisions.

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