The HSE warns of double strength MDMA pills circulating at Electric Picnic.
It’s part of a new project that will allow festival-goers to anonymously test the drugs they use.
In a post on social media tonight, the HSE said one purple skulls tablet tested had double the dose, “which is cause for concern”.
“Please be careful and remember that it is safer not to use drugs at all,” it said.
The anonymous and real-time drug test will take place at this year’s Electric Picnic Festival in Co Laois.
It is the HSE’s first drug surveillance program to analyze drugs to provide real-time information in a festival setting.
It is the first time illegal drugs have been tested outside of authorized government facilities and is part of the government’s Safer Nightlife harm reduction campaign.
However, the program is a limited form of drug testing known as “back of house.”
It doesn’t allow attendees to get drug tested and give them face-to-face advice, which charities like The Loop have been doing at UK festivals.
Instead, scientists are testing drugs in the tent provided for this purpose, which people hand in voluntarily and anonymously in a “handover bin”.
This could include someone who has had side effects to one substance and is willingly abstaining from the rest.
The testers are also able to analyze substances of concern identified by medical professionals.
The HSE says this will then help inform them of what substances are in circulation and also the strength of the drugs and they will release that information to the public.
Festival-goers are encouraged to visit Drugs.ie before and during the event, but the HSE said the live results are only representative of what was submitted.
Prof Eamon Keenan, who launched the plan last month, the HSE’s national clinical director for addiction services, said he was “very concerned about the emergence of new psychoactive substances and highly potent substances that pose a health risk”.
He added: “This project will provide us with important information that we otherwise cannot access in real time. Whilst this is progress the HSE message remains clear it is safer not to use any medication at all. Those who choose to do so should still follow the practical steps recommended by the HSE to reduce damage.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/hse-warning-of-double-strength-mdma-pills-circulating-at-electric-picnic-41958152.html HSE warning about double strength MDMA pills in circulation at Electric Picnic