27 Sept 2022

Dump your dodgy pills at HSE drug bin in Electric Picnic

Drugs can be surrendered to HSE at Electric Picnic where lab is testing

Electric Picnicers can dump drugs at this year's festival in a tent run by the HSE but there will be no amnesty for people caught in possession by Gardaí.

The surrender bin is located in a HSE run tent which has already proven its worth by detecting dangerous ecstasy pills at the Laois festival.

The HSE is running a pilot programme at Electric Picnic as part of the HSE ‘Safer Nightlife’ harm reduction campaign which was launched earlier this year. The HSE says the pilot is being introduced so the HSE can gain knowledge on current drug market trends so they can improve harm reduction responses specific to nightlife settings.

The HSE says it aims to obtain substances by those engaged with their team at a designated tent and who choose to anonymously submit substances to a ‘surrender bin’ so the HSE can identify and communicate if extra dangerous substances are in circulation. The HSE will also be in a position to analyse substances of concern identified by medics.

A laboratory is testing onsite with public notices issued about substances of concern to picnicers with an aim to reduce the consumption of these substances and possible acute emergencies.

This led to the discovery of high strength ecstasy tablets in circulation onsite in Stradbally. The Mybrand Purple skull pills, have approximately two times the average dose of MDMA. MORE BELOW TWEET.

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic said in advance of the festival: “Essentially this is Electric Picnic being a good citizen. The law remains that drugs are illegal and that will remain so at Electric Picnic.  But we are committed to doing everything we can to make people safe and this process adds to that safety in the knowledge that drugs exist in all aspects of society and we welcome the HSE’s proactiveness in addressing the issue.”

Professor Eamon Keenan, HSE National Clinical Lead, Addiction Services said in advance of the festival: "I encourage the public to follow and engage with our teams at Electric Picnic. It is important to note that our results will only be representative of what is submitted and this will not guarantee the safety of drugs across the drug market.”

The HSE in partnership with the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media launched the first drug monitoring programme to analyse drugs to provide real time information at a festival setting before the Electric Picnic. It said this is part of overall efforts to improve emerging drug trend responses and to reduce drug-related harm in Ireland.


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