Elec­tric Pic­nic ‘drugs ad­vice’

Irish Examiner - - News - Cor­mac O’Ke­effe

A lead­ing drugs agency is to pro­vide harm re­duc­tion ad­vice for the first time to drug users at­tend­ing Elec­tric Pic­nic this week­end.

Ana Lif­fey Drug Project will op­er­ate along­side the Ir­ish Red Cross at the Wel­fare Tent in the Jimi Hen­drix Camp­site.

Some 55,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend the three­day fes­ti­val in Laois.

Ana Lif­fey stressed it is safer not to take il­licit or un­known drugs at all, but that if peo­ple do, it ad­vises:

Not to buy from a sup­plier they do not know;

Not to use drugs alone and to stay with friends;

To take a taster dose — with the caveat that there is no “safe dose”;

To take breaks, rest, and re­hy­drate;

Not to mix drugs, in­clud­ing al­co­hol.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Duf­fin said the project nei­ther “pro­motes nor de­nounces sub­stance use” but pro­vides ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion.

“The re­al­ity is that drugs are freely avail­able across the coun­try and there are no drug-free mu­sic fes­ti­vals — since the Wood­stock era, drugs and fes­ti­vals have been in­sep­a­ra­ble in many peo­ple’s minds,” he said.

“Polic­ing alone can­not man­age drug use at mu­sic fes­ti­vals. The is­sue re­quires a dual law en­force­ment and public health ap­proach.”

He com­mended the or­gan­iser of Elec­tric Pic­nic, Fes­ti­val Repub­lic, for its “proac­tive, health-based ap­proach to drug is­sues”.

Mr Duf­fin said all deal­ings with peo­ple will be con­fi­den­tial: “Of­ten, peo­ple can be afraid that they will be re­ported to the po­lice sim­ply be­cause they have taken drugs — this is not the case.

“Although, it’s il­le­gal to pos­sess drugs, it’s not il­le­gal to take them; when some­one has taken drugs the fo­cus needs to be on health and min­imis­ing harm.”

Pic­ture: Paul Sher­wood

Nora Rice and her daugh­ter Nora Collins, who ac­cepted the award from the Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land nam­ing West Cork as Ire­land’s premier ‘foodie’ des­ti­na­tion.

Pic­ture: David Brani­gan/Oceans­port

A large fleet of 1720 sports­boats is set to de­scend for the 2017 Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, which be­gin to­day in Bal­ti­more Har­bour, Co

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