Drug surrender bins to be in operation at Electric Picnic but no amnesty

By Katy Thornton

August 30, 2023 at 10:25am

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The programme was launched at last year's festival.

Electric Picnic will see the return of drug surrender bins following last year's pilot project, with the hopes of reducing harm at the festival and to raise awareness and an understanding of the Irish drug market.

There will be 70 HSE-trained volunteers, five drugs.ie surrender bins, Drugs.ie tents at three locations, and an on-site lab for drug checking and real-time results.

In a statement to The Journal, An Garda Síochaná confirmed that amnesty would not be given to anyone caught with drugs at the festival.

The HSE have already been present at Life festival and Body and Soul this summer, and they will have drug surrender tents at the Hendrix and Joplin campsites, and at the Main Arena, from Friday between 12.00 and 21.00, and Saturday and Sunday 11.00 and 21.00.

There will also be updates throughout the weekend on the HSE Drugs X site.

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Minister for Public Health, Well-being and the National Drug Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton said this of the programme:

 “The programme is an excellent example of interagency cooperation between the HSE, An Garda Siochana and festival organisers to reduce the harm from drugs and ultimately to save lives.

“As Minister, I would encourage the many people attending the festival to be wary of the dangers of using drugs, to engage with the HSE staff and volunteers for information and support about drug use, and to look out for updates about drug trends of concern on the big screens and on the Electric Picnic app.”

The HSE's aim is for the project to be rolled out at other festivals and nightlife venues, as a way of  improving the responses to emerging drug trends and to reduce drug-related harm.

Header image via Instagram / Electric Picnic

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