HSE launch #SafeUpYourSesh drug research study to reduce harm during festival season

The results of the survey will help inform future harm reduction campaigns and services in Ireland.

A DJ playing on stage at a music festival a crowd dancing in front

As part of a new research study, the HSE launched a survey asking respondents to help them understand festival drug trends in order to create future harm reduction campaigns and services in Ireland.

A collaboration between the HSE National Social Inclusion Office and Trinity College Dublin, ‘What are you taking?’ will ask about festival drug trends, health and sexual well-being, preferred music genres, and if people would use drug testing facilities at festivals.

Speaking about the necessary research, Dr Jo-Hanna Ivers, Assistant Professor in Addiction, Trinity College, said, “Music festivals are a massive part of Irish and European culture, and club drugs are a dominant part of the festival experience for many. Nevertheless, given the high turnover of new drugs and the environment that these substances are taken in, the risk of overdose is high.”

Dr Ivers continued, “However, few studies have consulted with festival goers around this issue. The current study is the first of its kind in an Irish context and one of few internationally. The study will provide key insights into attitudes towards use and need for harm reduction measures.”

At present, there is limited evidence highlighting drug trends and harm reduction practices among Irish music festival attendees. There is also limited information to identify if Irish young people attend events and consume drugs in other countries, where drug trends and dosages may be different.

The HSE notes that drug and alcohol use in nightlife settings such as festivals is linked to health and social problems. International trends show that club drug users face increased risks associated with high purity ecstasy pills and cocaine, as well as adulterants appearing in substances without consumers knowing.

If you would like to help by taking part in the anonymous survey, the creators note it is important that you read the consent information first.

You can then participate here.

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