The HSE has issued a warning over a new “pink cocaine” at Electric Picnic as the drug surrender bins make their return.
Festival goers are heading to Stradbally, Co. Laois on Friday to attend the music event of the year and have been urged not to bring any illegal drugs.
The HSE rolled out a pilot drug testing programme last year at the festival which saw attendees anonymously surrendering their drugs into bins around the area, and it will be implemented again this year.
Following last year’s scheme, testers discovered “strong doses” of seven new drugs, such as pink cocaine (Tuci), mixtures of MDMA and ketamine, 3-CMC, 2-Fluoromethamphetamine, cocaine, and benzocaine at Electric Picnic.
Attendees were also warned last year of dangerous purple MDMA pills which were shaped like skulls.
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The HSE is now extending its service to include Drugs.ie tents and outreach teams at three different locations across the festival which are there to offer information and support.
There is set to be five surrender bins, three tents, and 70 trained volunteers from the HSE at the venue.
HSE emerging drug trends project manager Nicki Killeen has urged those going to Electric Picnic to use the surrender bins and said the new drugs on the market are “high in strength” and can pose a serious danger.
She said, according to DublinLive: “The more drug samples we receive and analyse, the more clearly we understand the Irish drug market. So far this summer, we have had an extremely positive response from festival attendees and have analysed 133 drug samples.
“These samples have provided us with information we otherwise would not have in Ireland. From this, we know that the substances at the moment could be high strength which increases the risks of a person accidentally taking too much for their bodies to handle which could cause a drug emergency. MDMA pills have varied in strength, with different pills containing from 71mg to 246mg of MDMA.”