‘If You Go, Go Slow’ - HSE launches new campaign urging people taking drugs to do it safely
While the HSE said it's safer not to use drugs at all, it is urging those who do to please be aware of the risks.
The HSE is launching a new drugs harm-reduction campaign, which seeks to remind people who choose to use drugs: ‘If You Go, Go Slow’.
It comes ahead of the reopening of the night-time economy reopening on Friday, 22 October.
The campaign warns that it’s always safer not to use drugs at all, but if you do, be aware about the current risks to your health as night life reopens in Ireland.
It also seeks to alert the public that club drugs such as MDMA and cocaine are increasing in strength throughout Europe, which in turn increases the risk of overdose.
With nightclubs and events reopening, the campaign seeks to remind people to decide if this is the right time to use drugs, as people react differently in new settings with new people and also to consider the effects it may have on your mood and mental health.
The public are also urged to look out for friends during this time when some might feel the need to "make up for lost time", leading to using substances in riskier ways.
“Not everyone who socialises in nightlife venues uses substances, but we are aware of increasing levels of stimulant use among young people in Ireland," Dr Eamon Keenan, HSE’s National Clinical Lead-Addiction Services, said.
"We are also seeing use occurring in extra risky ways with people taking multiple substances at a time.
“Based on the reopening of nightlife in the UK earlier this year, we have a number of concerns in relation to overdose and fatalities happening at this time. We are aware that the current drug market trends may lead to the increased likelihood of overdose and people may be at greater risk due to time off from using drugs. Tolerance levels may have changed.
“Following the launch of our recent report on drug trends and drug checking, we are committed to improving the area of providing on-going information and support to young people, starting with this event and new campaign, focusing on people who will use drugs as nightlife reopens.
While it’s safer not to use drugs at all, we ask people to consider the steps they can take with an aim to minimise the harms to their health.”
More information can be found here.