Drug Welfare @ EP22

Having been AFK the last few years without any partying permitted in the country, Help Not Harm are delighted to return to Electric Picnic to deliver drug welfare.

Since the inception of this vital service in 2016 there will be an increase in attendance from 56,000 to 76,000 punters who will embark on the town of Stradbally in September. This calls for an increase in volunteers committing to the safety and protection of people who use drugs. If you are interested in being part of the Help Not Harm welfare team at EP kindly complete this form and attend our training prior to the festival.

“The sheer scale and timing of this festival, given a two-year restriction of live events and the counterbalance this caused upon reopening the country, will pose a serious challenge to organisers. Our goal is to prevent potential adverse cases relating to drugs where the temptation to take them is, unfortunately, at an all time high. By providing drug welfare it reduces the burden on emergency services and provides experts on the ground throughout the festival capable of responding to incidents brought to our welfare tent”, Director, Graham de Barra

Our team have consulted with the Oireachtas Education and Prevention Committee to the current National Drugs Strategy promoting early intervention harm reduction educational campaigns.

“We are happy to provide this service to Electric Picnic again. Our consistent feedback has helped shape policy decisions in the design of the festival.”

Part of the feedback to EP in 2016 was a lack of coordination between service providers, which for the first time will see two new paid staff on-site to ensure these needs are met. Recently Help Not Harm co-founder Florian Scheibein was awarded the European Drug Prevention Prize by the Council of Europe for TripApp, a service connecting people directly to drug checking results.

“TripApp engages young people with available laboratory drug analysis data which shows them when a drug has been adulterated, is dangerously strong or when they are unexpectedly more dangerous. This is a data-driven prevention strategy based on the concept that credible evidence of short-term harm will reduce and prevent drug-related harms”, said Florian Scheibein in a recent press release published on the WIT website.

Our feedback this year is once again to request free and anonymous drug testing facilities on-site as a public health imperative. As this is currently not an option in this country, the best we can do is respond to adverse events rather than proactively prevent them. We will work tirelessly to support medics and gardai in delivering the best service to our abilities under these legal constraints. Support will be offered to attendees requiring rest, support and recuperation in the form of a chillout space. We will also provide an information and harm reduction stall offering drug information, free water, suncream and general health and wellbeing supplies.

Welfare is a safe space. Smile and be assured amnesty from arrest and free anonymous advice or your money back :)

Did we mention it’s a completely free and anonymous service?

If you would like to get in touch directly, you can do so at graham@helpnotharm.org

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Help Not Harm

Help Not Harm

Help Not Harm is a campaign supporting a shift of drugs from criminal justice to public health to improve access to harm reduction, education and treatment.