Skip Navigation

Results from Irelands first back of house drug testing

The HSE National Social Inclusion Office has launched their findings from Ireland’s first ‘back of house’ drug testing pilot programme.

Download the report here

The pilot programme initially took place at Electric Picnic between the 2nd and 4th September as part of the HSE ‘Safer Nightlife’ harm reduction campaign. The aim of the pilot was to access, test and identify substances in a festival setting, alert the public, harm reduction services and onsite medics to any dangerous substances and gain insights on drug trends.

The pilot involved people anonymously surrendering substances in HSE bins which were rapidly analysed by the HSE National Drug Treatment Centre Laboratory using an on-site temporary laboratory. 

In total, 46 samples of drugs were surrendered to the HSE over the 3 day period; which led to the HSE issuing three different risk communications relating to concerns around a particular MDMA product, high strength powders and crystals and the emergence of a new substance 3-CMC (a cathinone drug which can cause significant mental health problems).

Speaking about the report, Professor Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead: Addiction Services, said: “While this report represents a relatively small number of samples numerically, we must recognise the importance of this pilot project and our findings. “The pilot is a real example of cross sectoral collaboration, where all agencies agreed on the need to collaborate to identify emerging drug trends, with an aim of protecting the health of people attending the event.

Main findings

HSE National Drug Treatment Centre Lab team

A number of HSE NDTC staff operated this programme at Electric Picnic, with thanks to Aine Shine, Jenny Hannon, Jamie Bourke, Conor Callan, Meghan Lynch and Jonathan Nolan

Further inofmration 

For further information about this project contact Media queries can be sent to

Posted by on 10/11 at 01:40 PM in
Share this:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • E-mail


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
The HSE and Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ask students to think about drug safety measures when using club drugs
Harm reduction messages from the #SaferStudentNights campaign.
Poll Poll

Have you ever been impacted negatively by someone else's drug taking?