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To: Simon Harris
Save our young people - Change legislation to allow on site drug testing
How many more young people have to die? How many more devastated families will be left in the wake of these tragic deaths of young people who may decide to experiment with drugs for the first time?
When is Ireland going to change the legislation to allow for on site drug testing to be made available so our young people can make informed decisions and choices on drugs to keep themselves safe?
Why is this important?
There are already discussions happening with the HSE on harm reduction and how organisers and promoters of these large gigs and festivals should be given options to keep people safe by providing on site testing kits and areas for people to test drugs they come in contact with. But it's not happening quick enough. Young people are dying. We need a change of legislation now to allow these harm reduction measures and on site testing kits to become a reality in Ireland.
Whatever your opinion is on why people experiment with mind alternating substances, people will continue to do it and all of the best research around the world points to allowing harm reduction practices and providing reliable information as being the best approach for people who decide to take drugs.
It is terrible that young people in the prime of their lives have to die because of making an uninformed choice. If the young man in Cork, who died after taking a substance at a festival had of known what exactly was in the substance he took, would he have taken it?
Where testing areas are provided at festivals, many people dump their drugs when they discover it is not what they thought. They decide not to take a gamble on the unknown. But this is exactly what is happening to our young people every time they make an uninformed choice on drugs and take a gamble with their own lives. It's not good enough in this day and age and it shouldn't be allowed to continue.
We need to be bold and tackle this growing concern for safety of our young people head on. Please support this campaign for greater awareness and safety around drugs so no more young people have to lose their lives. Sign and share as widely as you can.
File photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times