Fears about 'bad batch' of drugs on market after recent deaths of young people
Gardaí have said that they are aware of reports of a 'bad batch' of drugs on the Irish market following recent incidents involving young people.
As young people attend festivals and social events over the summer, they say that there is concern that especially potent substances are in circulation.
A 19-year-old man died after a suspected overdose at the Indiependence festival in Cork earlier this month.
Jack Downey reported feeling ill on the Friday night of the festival, held over the August bank holiday weekend in Mitchelstown.
Downey, from Tipperary but studying accounting at Cork Institute of Technology, was treated on the scene and then taken to Cork University Hospital but died days later.
Meanwhile a 21-year-old man is in a critical condition after taking a substance at festival in Wicklow last month.
The man, from Galway, remains in hospital in Tallaght.
Earlier this summer, the HSE issued a specific warning to festival-goers about drug use after several people were hospitalised at the Park Life festival in Manchester due to high-strength ecstasy and MDMA.
"There’s no point in just ignoring it," the HSE's national clinical lead in addiction services Dr Eamon Keenan told The Journal.
"We’re saying, if you are taking drugs, don’t take a full tablet to start with – take a quarter of a tablet – then a few hours later take another quarter and see how you go."
But one Garda source has warned against taking drugs at all, telling Independent.ie that there is no such thing as a "bad batch".
"There have been a number of incidents including deaths in recent weeks and while gardaí would be slow to say there is a bad batch of a particular kind of drug in existence, the reality is that people should be aware that taking any of these substances is very dangerous at any time."