Press release

HSE Safer Nightlife Programme hosts harm reduction services at Mother Pride Block Party 2024

The HSE Safer Nightlife Programme will offer harm reduction services at the upcoming Mother Pride Block Party (Friday, 28 June & Saturday, 29 June) for the first time. This initiative will include the tent and an onsite outreach team where people can come for information, support and surrender drugs for ‘back of house’ drug checking.

The collaboration between the HSE Safer Nightlife Programme and the Mother Pride Block Party aims to promote harm reduction practices among attendees. While advocating that it’s always safer not to use drugs, the programme acknowledges some individuals may choose to use substances. Harm reduction workers will be available to provide information on substance risks, current drug trends and encourage informed decision-making.

Professor Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead, HSE Addiction Services, emphasised: "Our primary advice is it is always safer not to use drugs. However, we recognise the reality that some people may choose to use drugs. High strength drugs, including MDMA (pills, powders), cocaine and ketamine, continue to be a concern to the HSE and can pose serious health risks. Our focus is on reducing potential harms by advising people on current risks and ensuring any choices people make are informed."

In addition to the onsite services, the Safer Nightlife Programme will provide a 'back of house' drug checking service to the Mother Pride Block Party where substances are anonymously placed in ‘surrender bins’ at the tent and medical tents for analysis. This service aims to identify substances of concern and enable real-time alerts to attendees about potential risks, given recent alerts on high-strength drugs and counterfeit substances in circulation. Substances submitted will be analysed by staff from the HSE National Drug Treatment Centre laboratory.

Nicki Killeen, HSE Emerging Drug Trends Project Manager, said:
“For the first time we are bringing the ‘back of house’ drug checking service to the Mother Pride Block Party. We are encouraging attendees to use the surrender bins in the and medical tents to help us identify if extra risky drugs are in circulation this Pride weekend to help people reduce the harms.

“Our service is a health-led setting. It is a safe space for people to come and discuss substance use, it is completely confidential, and unmonitored. surrender bins allow us to monitor drug trends, quickly identify extra dangerous drugs and, if necessary, issue alerts on social media channels and festival platforms.

“People can find us in our tent and on outreach at the event, they can find us in pink and purple high vis vests. We are there to answer any questions about the programme and to support people should they need us.”

The HSE Safer Nightlife Programme advises attendees to:

  • Avoid using more than one drug at a time, this includes using drugs with alcohol and prescription medication
  • Be in the know before you go: There is extra risk at this time. Drugs may be higher strength than you think, meaning it is easier to take too much for your body to handle
  • Be with people you trust and make sure no one is left alone. Be a good bystander and support others
  • Start low and go slow, take a small test dose. Pace yourself by taking a small amount and leaving time between uses which can help you identify how you are reacting to the substance. If you don’t react as expected, avoid taking more and seek help.

Follow our X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts ( for updates on drug trends, warnings and alerts. Our drug monitoring page will also be updated throughout the summer.

For more information on the HSE Safer Nightlife Programme visit

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