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A student will be able to use this 1-time use kit to test for the presence of a particular substance, and whether there are certain adulterants present. However the test has limitations.
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A student will be able to use this 1-time use kit to test for the presence of a particular substance, and whether there are certain adulterants present. However the test has limitations.
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Update: UCC students group now told they cannot hand out drug testing kits

Update: 

The UCC students group planning to hand drug testing kids to fellow students this week said they have now been refused permission by college authorities for the events.

UCC Students for Sensible Drug Policy Society said: "Due to things out of our control, we are not permitted to run the Drug Test Kit Handout events anymore."

"The University will not let us hand them out until the HSE approves of them. We know we have been allowed to run these events previously, we are as disappointed as you are. 

"We are so sorry to those who were hoping to come along and receive vital harm reduction information and a test kit with an explanation of its limitations and how to use it."

Previous:

DRUG test kits will be handed out to students at UCC this week by a group pushing for harm reduction measures around drug-taking.

The UCC Students for Sensible Drug Policy group will be handing out the kits on Tuesday and Thursday evening in the West Wing (W3).

Chairwoman of the group, Ruby Lawlor, said: "A student will be able to use this 1-time use kit to test for the presence of a particular substance, and whether there are certain adulterants present. Some also test for the purity of a substance."

But she stressed that the kits could give a false sense of security to drug takers as "these kits do have their limitations."

She continued: "Unfortunately this is the best that SSDP can provide for students that, no matter what would be taking drugs during Freshers Week, whether pushed to avoid them or not."

Such kits are not currently recommended by the HSE. Recently, HSE National Clinical Lead for Addiction Services Dr Eamon Keenan said such kits may not detect all drugs or adulterants in substances.

However, Ruby Lawlor said a review of drug testing kits by the HSE needs to happen now "because young people all over Ireland continue to use substances without knowing the contents of them."

And she said: "SSDP believes in accepting the reality and doing what we can to reduce harms associated with substance use. When the students come to collect these kits, they will be given a talk about how exactly to use them, their limitations, and other harm reduction advice based on the drug they intend on using."

Just last month, a Tipperary teenager died at Cork University Hospital after taking a substance at the Indiependence music festival in Mitchelstown.

Jack Downey from Clonmel died on August 4, just two days after becoming ill at the festival.

Since his death, his parents Johnny, originally from Glengarriff, and mother Elaine, have spoken out about the dangers of drugs.

A file is being prepared for the Coroner's Court in relation to the death.