STUDENTS are to be targeted with an awareness campaign about designer drugs during the Raise and Give weeks next month.
The move by the Union of Students in Ireland, the Health Service Executive and www.drugs.ie follows the death of Michael Cornacchia in his Deermount home on Monday. His death has been linked to a substance called U-47700, known as U-4.
His body has been released back to his family and arrangments were being finalised for his funeral. Neighbours in Deermount are rallying around the family and raising money to help offset the funeral costs.
Meanwhile, the awareness campaign will be focused on MDMA (ecstasy), ketamine, snow blow and cannabinoids, as well as drugs like U-4.
CIT’s Raise and Give Week is from February 6 to 9, while UCC’s one runs from February 13 and 17.
Dr Eamon Keenan, HSE National Clinical Leader for Addiction Services, said the campaign will be undertaken on social media to help get through to young people who may not read newspapers or watch news broadcasts.
Cian Power, who is the vice president for welfare at the Union of Students in Ireland, said it follows an earlier campaign, launched last October, which focused on MDMA and ketamine.
He added that the focus of the campaign is on harm reduction, to target people who cannot be deterred from using the drugs.
The campaign will advise people to stay with trusted friends if they plan to take a psychoactive substance. And it will also urge users to buy from a known source, as well as to take a small amount of a substance first to test it to ensure against a negative reaction or illness, or death.