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Have an amazing Big Weekend and take care of one another


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

One of the biggest events in Derry/ Londonderry's City of Culture calendar will take place this weekend with BBC Radio 1's 'Big Weekend' coming to the city. The Public Health Agency (PHA) is advising people not to let alcohol and drugs ruin an amazing event, and to take care of one another. The Big Weekend takes place from 24-26 May and festival-goers are urged to keep safe while enjoying the jam-packed weekend of music. Brendan Bonner, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement for the Western area at the PHA, said: "We are aware of the risk that some people tend to drink a lot of alcohol at festivals and while under the influence, may also take drugs. The reality is that festivals can be risky environments and therefore the adverse effects of alcohol and drugs can have greater consequences. "We know that when people get drunk they are more likely to have accidents, quarrel with friends or wander off on their own. It is important to plan ahead, know where you are going, how much money you need and how you are getting home. It is also essential to stay with your friends. Remember to take care of one another." Here are a few tips on enjoying alcohol sensibly should you choose to drink: Always look after yourself and know what your limits are. You are the best judge as to how much is enough;Don't drink on an empty stomach or mix alcohol with drugs, including prescription drugs;It is a good idea to mix alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks and food;If a friend does drink too much, don't leave them alone or let them wander off, rather, encourage them to re-hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks. If you decide to take drugs this weekend, keep these points in mind to reduce the risks associated with drug misuse: Festivals are not a good place to take drugs for the first time;Reduce the risk to your health and safety by finding out as much as you can about the effects of different drugs and then decide if it's really worth it;It is particularly dangerous to take drugs if you: are on your own;are ill, very tired or depressed;are on medication;have taken alcohol;have a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, mental illness or heart disease.It's not a good idea to take other drugs to help you come down as this increases the risk of overdose. Downers are particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol;Mixing alcohol and drugs, or different types of drugs, can be dangerous and should be avoided;Be careful if buying/ accepting drugs from someone you don't know. Are you sure you know exactly what drug you are getting and whether there is anything else mixed in with it?Make sure your friends are aware of which drug you are taking and vice versa. Brendan Bonner continued: "If you have taken drugs and you are feeling ill or paranoid, move away from the crowds and find a quiet place to clear your head, ideally with a friend. If you continue to feel ill or paranoid, get medical attention and tell your friends how you are feeling. Don't be afraid to ask for help as it very unlikely that there would be legal implications in doing this." For further information on alcohol and drugs go to the following websites:,,





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2013) Have an amazing Big Weekend and take care of one another [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 17th October 2019].


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Public Health Agency
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