Government considers drug testing kits for night spots

Health Minister sees benefit of allowing people judge if the drugs they are about to take include other substances

Newstalk, Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, drugs, testing kit, illegal, nightclubs

A drug testing kit issued by the city of Amsterdam in 2014 to help identify whether a drug is cocaine or not. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The government is examining proposals to introduce drug testing kits in nightclubs, and other venues.

The equipment would allow people to check if the drugs they were about to take contained lethal substances.

Under the plan, drug users could legally have illicit drugs tested in a nightclub or at a festival.

Last week a teenager died in Cork after taking psychoactive drugs.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar admits the proposal is being looked at, but says preventing people from taking drugs is a key aim:

"It doesn't matter how much you warn people about the risks of taking illegal drugs, or buying them over the internet, some people still will. And that is why the second pillar, harm-reduction, is also very important.

"One of the things under consideration is things like drugs kits, so that people can actually test what they are going to take before they take it, but that is not for a second to suggest that anyone is advocating that as a better approach than prevention."