Rockness revellers are being urged to play it safe to get the most out of this year’s three day music festival.
Health experts are reminding partygoers to drink plenty of water, to eat well and to avoid taking unnecessary risks when it comes to alcohol and illegal drugs.
Suzy Calderfrom the Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team said: “It was very sad that there was a drugs death at the event last year.
“This year we’re keen to help people stay safe by reminding them that a carnival atmosphere does not reduce the risks associated with taking illicit drugs.
“Last year we saw some people overindulge and end up in the field hospital, missing the event completely.
“We would urge anyone attending Rockness not to dabble, and remind them that if they simply cannot say no then they should at least let a close and reliable friend know what they’ve taken so that if they do need medical help we have a clear picture of what’s going on.
“It’s also worth pointing out that you have no idea what you’re buying or exposing yourself to when it comes to drugs. Powders are easily mixed with a variety of cheap hazardous substances which could cause your body untold harm.
“We want people going to the festival to enjoy themselves but we would urge them not to overindulge as the consequences could prove fatal. Rockness is a much loved event so why risk your health and your life? You can have fun and party safely.
“If you or your friends have taken something and start to feel unwell please seek medical help immediately. Time is critical. Taking drugs affects you in many ways: your vision may be impaired, your senses are heightened and numbed at the same time so you might expose yourself to other harm by losing your inhibitions or risking your personal safety.”
“We’ve adopted a multi-agency approach this year (partnership with NHS Highland, Northern Constabulary, Scottish Ambulance Service, Red Cross, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service) to help keep people as safe as possible. We’ve been pooling resources to offer free bottled water, contraception, torches and wet wipes throughout the three day period.”
Event Crime Co-ordinator, Detective Inspector John Patience added: “We will, as we have in previous years be taking a robust stance on anyone taking drugs to Rockness.
“This year we are providing those bringing drugs the offer to give them up at the entrance to amnesty bins without facing any repercussions.
“A pro-active, intelligence led approach will again be taken to drug dealing at the festival and those caught could face a lengthy prison sentence.”