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 drugs.
Suzy Calder from Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership said: “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.
“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.”
With emerging trends of people engaging in ‘legal’ highs, and recently illegalised drug mephedrone, partners want to ensure that those attending the festival take no unnecessary risks.
Drug and Alcohol co-ordinator for Northern Constabulary, Inspector Tom Ogilvie said: “There has been a lot of recent publicity surrounding substances which has been referred to as 'legal highs'. This is a misleading term, since people are under the impression that if something is referred to as being legal, it must be safe, but this is not the case.
“'Legal highs' are potentially dangerous substances which have not yet been brought under the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act - Mephedrone is a recent example, which was legal but has now been classified as illegal and brought under the control of the Act.
“Taking any non-prescribed drug is extremely dangerous, since the person taking it has no idea where it has come from, how it has been prepared and what it contains. If police find anyone carrying any substance suspected of containing controlled drugs, it will be seized and analysed, and if found to contain a trace of a controlled drug, they can report the person found in possession to the Procurator Fiscal."
Event Crime Co-ordinator, Detective Inspector John Patience added: “We will, as we have in previous years been taking a robust stance on anyone taking drugs to Rockness.
“We are again this year be providing those bringing drugs the chance to give them up at the entrance to amnesty bins without facing any repercussions. They will be clearly visible to those entering the festival, but those caught in possession who have not disposed of any substances will be dealt with robustly.
“This year we will be upping our game with the proactive methods we use to identify those engaging in illegal activity and part of this will be using an increased number of drugs detection dogs over the duration of the weekend.
“It goes without saying that I encourage those attending not to engage in any illegal activity, especially involving drugs, but those who do will not only miss the weekend but will be dealt with robustly by Police.”