YOUNG people have been warned about the dangers of powdered drugs that "all look the same" because there is no way to know what is being taken.
At an event in the Dublin's Mansion House, students from Dublin Institute of Technology, University College Dublin and Trinity received a briefing on a new campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of powdered drugs.
Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh weighed in behind the campaign, advising that the safest option was to avoid taking drugs in the first place.
"There's no point in pretending that drug use is not an issue among young people, because it is," she said.
"The 'just say no' message hasn't worked and it wasn't credible to those it was targeted at."
Due to the prevalence of drugs among young people, it was important that the right information was available to help them make more informed choices, she said.
Advice on how to take drugs in the safest way possible was also handed out to students in the Oak Room.
The advice included a caution to take only a small dose to test its safety; to always use a personal "tooter" (an implement used to snort powder drugs) to avoid contracting viruses; and to be honest with emergency services if you need medical attention about what has been taken.
People were also advised to grind their drugs fully and to alternate between nostrils to "give each side a break".
Specific advice on popular drug ketamine was also included, with users told not to "drop" the drug (wrap it up in paper and swallow it) as it could be damaging to the stomach.
A high dose could also lead to a person falling into a "K-Hole", which is a feeling of detachment from reality.
The What's in the Powder? campaign is a joint initiative of a number of bodies including the HSE.
Posters, leaflets and a printable online fact sheet have been drawn up to explain the risks associated with powdered drugs and to provide tips on how to best reduce the harm associated with taking them.