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Australia needs drug testing and opioid blockers to reduce overdose deaths

If we want to reverse the growing trend of overdose deaths, naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioids, must be distributed to everyone who is interacting with those who are dying, including the police. As well, it is time that we follow Spanos’s recommendation and make pill and drug testing available. […]

‘A disgrace’: Ice inquiry commissioner accuses government of ignoring calls for reform

The commissioner who led the state’s ice inquiry has accused the NSW government of missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for drug reform and ignoring his recommendations 15 months after handing down a landmark report. Professor Dan Howard SC said he was deeply disappointed with the government’s failure to respond to the 104 remaining recommendations after rejecting five almost outright, including pill testing and another supervised injecting centre. […]

Study finds pill testing at music festivals would not increase ecstasy use

Allowing pill testing at music festivals would not increase the use of ecstasy, research from Western Australia has suggested. The Edith Cowan University study surveyed 247 people and found pill testing at an event or in a fixed, permanent spot had no positive influence on the respondents’ intention to use MDMA. […]

Calls for pill testing at Bass in the Grass as thousands head to Darwin

Last week, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he was open to the idea of a pill testing trial but said for it to work, it would have to be based on the evidence. “We will look at what’s happening down south and make an informed decision off the back of that,” he said. […]

AIVL’s Melanie Walker on Coming Drug Decriminalisation and Treatment Access

The evidence is in. We know that pill testing saves lives. We know that it also leads to some people deciding not to take the drugs that they’ve had tested because they’ve found that they might be dangerous. It really is about allowing people to make informed choices around their drug use and to be sensible around it. […]

What has changed in the year since cannabis possession was legalised in the ACT?

The architect of the legislation, Labor MLA Michael Pettersson, has been pleased with the results so far. But he said the laws were not the end of the road for drug reform, but rather a step towards treating drug use as a public health problem, rather than a criminal one. “For the most part, I think things are pretty similar to what they were before, but I think we’re now heading in the right direction,” he said. […]