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Decriminalise drugs before overdose destroys more lives

Decriminalisation is not legalisation. Under decriminalisation, criminal sanctions would still be applied to the dealers, manufacturers and importers who are profiting from the illegal drug trade. Instead, we merely change what happens if police find you with a small amount. We try to help, rather than giving you a criminal record. […]

Why No Human Rights Section in 2019 UNODC World Drug Report?

The report recognizes that the lack of “Effective treatment interventions based on scientific evidence and in line with international human rights obligations” for all people who use drugs is a failure—yet no mention is made of the actual violations of those obligations. […]

Illegal drug classifications are based on politics not science

Illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis should be reclassified to reflect a scientific assessment of harm, according to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The commission, which includes 14 former heads of states from countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and New Zealand, said the international classification system underpinning drug control is “biased and inconsistent”. […]

Let’s get real about the war on drugs

A strong body of evidence suggests that the criminalisation of drugs has undermined the community’s ability to deal with drug use as a health issue – and this is the case for cannabis. Submissions to the ACT Government inquiry pointed out the difficulty of having an open dialogue with young people and family members who use cannabis given the stigma associated with the criminalisation of cannabis. […]

NZ: Demand for drug checking doubles, harm reduction catches on

The survey findings suggested that people are aware that taking drugs is risky, but without harm reduction advice they are less aware that it’s possible to mitigate those risks. 87% of clients who had used KnowYourStuffNZ’s services before said that their approach to taking drugs had changed as a result of the advice they had received. […]

Time to aim for death-free festivals

“We provide our service within the medical precinct of a festival where young people can hand over a sample to have it analysed and assessed,” Mr Vumbaca said. “There are a growing number of different and sophisticated testing technologies that are able to accurately indicate what is contained within a submitted substance, give an idea of its purity and even the nature of some of the cutting agents used in the manufacturing process. […]

Compassion, not judgement, needed on illicit drug use

“Figures released from the Victorian government show that more than 2,200 clients have used the service, and staff have safely managed more than 650 overdoses that may have otherwise been fatal. “The facility is literally saving lives, and this must be at the forefront of all of our conversations about this particular site and any other facility’s future.” Other pharmacists criticised the way the issue was reported by the Herald Sun, saying it reinforced stigma and was unhelpful. […]

‘Number one drug’: ice use surges among traumatised teens

The Ted Noffs Foundation’s CEO Matt Noffs said 80 per cent of program participants have mental health issues, and the public had to recognise drug use was not simply a “bad choice” but intrinsically linked to poverty and traumatic upbringing.He said mental health services had done well to reduce stigma, but in the field of drug and alcohol addiction there was a long way to go. […]

‘Compassion’ drives support for pill tests

One barrier to treatment – social stigma – has consistently been raised by experts and drug users alike during this week’s hearings in Sydney. “The kids come in with so many labels that you’re a drug addict, you’re a junkie, you’re scum, you’re all these different things,” Mr Ferry told the commission. […]

Sniffer dogs drive overdoses, inquiry told

Sniffer dogs and punitive policing are driving up the number of drug overdoses at music festivals and causing other problems in NSW, a special inquiry has been told. Festival-goers often “preload” before entering a venue by downing an excessive amount of alcohol and drugs, according to NSW Users and AIDS Association chief executive Mary Harrod. […]

Dozens of Groovin the Moo attendees taken to Townsville Hospital

The hospitalisations come just a week after pill testing at the Canberra Groovin the Moo was herald as a success. The program tested 171 samples from 234 attendees. Seven dangerous substances were detected, with patrons using an amnesty bin to toss the drugs once alerted. But, despite the success, the Tasmanian government is still staunchly opposed to the practice. […]

Geraldton residents and Gov ministers debate drugs

A Geraldton lawyer has called for the complete legalisation of all illicit substances — including heroin, meth and cocaine — a move he says is the only way to stop the poor and addicted from stealing to feed drug habits. “People are always saying the magistrate should just lock them up,” Mr Giudice said. […]

Pill testing: head of NSW inquiry into amphetamine use visits ACT trial

Ahead of the first hearing of the government-commissioned inquiry into the drug “ice” on Tuesday, Guardian Australia can reveal commissioner Dan Howard SC attended a pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra last month. The commissioner’s chief operating officer, David McGrath, told Guardian Australia Howard’s visit was about helping to “form an opinion about the merits or otherwise” of substance testing ahead of the inquiry. […]

Groovin the Moo: Fewer emergency department visits for Canberra over Townsville

Pill Testing Australia carried out its second trial at the Canberra event, with its organisers saying it was an “overwhelming success”. Pill testing Australia says those carrying the dangerous drugs used the amnesty bin provided after learning about the potential harm they could cause. “What the trials in Canberra show is we’re able to help people avoid taking dangerous substances,” President of Harm Reduction Australia, Gino Vumbaca told 7NEWS.com.au on Monday. […]

Pill testing discussion should rise above politics

Pill testing might be the thing that saves someone’s life – it might end up being the deterrent that stops a person from taking drugs in the first place. And if it saves even one life – then it’s something worth having a discussion over. The discussion over pill testing is bigger than politics – let’s talk. […]

Pill-testing passes festival test with flying colours

Professor Caldicott said it would be “lovely” to see a statement of support from the RACGP, even though president Dr Harry Nespolon and Hester Wilson, chair of the college’s Specific Interests Addiction Medicine network, were already on the record as backing pill-testing. Dr Nespolon said while it wasn’t a perfect method, no test was going to provide perfect quality control “for drugs that have been manufactured in backyards”. […]

Police drug detection dogs encourage festivalgoers to preload, study finds

A study by RMIT University criminology researcher Peta Malins found dog squads are failing to deter drug-taking because festivalgoers are “preloading” or swallowing pills in a hurry before they are stopped. She said the implications of being searched by police during drug detection dog operations went beyond short-term public humiliation. […]

ACT Government to consider directly funding pill testing at future events

“We will have a number of options about the extent to which pill testing is a regular feature of music festivals here in the ACT or potentially a more regular feature of our drug policy and harm minimisation approach, which can include funding provided to Pill Testing Australia,” Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said. […]

Townsville Groovin the Moo festival goers back Queensland pill testing trial

Mr Harper was one of several MPs who travelled to the ACT for a pill-testing demonstration one day before the trial. “There’s interest there (in pill testing); I wouldn’t have gone down there if there wasn’t,” he said. “After 25 years as a paramedic, having transported people out of our own Groovin the Moo festival … there is harm minimisation with pill testing. […]

Gladys Berejiklian Still Denies Pill Testing Works, Despite More Evidence Showing That Pill Testing Works

Seven substances presented contained n-ethylpentylone, which could have potentially fatal effects, and all seven of them were discarded according to the patrons’ wishes. Now if this isn’t proof that pill testing works, we’re not too sure what is. But, alas, it’s still not enough for Gladys. Via The Music, Berejiklian spoke to 7 News and said there’s still no evidence that pill testing works. […]

The Results Of Australia’s Second Ever Pill Testing Trial Are In

Speaking to Sunrise this morning, pill testing advocate Dr David Caldicott said he was pleased with the results, which indicated that festival-goers desperately want more information on what they’re consuming. “There was no hesitation for binning the more dangerous products,” he said. “One thing that should be emphasised is that when they were told about the potential hazards, many were shocked. […]

Take a look inside Groovin the Moo’s pill-testing facility

Representatives from Queensland Health, the New South Wales Coroner’s Office, New South Wales Special Commission of Inquiry into Ice usage and a group of Victorian crossbenchers were among the visitors at the pill-testing facility on Saturday afternoon. The ACT is currently the only jurisdiction in Australia to allow pill-testing. […]

Australia’s second-ever pill testing trial given green light

Pill testing will be given its second-ever trial at this weekend’s Groovin The Moo festival in Canberra. The green light for testing was given by the ACT Government to the regional touring event — the same festival which hosted the first trial. […]

Everything you need to know about pill testing at Groovin the Moo Canberra

While thousands of music lovers will descend on Exhibition Park on Sunday for the Canberra leg of Groovin the Moo, the eyes of the nation will be on the festival for a different reason. Doctors, chemists and counsellors will be on site carrying out the second legal pill testing trial in Australia, the results of which could help change drug policy across the country. […]

Festival pill-test trial gets go-ahead

The second pill-testing trial in Australia will go ahead at a Canberra music festival this weekend. Organisers of Groovin The Moo Festival have given party¬goers the green light to test their drugs on Sunday, a move supported by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. The trial will be run by Pill Testing Australia, which has covered the cost of indemnity insurance and the testing service, estimated to be about $50,000. […]

Retired AFP commissioner argues for decriminalisation of drugs for personal use

“Despite our best endeavours over many years, drugs are as readily available now as they have ever been,” former Commissioner Palmer wrote in a submission to the inquiry. “The market is totally unregulated and controlled by organised crime figures and drug trafficking criminals who make huge profits, pay no tax and who follow no rules other than their own. […]

Berejiklian’s ice inquiry to consider pill testing merits

Australian Medical Association NSW president Kean-Seng Lim said evidence from other countries showed there was “good reason to support a trial of pill testing with appropriate evaluation”. “Pill testing is not a question of just telling someone a pill is safe or not safe, but using it as an engagement opportunity to provide further advice, education and support,” Dr Lim said. […]

Pill Testing Australia launches fundraiser for national tests

As it prepares for its second pill-testing initiative at Groovin’ The Moo in Canberra this weekend, Pill Testing Australia has launched a fundraising campaign on its website. The initial target is $100,000, to buy a couple of schmick pieces of tech to do the testing (ALPHA II FTIR spectrophotometers), assist with logistics, resources and volunteer travel. […]

Pill Testing Australia Launches Fundraiser to Introduce Free Trials Nationwide

“The support from the medical and scientific community for pill testing is pretty much unanimous, no matter what some Australian politicians would have you believe. Over a dozen professional medical bodies, medical, nursing, paramedical and pharmaceutical now stand with us and 20 years of global data shows that shows pill testing reduces drug consumption and reduces harm.” […]

Tributes flow for Ebony Greening and Dassarn Tarbutt who died at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival

Queensland’s independent body for drugs and ­alcohol has warned that lives could be at risk if the State Government prolongs the rollout of a pill-testing trial. Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies chief executive officer Rebecca Lang said pill-testing had the potential to reduce such tragedies. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t dive in and help young people,” she said. […]

Why do some young people take drugs at festivals and others don’t?

Instead of trying to stop young people taking drugs, which hasn’t been working very well, Professor Rapee suggests parents, the police and lawmakers try to minimise harm – a major argument for festival pill testing. “A large proportion of overseas trials of pill testing have shown that when you have someone standing in front of you, and especially someone in a white coat who has just tested your pills, explaining the risks of the drug, you are actually more likely to throw them away,” he says. […]

Premier watching ACT pill testing trial closely after Queensland festival deaths

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will consider the outcomes of the ACT pill testing trial and Health Committee chairman Aaron Harper will travel to the ACT to investigate. When asked whether Mr Harper would look at harm-reduction measures rather than tougher enforcement, Ms Palaszczuk said both responses were being considered. […]

Talking Point: Busted — Six myths of pill-testing

While offering a pill-testing service will never guarantee that there will be no drug-related deaths at Australian music festivals, the international evidence is indisputable and growing that it significantly reduces the risk. And even though the process may seem counter-intuitive to the “just say no” strategies we’re used to (which are failing), it is one that works. […]

Time for a permanent drug testing site in the ACT to help save lives

It is time for a permanent ACT drug testing site. Evidence shows that accessing drug checking services not only equips people to make informed decisions by providing clarity regarding substance make-up, it connects them with further harm reduction information and support services. If the challenge is to keep our community safe, then this is a test we must not fail. […]

America’s Drug War Is Ruining the World

As the global prohibition effort enters its second century, we are witnessing two countervailing trends. The very idea of a prohibition regime has reached a crescendo of dead-end violence not just in Afghanistan but recently in Southeast Asia, demonstrating the failure of the drug war’s repression strategy. On the other side of history’s ledger, the harm-reduction movement led by medical practitioners and community activists worldwide is slowly working to unravel the global prohibition regime. […]

Pill testing warrants assessment in careful pilot programmes

The fact that the ‘War on Drugs’ has failed does not mean we should give up; indeed, it should be seen as a spur to action. Pill testing will not abolish all the harms associated with drug taking, but if handled carefully, it carries the likelihood of reducing them significantly. […]

Wide Open Space Festival “open” to pill testing in 2020

“The great myth about pill testing is just that we’re just telling people what’s in their pills,” Dr Caldicott said. “The reality is that we know it works very well in stopping people from taking drugs – or at least changes the way they take drugs so that they don’t have to end up in hospital. […]

Let’s Address Four Common Myths About Harm Reduction

It remains disappointing that despite mountains of supporting research and national lip-service to “evidence-based” approaches, harm reduction interventions still face such strong resistance. Clearly, there are those who still find these approaches scary and are made uncomfortable by them. But research says very loudly that they work, and more importantly, they save lives. […]

Australia’s insane drugs clampdown

In recent weeks, erosion of civil liberties in New South Wales has been taken even further by the state’s government. In the run-up to the state’s election, the ruling Liberal / National coalition has revealed plans to allow warrant-less searches of the homes of individuals previously convicted of dealing drugs. […]

Australian Teens are Taking Twice as Much Ecstasy as Three Years Ago

If there’s one thing the ASSAD data indicates, it’s that the Australian government’s war on drugs—and its flaccid “just say no” campaign—is failing. In Alex Wodak’s view, the best way to minimise harm and ensure that we don’t “see young people die” is not necessarily to try and stop them from taking ecstasy, but rather to implement systems which make those drugs, and the environments in which they’re taken, as safe as possible. […]

US policing strategies fuel drug trade increases

The so-called war on drugs in the United States has been a failure, with the added consequence that five decades of law enforcement efforts have forced drug traffickers to become more effective and efficient in distributing their wares. This frank assessment, by a group of researchers from several US universities, with additional input from Anthony Bebbington, from Australia’s University of Melbourne, is included in a new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences […]

The War on Drugs is over. Long live the War on Drugs

If there was any sense to the logic that drugs busts lead to decreased drug use, we would not be in the middle of an overdose crisis, one of the most devastating public health crises in U.S. history. Despite literally tons of drug seizures over the last four decades, and millions of (mostly black and brown) people incarcerated for drug offenses, more than 70,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2017. […]

Just About Every Major Health Body In The Country Now Backs Pill Testing

Pill testing will not completely solve the problems associated with illicit drug consumption by young people at music festivals, but it does provide an avenue for opportunistic engagement with health professionals, drug and alcohol counsellors, and highly-trained peer educators. […]

Free pill testing offer for NT

Canberra doctor David Caldicott will fly up to Darwin and test pills for revellers at BASSINTHEGRASS free of charge, if the NT Government lets him. Dr Caldicott’s organisation, Pill Testing Australia, is offering its pilot pill testing program to any Australian jurisdiction keen to take up the offer. […]

AMA formally backs supervised pill testing

The AMA has reaffirmed its support for sanctioned, appropriately supervised, and monitored high-quality pill testing trials to minimise the risk to young people, and build an evidence base to determine the effectiveness of pill testing in Australia. At its meeting last week in Canberra, the AMA Federal Council formally and unanimously reinforced the AMA’s support for the trials. […]

‘Raft of solutions’ needed on drug deaths

The AMA Queensland has issued a statement calling for a controlled pill testing trial, following the worst season for drug-related deaths at music festivals to date. State president Dr Dilip Dhupelia said urgent action is required following the deaths of six young people from drugs consumed at music festivals this summer. […]

Tasmania’s Dark Mofo Festival May Have A Pill Testing Trial This Year

The organisers of Tasmania‘s Dark Mofo winter festival have indicated that they may offer a pill testing service at this year’s event, following on from a trial that was held last year in the Australian Capital Territory. ABC News report that representatives of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which runs the annual event, will be meeting with Pill Testing Australia on Monday for further discussions […]

Malaysia keeps death penalty

A decision in Malaysia to keep the death penalty could weigh on the futures of an Australian woman on death row there and a former policeman held in Australian immigration detention. Malaysia has rowed back on an earlier plan to repeal the death penalty, saying the government will abolish mandatory capital punishment but leave it for courts to decide whether a person convicted of a serious crime will hang. […]

‘It will take courage’: Coroner urges summit on drug decriminalisation

Among a list of 26 recommendations, Ms Grahame called for NSW Health to hold a drug summit hearing from experts in addiction, drug law reform and law enforcement, as well as current and former drug users, to develop policy that is “evidence-based and human rights based” and focusing on harm minimisation. […]

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal Learning from a Health and Human-Centered Approach

“Drug criminalization fuels the United States’ dual crises of mass criminalization & overdose deaths,” said Widney Brown, DPA’s Managing Director of Policy. “The Portuguese experience demonstrates that decriminalizing drugs – alongside a serious investment in treatment and harm reduction services – can significantly improve public safety and health.” […]

Pill testing trial for Groovin the Moo given go-ahead after spate of festival deaths

Pill testing trial for Groovin the Moo given go-ahead after spate of festival deaths – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Festival-goers will again be able to get their illicit drugs checked for dangerous substances at this year’s Groovin the Moo music festival in Canberra, after the ACT Government signed off on a trial being held inside the festival gates. […]

A Rally Against the NSW Government’s Live Music Laws Is Happening Next Thursday

Organisers of the rally want the government to form a roundtable to review the new rules impacting live music and to work with festival organisers to develop a transparent standard for policing and medical services. “We are for a solution that is proactive in the minimisation of harm. Not in the introduction of a poorly thought through method of regulation, for the purposes of media hype, re-election campaigns and economic gain”. […]

NSW government’s “War on Festivals” blamed for Mountain Sounds’ cancellation

As Mountain Sounds becomes the second victim of these regulations in the last week, it seems increasingly suspicious that forcing festivals to close down due to unrealistic costs is the Government’s way of preventing drug deaths. People are now calling this “The War on Festivals” and Sydney’s lock out laws are an example of how well-intended but out of touch government action can destroy an industry. […]

‘It is time’: City of Sydney councillors back pill-testing ‘dry-run’

City of Sydney councillors have backed calls for an urgent NSW drug summit and supported a pill-testing demonstration in a bid to drive down the number of young people dying at music festivals. Five young people have died from suspected drug overdoses at music festivals in Australia since September, reigniting heated debate over whether pill-testing should be trialled at the events. […]

Current drug laws contribute to unnecessary death

Whether motivated by self-centred pragmatism or ideological purity, the price that the community, families and individuals are paying for the opposition to pill testing is too high. Politicians must understand that human lives are not something to be traded away for the sake of keeping party members happy (and donating) or to defend a narrow ideal of what is acceptable for people to experience. […]

NZ: Free drug testing in spotlight as festival season kicks off

Event organisers couldn’t publicly state drug-testing kits were available at their venues because the Misuse of Drugs Act made it illegal to knowingly permit drug use at any premises. “Until the law changes we have to be discreet about where we are going.” […]

Which ACT politicians have tried cannabis, MDMA and acid?

“We make our harm-minimisation policies based on evidence, not the personal experiences of ministers,” Ms Fitzharris said. “The ACT government supports trialling pill testing because the evidence and expert advice tells us that it can help young people make better and more informed decisions at music festivals.” […]

Shane Rattenbury admits to taking MDMA in calls for NSW pill testing

Mr Rattenbury said his experience made him aware of the reality for young people, and that everyone had done risky things at some point in their life. But Mr Rattenbury said he could “guarantee” that no one in pill testing tents would encourage young people to take drugs and that he wished there was more information available when he tried the drug. […]

UOW lecturer says pill testing could reduce harm

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How can we take power away from criminal gangs? Legalise drugs

We have the opportunity to ensure reforms are implemented within a social justice model in collaboration with affected communities. At the same time, we can tackle those social and economic problems that drive people into the trade in the first place. Legally regulating drugs isn’t radical, it’s responsible. Drugs are too dangerous not to be regulated, and too profitable not to be taxed. […]

Protests & An Admission Of Drug Use From An MP – The Pill Testing Debate Rolls On

“All the evidence shows that ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘just say no’ policies simply don’t work and that harm reduction and treatment is the best way to minimise the dangers and reduce the broader impacts on crime and health. It’s 2019. It’s time for change. The majority of Australians support decriminalisation and 82% of young Australians support pill testing.” […]

Increasing pressure for pill testing trial

Port Phillip council, which includes the popular St Kilda entertainment district, is calling on the Victorian Labor government to allow and help fund drug testing at participating venues. “Two years ago the Port Phillip council said that we supported the use of a trial. Since then there’s been a bitter harvest of dead bodies around the country,” Mayor Dick Gross told the Nine Network on Monday. […]

Support for pill testing continues to grow

When the millions of Australians … who have used cannabis, ecstasy or cocaine over the past twelve months hear the Premier’s message that “there is no such thing as a safe illegal drug” and “just say no” they wonder what planet she is living on. Young people are not fools. They want us, as politicians, to “get real” about illegal drugs. […]

Pill testing supporters rally in Sydney

“The failed war on drugs has killed our friends, family and others in our community for decades while politicians and police have wilfully ignored the mounting evidence that zero-tolerance drug policing does not work,” organisers said in a statement. […]

‘Evidence backs pill testing trials’: physicians tell Berejiklian

Australia’s peak body for physicians have called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to introduce pill testing trials at NSW festivals, telling her there is sufficient evidence to support the intervention. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians have written to Ms Berejiklian – and her state and territory counterparts – imploring her to reconsider her hardline stance against pill testing. […]

NSW Coroner to investigate spate of music festival deaths

The NSW coroner will hold an inquest into the recent deaths of five people of suspected drug overdoses at music festivals across the state, with a public hearing to kick off next week. The announcement follows the death of a 19-year-old Central Coast woman on Saturday after she attended FOMO festival at Parramatta Park.

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Parents’ plea after daughter’s tragic drug death at FOMO festival in Sydney

“We encourage government to courageously take all active measures possible to reduce the risk, in particular, festival goers, through intensifying current initiatives as well as implementing other harm reduction strategies. Pill testing is only one measure. There is no safe level of drug consumption BUT, it is an opportunity for intervention.”

[…]

‘We’re dealing with a black market’: is taking pills becoming more dangerous?

Caldicott sayd Australia has entered “an evidence-free zone” on drug policy. “This issue of pill-testing is climate change for drugs,” he said. “Young people understand climate change and they understand the consequences. So when politicians wave coal in parliament, young people think they’re knobs. Similarly when young people hear politicians talk about drugs in a way they don’t think is reasonable, they’re less likely to listen.

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7,000 set to march for pill-testing in Australia

If the government didn’t listen after multiple campaigns begged for a fresh approach to the complex problem of drugs at music festivals, maybe a large-scale demonstration at Sydney’s Town Hall will get their attention. This Saturday over 7000 people will descend on Sydney’s Town Hall to demand the Government support pill testing at raves and music festivals. […]

Six claims about pill testing — and whether or not they’re true

Harm Reduction Australia president Gino Vumbaca said the evidence for pill testing is “being ignored”. “I think it’s a bit disingenuous of the Premier to now say, ‘give me the evidence’, when she set up a taskforce that specifically excluded evidence being presented or discussed,” Mr Vumbaca said. “To not even have the ability to sit down and discuss this with ministers is a fairly sad indictment of public discourse and policy.”

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Family of Alex Ross-King will seek sit-down with the Premier to discuss drug reform

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ross-King family said it hoped the government would use the teenager’s death to improve “harm reduction” initiatives. “We encourage the government to courageously take all the active measures possible to reduce the risk, in particular festival goers, through intensifying current initiatives as well as implementing other harm reduction strategies,” the statement said. […]

Pill testing saves lives, it doesn’t create addicts

The fact is the “war against drugs” has long been lost, young people are dying due to deadly fillers in their drugs and the current “zero tolerance” approach is not working. And pill testing offers a valuable opportunity for professionals to engage with and educate drug users, and steer them towards help where appropriate. […]

RACGP President backs calls for pill testing following another death

The most recent death has seen RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon add his voice to a growing chorus of calls to implement further pill testing trials at music festivals. Dr Nespolon believes it is an issue of health and safety, rather than one of law enforcement. ‘At the end of the day, pill testing is nothing to do with legalising and condoning drug use, but reducing harm – and ultimately saving lives,’ he told newsGP. […]

Rainbow Serpent video calls for “evidence-based” approach

In a video released on Monday, organisers called on state governments across Australia to introduce pill testing. “If we are to stop these horrific tragedies from happening, we all need to acknowledge the failure of zero-tolerance (approaches), and demand our governments consider proven, evidence-based strategies we know will reduce harm and save lives,” festival spokesperson Tim Harvey says in the video.

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Newcastle University Students’ Association to reintroduce pill testing kits

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Evidence clearly shows the benefits of pill testing

Australia is lagging behind other nations. There has been an exponential increase in the number of pill testing services across developed nations in the last five years. The opportunity to provide accurate information, including the message that ‘no drug is safe’ has been a feature of all the pill testing services. […]

Festival overdoses spark calls for pill testing

Dr Caldicott said Pill Testing Australia has plans to implement testing at more festivals this year, but they will only work in jurisdictions where police allow it. “It’s not our job to undermine law enforcement,” Dr Caldicott said. “We won’t provide this service unless we have a statement in writing from law enforcement that this will be tolerated for the purpose of a music festival and that’s one of the things that we are quite strict about. […]