“We are hopeful that the release of this report now finally enables us to move the conversation away from ‘why’ to ‘how’ a trial of pill testing can be delivered in Tasmania because any continuing push-back can no longer be based on concerns about a lack of evidence.” - Alison Lai, ATDC CEO
The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania welcomes the release today of the independent evaluation from the Australian National University, confirming that Pill Testing Australia’s front-of-house pill testing model reduces the risk of harm for people that may use drugs at music festivals and events.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai said that the ANU’s independent evaluation adds to the significant weight of evidence to support a trial of pill testing in Tasmania.
“Like many, we have been eagerly awaiting the release of the ANU evaluation report “Ms Lai said.
“Alongside the release of the New South Wales Coroner’s Report into festival deaths, the ANU’s report is now the second independent assessment in a matter of weeks that has endorsed pill testing as an evidence-based harm-reduction strategy that reduces the harms of illicit drug use at music festivals and events.
“The Tasmanian Government has committed on several occasions that they will review the information in the ANU report, and we will be looking to meet with them at the earliest available opportunity to discuss the findings.
“We are hopeful that the release of this report now finally enables us to move the conversation away from ‘why’ to ‘how’ a trial of pill testing can be delivered in Tasmania because any continuing push-back can no longer be based on concerns about a lack of evidence.
“And suggesting that pill testing condones, or sends a message that illicit drug use is safe simply cannot continue, because to do so would be in complete disregard to the evidence in the ANU Report, and the recommendations of the New South Wales Coroner’s Office.
“While it may be too late to coordinate a trial at the upcoming Falls Festival, in our view there is nothing stopping a trial from occurring at the Februrary 2020 Party in the Paddock music festival, aside from a commitment from the Tasmanian Government to allow it to occur.
“Now armed with the information from the ANU’s independent evaluation that pill testing reduces harm, we hope that we will be given the opportunity to make it happen.”
Media Contact: Alison Lai, CEO – 0450 517 017
The ATDC’s position on pill testing is echoed by the following Australian peak bodies:
- Australian Medical Association
- Public Health Association of Australia
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Royal Australian College of Physicians
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
- Rural Doctors Association of Australia
- Australian Nursing Midwifery Association
- National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
- Forensic and Clinical Toxicology Association
- College of Emergency Nursing
- Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
- Paramedics Australasia
- National LGBTI Health Alliance
- Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association
- Australian Alcohol and other Drugs Council
- Australian Lawyers Alliance
- Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
- Civil Liberties Australia
At the local level, it is also supported by Tasmanian community organisations including Health Consumers Tasmania, the Youth Network of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and Community Legal Centres Tasmania. A trial is also supported by the Hobart City Council.
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