Australia’s second drug checking trial has been hailed an overwhelming success.
Groovin the Moo 2019 has again successfully implemented a drug checking trial with many participants saying they would reconsider or at least take less drugs as a result of the testing and education provided on-site.
A report released by Pill Testing Australia, who implemented the trial at the festival in Canberra on the weekend said that seven of the 171 samples tested contained n-ethylpentylone, a dangerous substance known to cause circulation problems, hallucinations and lethal heart palpitations and has been linked to a number of overdose deaths and mass-casualty incidents in Europe. After learning about the potential harms from the substances, all patrons whose product tested positive for n-ethylpentylone used the amnesty bin to discard their drugs.
ATDC Chief Executive Alison Lai said it’s now time for the discussion in Tasmania to move away from concerns about whether drug checking works, to how it can help save Tasmanians lives.
“Drug checking is first and foremost a health service, staffed by qualified medical professionals,” she said.
“Patrons engage with a qualified counsellor or peer worker and speak with a doctor during the process of testing the substances. In the 12-15 minutes it takes a person to go through this process, they will have potentially received more information on the risks of illicit drug use than ever before, in real time where they have the opportunity to act. In one single evening, hundreds of health interventions can be provided at no cost to the Tasmanian taxpayer.
“We are listening to the many Australian medical experts and learned organisation who have considered the growing body of evidence and support drug checking trials”.
These include the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Australian Medical Association, Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association, Ambulance Union State Council, Family Drug Support Australia and the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.
“It is clear that drug checking works, we will continue to advocate all sides of government to implement a trial in Tasmania.
ATDC Media Contact: Alison Lai, CEO – 0450 517 017