To no one’s surprise, an independent study has found the recent pill-testing trial in the ACT encouraged users to ditch their dangerous drugs once they found out what was in it.
The study was run by The Australian National University after this year’s Groovin The Moo festival and crunched the data following 234 patrons’ use of the service and found it a huge success as “… those who had a very dangerous substance detected disposed of that drug in the amnesty bin”.
Of the results, seven people found out their drugs contained N-Ethylpentylone, a dangerous ingredient that has been linked to a number of deaths in Australia and around the globe.
Responses to the testing and chat with a health professional meant;
- 28% intended to reduce the quantity of drugs they would use
- 13% said they would not use them at all or have only alcohol
- Patrons who presented a sample believed they had MDMA (89.5%), and 91% of them were correct.
According to The Guardian, Rachel Stephen-Smith, The ACT health, and youth minister, said she would bring the results to the next health ministers’ meeting in 2020 because governments have a responsibility “to not only try and prevent drug use but also to support initiatives that reduce the harms associated with drug use” adding “I hope all states and territories consider these findings seriously,”
“Across the country, we have seen too many avoidable deaths at music festivals. It is obvious current processes and policies are not working and more needs to be done.”
Unsurprisingly NSW Premiere Gladys Berejiklian doubled-down refusing to even run a trial after NSW Coroner Harriet Grahame recommended it from an exhaustive report released in October/November following a spate of deaths during the festival period. The coroner also recommended a reduction in police presence and the use of drug detection dogs as a way to reduce harm.
The Berejiklian government did announce they will allow the use of amnesty bins at music festivals so punters can ditch their drugs heading into events.
We’re not sure why politicians are refusing hard, scientific evidence to create policy.