Australia’s first pill testing trial a success

Released 30/04/2018

The pill testing trial conducted by independent consortium STA-SAFE at Groovin the Moo yesterday was successful and well attended, with approximately 130 patrons using the new service.

“This was the first pill testing trial to be carried out in Australia and enabled people who decided to take drugs at the festival to make more informed choices. Pill testing analyses the contents of drugs and can help individuals avoid taking unknown and potentially harmful substances,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris.

“I understand from STA-SAFE that approximately 130 patrons used the facility with around 85 tests conducted.”

Of the items where an illicit substance was detected, most were MDMA. Of particular concern were two items detected for the first time in the ACT. One item was believed to be a novel NBOMe with psycho-stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. The other was n-ethylpentylone, a cathinone implicated in fatalities overseas. This information has been shared with ACT Policing and the Chief Health Officer.

“What these results show is that there is a demand for this service at events such as music festivals.

“It is dangerous to take illicit substances and the government’s message to the community and young people remains: ‘don’t do drugs’. This was the clear message given to patrons who attended the pill testing facility on the day.

“I’d like to thank festival organisers Cattleyard Promotions for their cooperation and acknowledge that by allowing the trial to take place, they had the best interests of their patrons at heart.

“I would also like to acknowledge the STA-SAFE consortium for successfully carrying out the trial.

“ACT Health will now work with STA-SAFE to evaluate the trial. This will assist to better understand how pill testing may help reduce the harms of illicit drug use at festivals and will inform next steps and future drug policy. “As the first trial to be conducted in Australia, I know that other jurisdictions will be looking on with interest to see the results of the evaluation. We look forward to releasing the evaluation once complete,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“As the first trial to be conducted in Australia, I know that other jurisdictions will be looking on with interest to see the results of the evaluation. We look forward to releasing the evaluation once complete,” Minister Fitzharris said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

Media Contacts

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Claire Johnston

6205 0022

0452 597 459

clairev.johnston@act.gov.au


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