Australia Plans ‘Pill Testing’ at Music Festivals

With an aim of reducing deaths and serious illnesses across Australia, the nation’s drug experts have come forward to initiate pill testing at music festivals with or without the support of the government.

According to Fairfax Media, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation’s Alex Wodak, along with emergency medical specialist David Caldicott, have announced commencing pill testing trials at Sydney events without awaiting approval from the conservative New South Wales government. Mixmag reported that the medical experts are not expecting any support from the government as it already stated that it won’t encourage any harm-minimisation technique.

“We are going to do this,” Wodak told Fairfax. “Doctors, analysts who know how to operate the (testing) machines and peer interviewers who can translate the scientific results and explain to people why the drug they bought is talcum powder or highly toxic. The idea is to save lives. I am prepared to break the law to save young people’s lives.”

Wodak said that he would need $100,000 for conducting the high tech pill testing event across the state. “What we want to do is reduce death, reduce severe illness and we want to do that as cost-effectively as possible,” he told ABC’s Hack. He added that the money gathered will be used to make payments for testing equipment. The equipment and measures adopted need to be of laboratory standards. He also confirmed setting up an independent review to find out the impact of the program on drug harms.

Wodak said that he has plans of raising funds via a crowdfunding campaign in case the amount fell short. On the other hand, Caldicott’s idea was completely straightforward. “We want to run a trial at a place where everyone is using drugs anyway,” he said. “It’s time for our politicians and elected representatives to catch up with what the majority of parents want for their children, which is for them to return home safe.”

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