Aussie Festival Introduces Pill-Testing
Canberra's Spilt Milk Festival will introduce pill-testing at its event on November 25, reports Pedestrian.
The trial will be the first time the measure has been put in place at an Australian festival after increasing calls to introduce the potentially life-saving test.
ACT Health Minister Meeghan Fitzharris today explained that the decision had been made after a series of consultations between the government and Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events and would allow potential drug users to more clearly understand what they're taking.
And while she was at pains to stress that the landmark news did NOT mean that the government were giving the OK to drug use, Minister Fitzharris pointed out that the measure could very well save lives.
"[We need to be] realistic because we've seen deaths at festivals, five in 2015 alone," she said.
Harm Reduction Australia will run the tests at the event, running analyses of small scrapings of the pill in question and informing the festival-goer of what the tablet actually contains.
If the drugs are questionable, an amnesty bin will be available to dispose - and destroy - the pills.
"I see this as a natural evolution for harm reduction and I praise the ACT Government for looking at the evidence and acting to save lives," Noffs Foundation CEO Matt Noffs said.
"Death is not an acceptable punishment for young people experimenting."