Pill Testing Trial At Groovin In The Moo Hailed A Raging Success
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Opinion was split when the news broke that the Groovin in the Moo music festival in Canberra would have a pill testing tent set up.
Some people believed it would only encourage people to take illegal drugs while others thought it would make events like these much safer as partiers would at least be able to make an informed decision.
Well, it seems as though the trail, the second of its kind, was a raging success.
More than 170 substances were tested during the event with seven being found to have potentially deadly ingredients.
Gino Vambuca from Pill Testing Australia said: "We helped reduce drug-related harm by giving young people access to a medical service they would not have had otherwise.
"The pilot was again overwhelmingly successful by any measure but particularly by doing everything possible to keep our kids safe.
"The simple truth is that it is time to take practical evidence based steps to make parties and festivals safer for our kids."
The tests found a large percent of the drugs had a much higher purity than last year's trial.
Interestingly, when people were told that their pill or capsule contained a pretty strong strand of the substance, they said they would take less of it or not at all. That's a big win for advocates of pill testing because it proves that people are willing to change their choices if they know what they're taking.
Dr David Caldicott told the ABC: "There's no intervention that stops all people consuming drugs, but that's not really our goal.
"Our goal is to ensure that people don't get hurt or killed consuming drugs.
"And if we can change the way people are using drugs to start with, then we might be able to change their attitude to drugs in their entirety."
Of course when you're talking about drugs, you'll know that sometimes people don't get what they're asking for. That was certainly the case for one festival goer who found out that his pill, which he thought was ecstasy, was actually just a breath mint.
Total waste of money that.
Representatives from the Queensland, NSW and Victorian governments attended the trial to see whether legislation should be changed to allow pill testing to be done in each state.
At the moment, only the ACT is legally able to provide pill testing. Looks like we'll have to wait and see what happens.