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Leading medical body calls for pill testing trials at Australian festivals

Leading medical body calls for pill testing trials at Australian festivals
January 18, 2019

Australia's peak body for physicians has thrown its support behind calls to introduce pill testing at music festivals, urging state governments to take action to introduce the measures.

Despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian previously saying there is "no evidence" pill testing can save lives, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has hit back in an open letter addressed to premiers and chief ministers.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the letter reads “in light of the six deaths at festivals in Australia since last September, we urge you to follow the lead of the ACT government in consulting with medical experts to establish pill testing trials in your state or territory.”

President of the RACP’s Addiction Medicine chapter, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones advised "there is good evidence to show that people who submit their drugs for testing are quite likely to act on this information given to them as a result of having the testing done.

"And there is a sufficient body of research to say there is no evidence that pill testing is causing harm or increases the risk of people taking drugs when they otherwise might not."

It comes after the NSW Government was also urged to launch a ‘pilot pill testing trial’ at Ultra Music Festival Australia in Sydney next month, while the NSW Coroners Court confirmed it would hold a public hearing into the recent suspected drug-related deaths next week, including that of 19-year-old Alex Ross-King who died after attending the FOMO Festival in Sydney's Parramatta Park last weekend.

FOMO Festival images courtesy of Transport for NSW.

Related Articles

1st January 2019 - Perth festival goers to be offered on-site STI testing

11th December 2018 - NSW Government to apply tough new licence conditions to dance music festival organiser

16th September 2018 - NSW Premier vows to ban Sydney music festival after drug deaths

27th March 2018 - Recommendation for festival pill testing to help emergency services treat overdose victims

8th February 2017 - The Riskworks Network shares advice on keeping youth safe at music festivals

2nd October 2016 - More than 100 drug arrests at Sydney Listen Out festival

4th January 2016 - NSW Premier Baird threatens to shut down festivals over drug use

3rd January 2016 - WA Health issues drug and alcohol warning to summer festival fans

6th December 2015 - Another festival death at Adelaide Stereosonic music event

7th December 2015 - 20 overdose at Brisbane Stereosonic festival despite extra security after Sydney and Adelaide deaths

29th November 2015 - Woman dies at Sydney Stereosonic music festival as 70 face drug charges


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