NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has once again rejected moves for widespread pill testing at festivals, claiming there isn’t “any evidence” that the procedure is successful.
For an impossibly long time now, the topic of pill testing has been on the minds of countless festivalgoers, concert organisers, and government officials.
Following the drug-related deaths of numerous festival attendees throughout the summer, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian rejected any calls for pill testing, instead implementing a number of highly-criticised guidelines for ‘high risk’ festivals.
While the NSW Government has repeatedly denied that pill testing would be implemented in the state, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians penned an open letter to the Premier, asking her to reconsider her stance on the matter.
Back in February, it was announced that the Canberra leg of Groovin The Moo had been given the green light for pill testing to take place at the event, with results indicating that the weekend’s trial was “overwhelmingly successful.”
In the weekend’s results, it was revealed that 234 festivalgoers used the service, identifying 171 substances, and showing that several of the substances tested showed traces of n-ethylpentylone, a potentially fatal drug.
“We helped reduce drug-related harm by giving young people access to a medical service they would not have had otherwise,” explained Gino Vambuca from Pill Testing Australia. “The pilot was again overwhelmingly successful by any measure but particularly by doing everything possible to keep our kids safe.”