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Australia No pill-testing trial for Queensland music festival season

03:55  03 december  2019
03:55  03 december  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Queensland will not introduce a pill - testing trial ahead of the summer music festival season , prompting warnings from doctors that more revellers could fall victim to deadly drugs masked as party pills. Health Minister Steven Miles promised to look "closely at the work currently under way in

Pill testing at music festivals – how does it actually work? After the drug is tested, festival -goers are then encouraged to speak to young people from the music scene about ways of not getting In Queensland , the health minister is considering the results of the trial in Canberra before making a call.

A Compact FTIR Spectrometer pill testing machine is seen during a demonstration event at Parliament House in Canberra.© AAP A Compact FTIR Spectrometer pill testing machine is seen during a demonstration event at Parliament House in Canberra.

Queensland will not introduce a pill-testing trial ahead of the summer music festival season, prompting warnings from doctors that more revellers could fall victim to deadly drugs masked as party pills.

Health Minister Steven Miles promised to look "closely at the work currently under way in Canberra in relation to the use of pill testing as a harm-reduction strategy".

Results of the Canberra trials were expected to be shared at a meeting of Australia's health ministers in late October but pill testing was pushed off the agenda as they discussed setting minimum benefits for single-room accommodation at public hospitals.

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The first trial of pill testing at an Australian music festival has been scrapped after Spilt Milk failed to get the controversial idea across the line. In a statement released this week, festival organisers said the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) failed to submit planning

The first legal pill testing trial in Australia was held at the Canberra festival and was met with Festival -goers sported bottomless overalls, crop tops and fishnet stockings at the Maitland leg of the She finished off the look with a pair of combat boots to compliment one of the season 's most popular

Dr David Caldicott,  the designer of Australia's first government-sanctioned pill testing program, at Splendour In the Grass this year.© AAP/Regi Varghese Dr David Caldicott, the designer of Australia's first government-sanctioned pill testing program, at Splendour In the Grass this year.

Mr Miles' office said he would welcome the ACT going ahead with its briefing at the next meeting.

No date has been set but the first meeting of the year is usually in March or April.

Emergency medicine consultant David Caldicott, who oversaw the clinical team at both Canberra trials, said not introducing a clinical trial risked producing the same results as last year.

Two people died at a Queensland music festival in April after they consumed a potentially lethal concentration of MDMA.

Dassarn Tarbutt, 24, and Ebony Greening, 22, from Maleny and Nambour, were found dead in their tent at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce music festival near Toowoomba.

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An evaluation of an Australian pill testing trial has found that the service improved participants' harm reduction knowledge, their trust in No pill - testing trial for Queensland music festival season . An emergency doctor has warned more Queensland festival revellers could fall victim to deadly drugs

Pill testing will be trialled for the first time at an Australian music festival , in a move that advocates say will reduce drug-related harm. The multi-day festival , which began on Friday in Wayville in South Australia, will arrive in Canberra on Sunday, where the pill testing will be made available for one day.

A NSW coroner called for pill testing after investigating six other festival deaths last summer, including that of 22-year-old Brisbane man Joshua Tam.

The ACT conducted two pill testing trials at the Groovin the Moo festivals in Canberra in April 2018 and April 2019.

A report into the 2018 trial found more than 80 per cent of participants believed they were taking MDMA, also known as ecstasy, when in reality less than half of all samples contained relatively pure MDMA.

Substances linked to a mass overdose overseas were also found in the tablets tested.

A report from the 2019 trial found seven substances containing dangerous N-ethyl pentylon, the dangers of which testers were able to explain to revellers.

"On learning about the potential harms from the substances they possessed, all patrons used the amnesty bin to discard them," the report said.

It is highly unlikely a pill testing trial will be introduced if the LNP wins the October 31 election, despite at least two sitting opposition members, Pat Weir and Christian Rowan, supporting pill testing.

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Pill testing allows people at music festivals to submit drug samples for on-the-spot chemical analysis. Festival -goers will again be able to get their illicit drugs checked for dangerous substances at this year's Groovin the Moo music festival in Canberra, after the ACT Government signed off on a

Festival promoter Cattleyard gave the pill - testing trial the final tick of approval after weeks of Festival -goers who utilise pill testing will be informed which chemicals are in the drugs and given any Is DIY pill testing better than nothing? With the latest spate of overdoses in Queensland

"The state LNP believes in education and rehabilitation – not giving festival-goers a false sense of security," an opposition spokesman has said.

"Drugs are illegal for a reason – one pill can kill."

Dr Caldicott said health policy should be based on research, not opinion.

"Telling young people not to take drugs is about as useful as telling them not to have sex before marriage," he said.

"We obviously need to do something new because we have a whole generation of young people ignoring what they are being told and a wide variety of new drugs coming onto the market.

"Nobody thinks pill testing is the answer to all of the drug problems in Australia, but it is a very good way to start a dialogue with young people about their choices and also to monitor the market."

The Australian National University sent a team of about 20 researchers to observe the trial earlier this year. The researchers are expected to release a report with their findings next week.

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