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Australia Pill testing trial 'successful' at music festival, evaluation finds

18:05  09 december  2019
18:05  09 december  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

Man dies from suspected drug overdose at Strawberry Fields music festival in Riverina region

  Man dies from suspected drug overdose at Strawberry Fields music festival in Riverina region The 24-year-old man was taken to the medical tent and staff were told he had taken multiple substances including GHB, MDMA and cocaine. The man suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 2:02am.Officers from the Murray River Police District are investigating.A lengthy statement from the festival organisers said the team worked year round to ensure the 9,500 festivalgoers were hosted in the safest possible environment. "We are completely devastated by this news," the statement said."We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this distressing and terribly sad time.

An evaluation of an Australian pill testing trial has found that the service improved participants' harm reduction knowledge, their People attending a music festival who were told their drugs contained a potentially deadly substance immediately threw them out after using a trial pill testing service.

Australia’s first pill - testing trial has been hailed as a “tremendous” success by the Australian Capital Territory’s chief health officer, police commissioner, paramedics The trial screened out two potentially deadly samples and found that half the drugs tested at a Canberra music festival over the weekend

a man standing on a stage in front of a crowd: Groovin the Moo festival in 2017.© Sitthixay Ditthavong Groovin the Moo festival in 2017.

People attending a music festival who were told their drugs contained a potentially deadly substance immediately threw them out after using a trial pill testing service.

An independent evaluation of the trial at the Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra this year has found the service improved participants' harm reduction knowledge, their trust in health providers and their stated intentions around drug use.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said she will discuss the findings of the evaluation with her state and territory counterparts at the next Council of Australian Governments health meeting.

'Sweetest person I know': Tributes for man, 24, who died of suspected overdose

  'Sweetest person I know': Tributes for man, 24, who died of suspected overdose Tributes are pouring onto social media for Victorian man Glenn Mcrae who died on the weekend. Medical staff were told he had taken a cocaine, GHB and MDMA.Glenn Mcrae, from Shepparton, was attending the Strawberry Fields four-day music festival in Tocumwal when he was rushed to the event's medical tent at 12.45am on Sunday.

The experiment at Groovin the Moo in Canberra aims to reduce drug-related harm.

Pill testing at music festivals – how does it actually work? If pill testing is allowed in the country, testing tents will be set up alongside medical areas at a number of popular festivals . Dr Caldicott said he saw successful results from Australia’s first and only trial last year, with many young people

"We need to continue this conversation at a national level," she said.

"... we have seen too many avoidable deaths at music festivals. It is obvious current processes and policies are not working and more needs to be done."

However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has maintained her stance against pill testing, which she has previously said "unintentionally [gives] young people the green light that it's OK to take the drug so long as you test them".

More than 230 attendees of the April festival used the trial, which was sanctioned by the ACT government and provided by Pill Testing Australia but was not advertised or supported by signage, according to the evaluation by Australian National University researchers.

People who brought in seven pills that were sold to them as MDMA but found to contain the potentially deadly substance N-ethyl pentylone all disposed of the drugs. The findings did not indicate how many people brought in these drugs.

No pill-testing trial for Queensland music festival season

  No pill-testing trial for Queensland music festival season An emergency doctor has warned more Queensland festival 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.

Two pill testing advocacy bodies say a trial of the practice at a music festival in Canberra over the weekend was “overwhelmingly successful ”. Another two died at a Queensland festival last week. Last year, testers found pills contaminated with various substances from paint to milk powder, as

We now have evidence that pill testing saves lives. For the second year in a row, Pill Testing Australia operated a tent at Groovin The Moo in Canberra, and Let’s instead focus on the more sinister attitude prevalent in the arguments made against pill testing at music festivals . For the sake of simplicity

Nearly 30 per cent of people who used the service said they planned to reduce the quantity of drugs they took or not take any at all.

Lead researcher Anna Olsen said the results show that speaking to health professionals before making decisions around drug-taking impacted people's behaviour.

"From just one visit to a harm reduction service young people's attitudes and behaviours changed in a way that is likely to reduce harm," Dr Olsen said.

"For people who go on to take the drug they had tested, we found evidence for risk reducing behaviours such as taking less of the drug, spacing out their drug consumption and taking other safety precautions like drinking lots of water."

Dr Olsen said the service was also successful in delivering important health messages.

Only three of the 30 trial participants who agreed to be contacted for follow-up research said they had ever spoken to a health care provider about drug use before using the testing service.

Illicit drugs found in one in four cars inspected heading to music festival

  Illicit drugs found in one in four cars inspected heading to music festival Two people were taken to hospital after suffering suspected overdoses at the Victorian three-day festival, while more than 60 people were processed for drug-related offences.Two people were taken to hospital after suffering suspected overdoses at the three-day Wild Horses festival, while police processed more than 60 people for drug-related offences.

Pill testing had it's first successful trial this year, yet Australia is still lagging behind many As the Australian Capital Territory government again refuses to fund pill testing at music festivals , a The short clip advocates for pill testing , comparing young Aussies diving blindly into water as taking a pill

The effectiveness of pill - testing at music festivals will be examined to see if it can help to prevent opiates deaths in New South Wales. In April the first-ever pill testing trial was held at a Canberra music festival . An evaluation of the pilot is underway and on Monday Dwyer said it was “hoped that

"The reality is that young people are taking these drugs even though they're illegal and even though public health information advises against it," Dr Olsen said.

"We didn't find any indication that having a pill testing service there was encouraging people to use drugs, the message was that taking drugs can be really harmful and it was a way of giving them good, sound health advice."

People who used the service were given pill testing information and a "brief intervention from peer educators".

About 95 per cent of the people who used the service said they would use the services again.

The evaluation found the "service was successful" and the results "support the development of further pill testing trials in Australia".

One person died at a music festival in NSW this month after taking a number of illicit drugs and two people were taken to hospital after suffering from suspected drug overdoses at a music festival in Victoria on the weekend.

Ms Berejiklian did not comment specifically on the findings of the evaluation.

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