Groovin’ The Moo was this past weekend, and as per usual, it was one hell of a party. It was also the venue of Australia’s second pill testing trial, which once again proved to be a raging success. However, NSW’s borderline puritanical government, namely Gladys Berejiklian, still refuses to see the worth in it.
This year’s trial saw over 171 samples from 234 participants tested. Of those, “deadly substances” were found in seven people’s pills. And naturally, all seven pills were then voluntarily disposed of. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you then, that potentially seven young lives were saved thanks to the tests.
However, the current premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, refuses to see it this way.
“My position on pill testing remains firm. I don’t think it works, I don’t think the evidence is there and I don’t support it,” Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney earlier today. “Of course I’ll read it if they put it up but I’m not convinced they’ll find evidence because there’s no such evidence anywhere,” she said.
Okay Gladdy. No worries. What’s hard to believe is that despite both Canberra trials being deemed a success, and potentially saving a number of lives, the NSW government continues to disregard this real world proof as “evidence”.
In fact, it’s not hard to find further evidence of the success of pill testing. In Europe and Britain, pill testing has been in place for a number of years. And the numbers coming out of Britain in particular are incredibly promising.
Fiona Measham is the lead researcher of the UK trial, and a professor of criminology at Durham University. Of the study, she said that pill testing at a UK festival found one in five pills tested contained unexpected substances. And two thirds of punters with “bad pills” chose to hand over further substances to be destroyed.
“There was a 95 per cent reduction in hospital admissions that year when we were testing on site,” Professor Measham told the ABC back in December last year.
So basically, not only is the Berejiklian government ignoring our own success, but they’re also ignoring the potentially life saving successes of pill testing internationally.
At the end of the day, pill testing doesn’t encourage more drug use. It just offers those considering it the opportunity to do so in a way may save their lives.
Young people are going to take drugs at festivals. They’ve been doing it for decades. And until the government gets it’s head out of the sand, they’ll continue to do it in life threatening ways.
Abstinence is not the answer.
Image Source: NSW Liberal Party, Tracey Nearmy