Life, Music & Gigs, Wellbeing

Surprise, Surprise The Whole Country Is Annoyed With Gladys Berejiklian’s Defqon.1 Drug Response

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, allow me to fill you in on this one. Over the past weekend, there were two tragic drug-related deaths at Defqon.1 festival, with three others attendees currently fighting for their lives in hospital after suspected overdoses.

The social media world has divided once again, splitting two opinions;

#1 Increase pill testing, and
#2 Cut Defqon.1 music festival all together.

On The Pill Testing And Drug Safety Hand..

Pill testing at festivals has shown somewhat success. First trialled at Groovin’ The Moo earlier this year in Canberra, 58% of people who had their drugs tested said they would take their drugs as planned, while 42% said they would reconsider and be less likely to take the drugs. Overall, 125 people had pills tested, and of the 83 usable drug samples tested, 42 had MDMA as their primary ingredient, while 17 contained fillers of cutting agents. Many news reports praise the pill-testing scheme, saying it could’ve saved many lives and averted overdoses.

Here’s what the general public have to say about drug testing post the deaths at DEFQON:

Dr. Lisa Pryor, Author Of A Little Book About Drugs

Dr. Pryor has a pretty good point here, GTM produced some pretty impressive results with pill testing reducing drug-related injuries and deaths. Although the tweet seems ironic at first, she’s not wrong.

Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Senator

We like Mehreen, she talks some sense. Truth is, drug-taking at festivals is pretty much inevitable. It happens at pretty much every festival, so you’re going to be around it at one point in your life.

And boy, were the general public not impressed with how things currently stand.

Alex Wodak, Drug Law Reform Doctor

To give you some context, Mr. Wodak pioneered clean needle distribution at the birth of the AIDS crisis, saving MANY lives, both here and globally. We think he’s onto something here.

Paul Barratt, Former Secretary of Australian Departments of Defence and Primary Industries & Energy

On The Other Hand..

We have Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian wanting to shut down the festival all together.

Allan Sicard of the NSW Police is concerned of the “image” they will portray in giving festival go-ers the “green light” in drug taking. Not that a red light has ever stopped us before?

Other than that, it’s bloody damn hard to find anyone else so vehemently against pill testing. So it’s safe to say there is a consensual positive opinion surrounding drug safety at festivals. At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual on whether or not they’ll take drugs at a festival. And the truth is, we may as well push to make it less risky for those who are getting on it.

It’s important to stay safe at festivals, and be sure to check out our advice before getting on it at your next festival, even if there aren’t pill testing facilities.

Image Source: Defqon.1 Facebook

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Margot (yes, like Margot Robbie, no not quite Margot Robbie) is a canine-loving, food-obsessed gal who will always volunteer to taste-test cocktails when serving behind the bar.

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