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Over 230 party goers used the pill testing service that was made available at Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra on the weekend. This is more than double the 85 that were tested last year, and the recent results were indicative of why pill testing services should be available at all festivals, in our humble opinion. A staggering seven pills were found with the potentially lethal chemical, n-ethylpentylone. All but one party goer threw the lethal drugs away in the provided amnesty bin with the seventh person saying he would dump it elsewhere.

The party goers were invited to offer a small scraping of their drugs, and that was enough to test what they contained. The process of pill testing is a preventative measure: to make sure that people do not get hurt or killed consuming substances that they are ignorant to. Upon interview, the organisers of the drug testing also said:

“And if we can change the way people are using drugs to start with, then we might be able to change their attitude to drugs in their entirety.”

Sadly, Governments still need convincing, even though these positive and successful results prove that seven lives may have been saved that day. A healthcarespokesman, Jeremy Hanson, said the results of the latest trial were open to interpretation.

“What we do know is that a lot of people out at the festival were under the belief that having pills tested makes them safe — that is not the case,” he said.

“So it remains a very dangerous thing to do”.

“I don’t doubt that everyone’s got the right intent here. We all agree that we want to keep people safe, particularly young people at festivals. I just think it’s the wrong way to go about it.”

For the record, we think that pill testing and other such measures should very much be part of the festival landscape.


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