With festival season in full swing, many are calling for the implementation of pill testing services throughout NSW in an attempt to create a safer experience for festival goers.
The divisive topic of pill testing has continued to gain traction, with many hoping to avoid the number of drug related casualties seen throughout last year’s festival season.
Program lead of peer-run drug harm reduction service DanceWize, Erica Franklin, says the importance of pill testing lies in harm reduction.
‘’If we had on site drug testing for patrons, what it would do for wellbeing would be massive,’’ Miss Franklin said.
‘’It would also allow us the ability to provide live, up to date information about what is circulating in the community… we can then modify our approach for medical, police and security
‘’It allows the health system and everyone to be really responsive to what is happening in an unregulated drug market.’’
Frequent festival goer nineteen year old Lachlan Loutit feels pill testing services would be useful to his peers.
‘’It’s important that people know what they’re taking, especially in a festival context, drugs are gonna be present,’’ Mr Loutit said.
‘’It’s better for them to have that confidence and understand that what they’re doing is the safest it can be.’’
With emergency services in the Illawarra and larger NSW spread thin, pill testing services could potentially reduce the strain on first responders by intercepting drug related incidents requiring medical attention.
“It would help with education…help modify peoples drug consumptions, or potentially people disposing of drugs,’’ Miss Franklin said.
‘’It will slowly reduce those pressures consistently.’’
For those hoping for pill testing implementation in NSW, Miss Franklin believes that with continued progress it may not be far off.
‘’It is just a matter of time,’’ she said.
‘’Harm reduction always progresses forward, but there’s multiple different things that need to be implemented.
‘’It comes to a question of how many more people need to be harmed, before the needs of the community get taken seriously.’’
As those in support await the potential arrival of of pill testing in NSW, DanceWize has provided some helpful advice on safety around drugs and festivals: