The debate over whether pill testing should be implemented at festivals in Australia continues to rage on. The issue continues to divide politicians, but a pill texting expert and Emergency Consultant at the Emergency Department of Calvary Hospital in Canberra says he thinks that there’s still a good chance that pill testing could be implemented at festivals this summer.
Speaking with ABC Radio National Dr David Caldicott said that pill testing in Australia right now is purely a political issue, with medical experts almost unanimously agreeing it’s a necessity. “I have great faith that it’s going to happen within this festival season, and it’s need has never been greater,” said Caldicott.
Dr Caldicott has been working with the founder of Unharm Will Tregoning and Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Alex Wodak to create safe spaces for punters to test drugs like MDMA for purity at festivals.
He also spoke about how the very act of getting pills tested can often allow experts to dissuade users from taking the drugs at all, and is a much more effective way of finding out what’s actually in the pills. “We know that we can find out information about these products far sooner than through police seizures while at the same time persuading young people not to put the damn things in their mouth,” he said.
Dr Cadicott went on to point out that the implementation of pill testing in Australia would be anything but and experimental practice, with European countries having developed such services over a number of years. “We’re not inventing the wheel here,” he said. “The European union has good practice guidelines that have been in place for nearly a decade, and theyve been doing this for nearly two decades.”
“Those who falsely accuse us of somehow endorsing drug consumption should probably come and have a look and see how it’s done properly.”
He also said that another logical step would be to have pill testing at nightclubs in the future as well, because in countries like Holland where they have such facilties available during the week it “changes the way people consume their drugs” for the better.
Despite ongoing opposition by the NSW Liberal Goverment to any form of pill testing, last month The Greens passed a motion to introduce pill testing and remove sniffer dogs from festivals through the senate.