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Man Charged With Drug Supply Following Sydney Stereosonic Death

Written by Nastassia Baroni on December 4, 2015

A 25-year-old Sydney man has been charged with drug supply following an investigation into the death of Sylvia Choi at the Sydney leg of Stereosonic music festival last Saturday.

Reports Fairfax, the man was arrested on Friday morning and charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug.

It is believed that, while at the Sydney festival last Saturday evening, 25-year-old Sydney pharmacist Sylvia Choi ingested MDMA dissolved in a water bottle and began to fall ill at about 5.15pm. She was taken to Concord Hospital and pronounced dead at about 9pm.

Ten more people were also taken from the festival to the hospital following what is suspected to be drug overdoses, including a 22-year-old woman from the UK who was placed in an induced coma. She was later discharged.

The tragic event has reignited calls within both the music and the health communities for a change to Australia’s approach to drugs at music events, with Ms Choi sadly becoming the fifth person to die at a music festival from a drug-related incident in the last year.

While the police have remained firm in their commitment to zero-tolerance drug policies, elsewhere ER doctor and drug harm minimisation advocate Dr David Caldicot, rapper Illy, Rainbow Serpent festival organisers and even Adriana Buccianti, whose son Daniel died after taking drugs at a festival, are amongst those calling for changing how we deal with drug use at festivals, with an eye towards the introduction of drug testing measures.

“There has got to be a better way and as long as young people are dying from this in Australia, we’re doing something wrong,” Dr Caldicott told triple j’s Hack. “The answer isn’t simply, in some sort of paternalistic way, to turn around and tell an entire community they’re naughty for using drugs, because they are going to use drugs.”

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