Secret Pill Testing At Victorian Music Festival Finds Traces Of Deadly Substances

Secret pill testing at a Victorian music festival found traces of substances linked to a number of nightclub deaths and overdoses earlier this year, it has been revealed.

News Corp Australia reports that over 300 festival-goers had their pills tested at the unnamed festival’s illegal testing station in January, and some of them contained para-Methoxyamphetamine, also known as ‘Dr. Death’.

The powerful hallucinogen NBOMe — linked to three deaths and 20 overdoses in Melbourne earlier this year — was later found in lab tests of drugs discarded at the event.

Dr Stephen Bright, the Perth researcher and academic who started the secret pill testing tent, used publicly-available reagent kits for his testing, and said most people binned their pills after being told they contained unknown substances.

“We went to the organisers and explained what had happened,” Dr Bright said. “They didn’t want to see anybody die at the festival and gave us permission to set up a testing station out the back of a tent.”

Dr Bright said his findings highlight the need for high-grade testing equipment to be used at music festivals, like that which was planned to take place at Canberra’s Spilt Milk festival this month, but was later cancelled under controversial circumstances.

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