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Support for pill testing grows with minister's endorsement in Australia

'The fact remains that young people are still taking these pills ... and they don't know what's in them'

  • SCOTT CARBINES
  • 1 June 2018
Support for pill testing grows with minister's endorsement in Australia

Pill testing in Australia has taken another positive step forward, with a Northern Territory minister stating it should be made available at music festivals.

NT Assistant Police Minister Jeff Collins said there had been a lot of measures "to try and reduce the number of pills taken, including sniffer dogs and the like."

"But the fact remains that young people are still taking these pills at music festivals in particular and they don't know what's in them," he said, the ABC reports.

Allowing drugs to be analysed could prevent their use, rather than encourage it, he said: "I'd really hate to see some young person take a pill that they have no idea what's in it. They've been sold (it) by some stranger who's just out there to make a profit."

Mr Collins is part of an NT committee on harm reduction strategy that travelled to Portugal last year to examine the impact of drug decriminalisation.

The NT, of which Darwin is the capital, is far removed from Australia's biggest festival scenes on the east coast, but it shows gathering momentum in support of the harm minimisation method down under.

Australia's first pill testing trial took place in Canberra, the nation's capital, last month, finding "deadly" substances in two samples.

Pill testing appears to have very little chance under the current conservative Liberal government in New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, while Victoria (where Melbourne is the capital) has a state election later this year, so it's unlikely any moves would be made prior to that.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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