First Australian pill-testing trial a success

30 April 2018

First Australian pill-testing trial a success

The trial for pill-testing at music festival Groovin the Moo in Canberra has uncovered some lethal and obscure ingredients in what attendants thought to be party drugs.

The festival, which spans over the course of one weekend, is the first instance where pill-testing has been attempted in Australia.

A total of 85 substances were tested by the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE).

The most troubling discovery was of two extremely toxic chemicals, including the “absolutely lethal”┬áN-Ethylpentylone (ephylone), which has been responsible for a mass number of overdoses around the world.

The capsules were disposed of immediately, and STA-SAFE member and emergency doctor David Caldicott said that the two people who bought the capsules said they were “extremely grateful” that the toxic substances were found.

“We found a Polish toothpaste in one of them; we found arnica, which is a muscle rub; we found Hammerite paint,” Dr Caldicott also told ABC Radio Canberra.

The doctor continued saying, “by coming to the tent to have their pill tested and to chat with the workers they’ve avoided a trip to hospital.”

The pill-testing service was available all day inside a tent on the festival grounds where 128 people, ranging from ages 17 to 40, consulted with STA-SAFE members.

Dr Caldicott said five people used the bin provided by the medical tent to get rid of their drugs, but said between 10 and 20 per cent said they were considering binning it.

“Certainly more than that were convinced that it would alter the way they would consume drugs on that day,” he said.