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21 Jan 2019

As Australia’s music festival season continues throughout summer, the AMA has stressed its alarm and concern over the number of drug-related deaths at the events.

Five young people have died at music festivals in NSW in the past three months from what is thought to be drug overdoses or the ingestion of lethal substances contained in the drugs.

Some arrests have already been made. The NSW Coroner is holding an inquest into the deaths.

But the NSW Government has so far refused to allow pill testing at the music festivals. There is growing public sentiment against the Government for not introducing a pill testing trial. Political will is lacking across the nation for the introduction of pill testing at music festivals.

But AMA President Dr Tony Bartone said a pill testing trial should be considered as part of a wider harm minimisation strategy for the festivals.

“Let’s have the trial, let’s have it under close and particular scrutiny, and then use it as part of an overarching strategy of harm minimisation,” Dr Bartone said.

“Not just supply reduction, which we’ve tried for a long period of time with criminal penalties. But we know that people are still using drugs.

“We’ve got to get serious about a problem that’s consuming all parts of our society.”


Published: 21 Jan 2019