Surprise! Most Aussies Are Way Ahead Of Politicians When It Comes To Pill Testing

Pill-testing saves lives.


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According to a new survey, a majority of Australians across political divides support pill-testing, suggesting that governmental opposition is out of touch.

Conducted by Essential Research (via BuzzFeed), the poll asked 1,026 respondents the following question: “Thinking about drug policy, do you support or oppose pill-testing services (where trained counsellors provide risk reduction advice informed by on-site, laboratory analysis of people’s drugs)?”

59 per cent of those surveyed supported pill-testing, while a quarter of respondents saying they didn’t know if they did, and 17 per cent of opposed pill-testing.

Significantly, support did not significantly waver over political lines — more than 50 per cent of any political party’s voters supported pill-testing.

Given that The Greens support calls for a national pill-testing program, it’s not surprising that their voter base overwhelmingly do too.

Pill testing

Essential Vision report results.

Pill-testing has become a contested political point this year, particularly in NSW, where multiple drug-related deaths occurred at music festivals, including two overdoses at Defqon.1 this September.

Continually, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reacted to the deaths with a hardline approach, promising to ban Defqon.1 from the state. Subsequently, Berejiklian set up a panel on drug safety at music festivals — one which recommended more punitive drug penalties, and did not consider pill-testing as a potential solution.

“If we thought it would save a single life, of course we would go down that path,” Berejiklian said just last week, after a 19-year-old man overdosed at Knockout Games of Destiny in Sydney.

“Unfortunately, what pill-testing doesn’t do is really take into account people’s different physical attributes. What is safe for one person isn’t safe for another.”

Earlier this year, a pill-testing trial was held at Canberra’s Groovin’ The Moo festival in April, and was deemed a success. Of the 85 samples, 2 were found to be deadly, prompting participants to throw them away in an amnesty bin.

“We were able to identify two highly toxic substances, and a significant amount of drugs that differed from people’s expectations,” one of the people behind Groovin the Moo’s drug testing trial, Matt Noffs, told Junkee earlier this year. “They had everything, from paint, to lactose, to milk powder and toothpaste.”

If you want to show your support for pill-testing and get it over the line, here’s how you can do that.