Australia is taking some seriously big strides in harm reduction, as the country plans to allow a pill testing area at an upcoming music festival for the very first time.
Festival goers at Groovin the Moo festival in the capital city of Canberra will be able to have their drugs tested by experts this Sunday. This isn’t meant to “condone illicit drug use.” Instead, it’s meant to inform users of ingredients and counsel on potential risk.
In theory, the more people know — the better decisions they can make. An amnesty bin is offered to anyone who decides to get rid of their drugs. For others, police have vowed to stay away from the safe zone, so no one will be busted near the drug testing area.
This is all part of a pill-testing program backed by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which mimics similar systems in the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and New Zealand. When tomorrow rolls around, Australia will be the next to try out party drug pill testing on site.
ACT health minister Meegan Fitzharris says, “This trial is a breakthrough for harm reduction.”
“It does not condone illicit drug use, but for the first time people will have access to information they wouldn’t otherwise have to make better decisions.”
The decision to provide an “accommodating environment to allow for pill testing,” is backed by police officials, festival organizers, and the ACT government alike. Hopefully this trial goes well and we see even more of this throughout the music festival circuit.