In what is being described as a “huge step forward in harm minimisation,” Australia’s Split Milk festival has been approved by the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT) to provide on-site testing for psychotropic substances brought to the venue by attendees.
This announcement comes after the ACT decided to collaborate with the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events consortium, in a bid to educate potential drug users on the strength and potential side effects associated with a particular drug. Forensic experts in the event’s medical bay will analyze a small amount of the drug. Festival-goers will be told what the substance contains and have the chance to discard it in an amnesty bin. Regardless of the potency and contents of a particular substance, attendees will be warned about potential health risks and will also be discouraged from extensive use.
In the words of ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris, “Pill testing means young people who are considering taking drugs can be informed about what’s really in their pills and how potent they are. And it creates an opportunity to remind them of the risks before they make the final decision to take a drug.”