Free pill testing trials have concluded in Australia after a resounding success at Groovin The Moo Canberra in April. 234 festival goers participated with 171 samples being tested. Out of those, 7 samples of a potentially fatal substance was picked up and voluntarily dumped.
A Health Issue
Even after this success, Dr David Caldicott, program designer and PTA clinical lead, has confirmed it would be the last free trial and the only way for future trials lies on funding from the Government. Dr Caldicott states, “Drugs should be treated like a public health issue and not a criminal issue”, especially since festival goers are potentially overdosing after eating all of their drugs at once when they are more afraid of criminal implications than health implications.
The ‘War on Drugs’ Continues
Festival goers, organisers, medical professionals and families are all pushing for pill testing at festivals to continue. The only people who don’t seem to understand the importance of these testing facilities are politicians in high places. Dr Caldicott explains that it’s unfortunate the “delays are political and no other ideology”.
As reported in The Australian, over 60 people were admitted to hospital after the Townsville leg of Groovin The Moo last weekend, making it clear that we need some form of safety and education around the matter.
It’s for the above reasons that SearchParty was created. We were sick of losing our mates at festivals, and concerned that safety was such an unresolved issue. Not just drug safety – alcohol, heatstroke, sexual harassment and anxiety all come into play at festivals and we wanted to be part of the solution.
That’s why we launched SearchParty – where festival goers not only stay connected with friends and share their whereabouts with live location tracking but, with the world-first Help button, users can alert their Party with an instant notification or contact emergency services when something does go wrong.
We’re about mates helping mates. And until the political and legislative bigwigs can come together with a successful action plan, your mates might be your safest bet.