[UPDATE] Doctor Calls For Pill Testing At Music Festivals Following Stereosonic Death

1 December 2015 | 11:50 am | Staff Writer

Public demand more.

Emergency physician and drug expert Dr David Caldicott has called for pill testing at music festivals in Australia, after Sydney local Sylvia Choi died from a drug overdose at the annual Stereosonic event this past weekend. 

Speaking on ABC's 7.30 program, Dr Caldicott called it a very dangerous time in Australia, after another woman was in an induced coma at Stereosonic and almost 70 festival-goers were charged with drug offences.

"There is a diversity of products on the market that not even drug nerds like myself know about," Dr Caldicott said, adding that he believes pill testing should be undertaken at all music festivals.

"Drug testing or pill checking involves taking a forensic laboratory to the point of consumption," he explained.

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"For example, in Zurich they bring a shipping container of forensic equipment to Europe's largest rave ... and allow people to come and submit their product for testing. Then in the 20 to 30 minutes they're waiting for a result, engage with the consumer, let them know what's going on ... and also look at their habits and how they can stay safer."

"It's not so much the contaminants that we're worried about, we're worried about purity, we're worried about the diversity of products."

He went on to say that while there are already procedures in place for younger people who aren't yet exposed to drugs, more needs to be done to curb the trend of older people. 

"'Don't use drugs' is perfectly acceptable for primary school kids and the people who aren't already using drugs...But for this group of people, they've already decided to use drugs and we need to be far more nuanced in our approach to illicit drugs than we currently are."


Illy has responded to the call for drug testing in a Facebook post, saying, "If we, and the police, really are that concerned with safety of festival goers, we should be making it easier for people to test the drugs they have, so they can make better decisions, and make it illegal to profit off fucking water FFS. An intoxicated punter shouldn't have to decide whether to spend their cash on water or booze."

If we, and the police, really are that concerned with safety of festival goers, we should be making it easier for people...

Posted by Illy on Saturday, 28 November 2015