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Victorian Health And Community Organisations Call For Drug Checking Services

Health and community agencies across Victoria are calling for the state government to implement a pill testing service.

Seventy-seven organisations co-signed a letter to the government, urging it to follow coroners’ recommendations to avoid deadly overdoses from new psychoactive substances.

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Some of the services to sign the letter include the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association, Victorian Council pf Social Service, Victoria Greens and Victorian Ambulance Union.

The requested services would be in both permanent locations and mobile facilities and would allow people to check the content and dosage of their drugs.

Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli, said there were years of evidence from the UK, Europe and North America, and a fully operational and successful pill testing service in Canberra that clearly showed pill testing protects young people.

“Each day the Victorian Government refuses to listen to expert health advice and back pill testing is another day a young person could be at risk of overdose or drug-related death,” he said.

“A criminal approach is not going to keep [people] safer. Sniffer dogs are not going to keep them safer. Pill testing will.

“It’s time for this government to get its head out of the sand and get on with this long overdue reform.”

In 2021-2022, 47 Victorians died from new psychoactive substances.

Similar services are already provided in at least 28 countries, while at home, the ACT is currently running a drug checking service while Queensland will launch its own one in 2024.

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