An alarming number of drug-related hospitalisations have occurred over the Australia Day long weekend festival season in both New South Wales and Victoria.
Seven are being treated in Westmead Hospital in western Sydney after the ‘Rolling Loud’ hip-hop festival. The ‘Hardcore Till I Die’ festival also saw 10 people hospitalised. Six were hospitalised after ‘Rainbow Serpent‘ festival in Victoria with one woman in a critical condition.
That brings the total hospitalisations for the weekend to over 20. When you consider the entire summer festival season the number has been alarming.
January 12’s ‘Fomo‘ music festival saw 19 year old Alex-Ross King die of drug related causes. This event brought the issue of government funded festival pilltesting back into the public debate, with harm minimalisation advocates and abstinence advocates failing to find a compromise. In the meantime, young people are suffering life changing harm as drug pushers profit.
The factors at play are numerous and deeply concerning. A push towards introducing pill testing has been creating an media environment where it is almost treated as a natural part of growing up, a hedonistic youth desperate to escape reality through the use of illicit narcotics, criminal drug pushers and teens looking to make a quick buck at the expense of their moral integrity and the lives and well-being of their peers.
The oppressive summer heat is also a factor.
The author’s position is, if you don’t trust the person you’re buying it off, and you don’t know what’s in it, it’s better to abstain.
However if you must indulge, do your research and learn how to do the testing yourself. Don’t rely upon the notoriously sluggish government to move quickly. Don’t risk your life. Self Testing kits are available from headshops and online. Here’s a guide to self-testing.