|Open Letter on Pill Testing from Drug Free Australia to;|
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
|Royal Australian College of General Practitioners|
|Australasian College for Emergency Medicine|
|Rural Doctors Association of Australia|
|Australian Medical Association|
|Australian Nursing Midwifery Association|
|National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association|
|Pharmaceutical Society of Australia|
|Forensic and Clinical Toxicology Association|
|Public Health Association of Australia|
Dear Board Chair/President,
I am writing as the Secretary for Drug Free Australia.
Drug Free Australia notes that your organisation has put its name behind Harm Reduction Australia’s and its auspiced entity Pill Testing Australia’s campaign for pill testing at festivals and clubs.
We are writing to your Board or management committee because we have spent considerable time examining the existing science behind party pill deaths in Australia and believe there is nothing in the science that lends support to pill testing. To that end we wish to ask questions of your Board or Management Committee regarding your support for pill testing.
Q. Will your organisation continue to give explicit support to this pill testing practice of giving a white card to ecstasy when it is the only psychoactive substance found? If so, why?
Q. Does your organisation, in light of the 392 deaths in 16 years in Australia, consider pill testing’s failure to keep ecstasy out of the mouths of users after the horse has bolted via their investment in these pills, to be a successful harm reduction intervention?
Q. Does your organisation disagree that policing is a more effective harm prevention than pill testing’s attempts at deterrence once a user’s pill has been analysed? If not, why not?
Q.1 Does your organisation differ with the most prominent harm reduction organisation in the world that ecstasy overdose is rare? If so, why?
Q.2 Given the graph below of the dose and subsequent peak MDMA blood concentrations of 49 ecstasy users studied in South Australia, (with the blue shaded rectangle denoting the blood concentrations of the lower 50% of Australia’s 392 MDMA-related deaths), do you agree that pill testing medical staff or counselors could reliably give better and more widespread information on individual safer dosing than can animated signage on main stage screens at festivals?
Drug Free Australia has shared the contents of this letter with more than 900 State, Territory and Federal Parliamentarians across Australia and we believe that they will be keen to hear your organisation’s answers to these questions. We believe it would not be unreasonable for Australians to think that if nothing is heard within a three month period that your organisation has been unable to answer these questions.
If you wish to raise any issues with Drug Free Australia concerning this letter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring on 0422 163 141.
Drug Free Australia
*We note that there were only two possible deaths from ecstasy cut with another drug during this period, one in 2007 involving PMA and another on the Gold Coast in 2016 involving NBOMe. It appears media were guessing at the drugs causing death in both cases.