A report on Australia's first-ever pill testing facility at this past April's Groovin The Moo festival in Canberra has concluded the trial was an "overwhelming success".
The report, delivered by the Safety Testing Advisory Service At Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) Consortium, has recommended further front-of-house pill testing in the ACT, that testing be considered nation-wide and that "the federal government take a national leadership role in advancing a mixed-model approach to pill testing as a harm reduction service across Australia".
On the day, 128 punters took part in the trial, 85 samples were tested and of that, 50% was found to be pure MDMA, while two samples were deadly.
The report also states that 42% of participants reported that "their drug consumption behaviour would change as a result of the testing and 18% indicated that they would either discard the drugs in the amnesty bins provided or were uncertain as to what they would do as a result of the information provided by the service".
It concludes, "Pill testing as a harm reduction service at the ACT GTM can be described as an overwhelming success.
"The pilot demonstrated that such an intervention is possible and that people are willing to use the service, despite the limitations arising from the tight timelines, inauspicious physical infrastructure and the lack of dissemination strategies on-site during the festival.
"The development of a uniquely Australian pill testing service model that involves peers, health professionals and law enforcement officials working together to reduce harm amongst drug users needs to be prioritised and supported by all Australian governments."
ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said of the testing, "The trial was a success and had shown there was a demand for the service.
"This will assist to better understand how pill testing may help reduce the harms of illicit drug use at festivals and will inform next steps and future drug policy."
Meanwhile, ACT Chief Police Officer, Justine Saunders, said the testing was a "great success".
"We are not in the business of targeting people who abuse drugs," Saunders said.
"We’re very focused on criminality, focused on the selling and trafficking of drugs at these events."
Read the full report here.