Australia’s first pill-testing trial conducted at the Groovin the Moo Festival in Canberra on the weekend has uncovered some surprising results.
A total of 85 substances were tested at the festival by NGO consortium STA-SAFE, (Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events), with some samples uncovering potentially lethal ingredients in so-called ‘party drugs.’
STA-SAFE announced on Monday that they had found two samples of the highly toxic chemical ephylone, which has been responsible for a number of mass overdoses around the world, the ABC reported.
Equally worrying, though, were some of the bizarre ingredients that the tested drugs were mixed with.
“We found a Polish toothpaste in one of them,” STA-SAFE emergency doctor David Caldicott told ABC Radio Canberra.
- Shark ‘jumps’ into popular swimming enclosure
- ‘Gut-wrenching’ tragedy as father runs over son in driveway
- Park visitors keep their distance as huge Roos punch on
Other ingredients found in pills and capsules tested included lactose, arnica (a flowering plant used as a homeopathic muscle rub), and Hammerite, a spray paint used to treat rusty metal.
Dr Caldicott said many people were initially angered by the fact that their drugs had been cut with unexpected substances, then “relieved” to know that by having their pill tested they had potentially avoided a trip to the hospital.
The pill-testing initiative meant that Groovin the Moo festival-goers could go to a medical tent and seek consultations about the purity or otherwise of the drugs they were planning to consume.
Nearly 130 participants took advantage of the service with the medical service testing 85 samples, according to the Ted Noffs Foundation.
Dr Caldicott told the ABC that on the day, only five people used the bin provide to discard their drugs, but that 10 to 20 per cent were “considering” binning them.
However, he said more than that were “convinced” their pill test results would “alter the way they would consume drugs” at the festival.