Pill testing program urged for SA

·1-min read

South Australia has been urged to follow the ACT and establish a pill and drug testing clinic.

Australia's first testing site has opened in Canberra in a six-month pilot program to allow people to test drugs and pills free of charge.

The ACT government says the site will help weed out dangerous substances and provide an opportunity for harm reduction and counselling to encourage a reduction in drug use.

SA Greens MP Robert Simms says the program will save many lives.

"This kind of testing service is greatly needed in South Australia," he said.

"The state government should monitor the situation in the ACT closely and make pill testing available in our state as part of a harm minimisation approach to drugs."

Mr Simms said consecutive surveys had revealed widespread public support for pill testing.

He said it was also backed by a range of public health organisations including the Australian Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the safest option remained not to take drugs.

"However we recognise some people will choose to use drugs and there is a need for initiatives that reduce the harms associated with drug use," she said.

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