Reason Leader and Member for Northern Metropolitan, Fiona Patten, wants the Dan Andrews Government to tell her how many more young people are going to die because there are no pill testing facilities in Victoria.
Ms Patten said at a media conference this morning that too many young lives had been lost already from drug overdoses that could have been prevented by pill testing, and the crucial health education that went with it.
“The Government still hasn’t agreed to a pill testing trial, an initiative that we know can contribute to keeping young people safe and informed,” Ms Patten said.
“In a report by Pill Testing Australia on their Groovin’ the Moo pill testing trial in the ACT, it was found that seven lethal substances were found in drugs – which saved the lives of people who were potentially going to take them.”
Recent overdose data from Pennington Institute showed that drug overdoses now caused more deaths than road accidents, with 2,162 drug deaths compared with 1,246 road deaths in Australia. Out of those drug related deaths, 392 were in Victoria.
In a show of unity to prevent needless deaths occurring, Ms Patten today joined City of Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross, Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Gulliver McLean, young people who had near-death experiences while using drugs, and Harm Reduction Victoria/Dancewize Program Manager Stephanie Tzanetis – to call on the Victorian Government to act now with festival season right around the corner.
“Pill testing will save lives and there is evidence of this across the world and interstate,” Ms Patten said.
“The only argument that is raised against pill testing is that it sends the wrong message. To me it sends absolutely the right message – and that is that we care about you.
“I implore the Premier to listen to young people, to experts, doctors, ambulance workers and nurses who are all calling for this invaluable health intervention to educate and prevent the loss of another young person’s life this summer – it’s in your hands Premier.”
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To organise an interview with Fiona Patten, please phone Kaitlin Bartlett directly.
Media Contact: Kaitlin Bartlett
Phone: 0432 294 500