Monash Experts: Victorian pill testing trial

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Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan has announced a pill testing trial for Victoria. “It doesn’t make pills legal but it does keep people safe,” she said. “It exists around the world and the evidence says it works. This is a simple and common-sense way to save lives. That’s why we’re going to trial it in Victoria this summer.”

Associate Professor Shalini Arunogiri, Acting Executive Clinical Director of Turning Point and Associate Professor at Monash Addiction Research Centre

Read more of Associate Professor Arunogiri’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • Mental health
  • Addiction and treatment
  • Harm reduction measures including drug checking and supervised injecting facilities.

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Arunogiri:

“It is fantastic to see the Victorian Government pursuing an evidence-based health response that will help keep people safe and prevent harm.

“A genuine commitment to harm reduction and saving lives requires us to do things

differently and this announcement does precisely that.

“Drug checking has been effective at reducing illicit drug harms for decades globally and repeated polls show it’s an approach supported by a majority of Australians.

“It acts as an early warning system for novel or contaminated substances, and there’s a consistent body of evidence that it often results in people discarding their drugs.”

Read more of Professor Nielsen’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • Overdose prevention
  • Opioids
  • Harm reduction measures including drug checking and supervised injecting facilities
  • Addiction and treatment, including pharmacotherapy

The following can be attributed to Professor Nielsen:

“We welcome the introduction of evidence-based harm reduction services such as drug checking. The research shows that if you can provide people with accurate information about what is contained in their drugs, they can make more informed decisions such as discarding drugs, which can prevent harm.

“We have seen increasing detection of toxic drugs – such as the highly potent opioids like nitazenes – in overdoses. This is a step in the right direction to prevent harm by detecting these substances before they are unintentionally taken.

“These services are already widely available in many countries, so it is fantastic to see Victorians now being able to access the same evidence-based services.”

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