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Author Topic: Why deaths won’t stop the party: Drug test kits, Many Overdoses  (Read 2563 times)

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Why deaths won’t stop the party: Drug test kits gain popularity as festival overdoses soar

Paramedics care for a woman who collapsed outside the Stereosonic dance festival in Brisbane. Two punters died at Steresonic concerts last year.

SYLVIA Choi was just 25 when she overdosed on pills at Stereosonic festival in Sydney last November. Stefan Woodward, 19, died in exactly the same way a week later.

Yet as hospital admissions for ecstasy and MDMA use soar in Australia, the chilling stories are failing to stop young people risking their lives.

“People are like ‘it’s so dangerous, you don’t know what you’re taking’, and well actually, we’re taking it anyway,” one user tells Four Corners in tonight’s report.

“If the government thinks that people are going to stop taking drugs, they’re kidding themselves,” adds another.

Australia now has the world’s highest number of ecstasy and MDMA users per capita, and the number of emergency admissions for so-called “party drugs” to NSW hospitals has doubled in five years.

Drug policy experts say it’s time to follow in the steps of the Netherlands and introduce free drug testing facilities, so festival-goers can see exactly what they are consuming.

The owner of Australian drug testing business EZ Test, Steven Bourke, told that pharmacist Sylvia could still be alive if she had used one of the company’s kits, after she reportedly died from a super-strength dose of MDMA, the pure chemical component of ecstasy.

“If she had used one of the MDMA purity kits, she may still be with us,” Mr Bourke said. “It may have told her what was in it and she could have worked out that she had a very high dose of MDMA on her, and only taken half of what she did.”

Stefan Woodward, 19, died after taking pills.

Sylvia Choi overdosed at Stereosonic.


Four Corners reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna said pills were now more appealing to young people than ever because they were so cheap and readily available.

An ecstasy pill might cost $20 and keep the user high for four hours.

“A pill is cheaper than three schooners at the pub,” she told after visiting Victoria’s forensic drug-testing lab.

 “For uni students, it’s cheaper to get high than get drunk. The strength of ecstasy has gone through the roof. It was 5 or 10 per cent purity, now it’s up to 60 per cent, super-strength MDMA.

“There’s a common theme — ‘I trust my source, nothing’s gone wrong before’. These kids have blind faith in swallowing pills en masse.

“A few deaths don’t deter experimentation, and if you’re going to experiment, you need to be sure you don’t die.”

One party drug user told Four Corners: “It’s cheaper than alcohol. One pill’s 20 bucks and it’ll last you four hours.”

Not only is the dosage higher, young people are mixing ecstasy with a lethal cocktail of drugs such as ketamine, cannabis, LSD, mushrooms, GBH, speed, prescription drugs and alcohol.


But frighteningly, some Aussie festival-goers are willing to take whatever they’ve got, even when they learn it isn’t the substance they thought they had bought.

Pop culture website Vicevisited an Australian music festival armed with EZ Tests and helped festival-goers test their drugs.

According to reporter Dan Roxanne, one man thought he had bought a gram of ketamine for $200, but it was actually Ritalin, a drug commonly used to treat ADHD.

When asked whether he would still take the drugs, the man replied: “Yes … because they’re fun.”

Mr Roxanne encountered several people who thought they had bought ecstasy pills, only to find out they were actually made from speed.

“The most concerning event of the day was getting a result that didn’t match anything in the [colour coded] manual. It was supposedly MDMA but after mixing a sample it went sort of orange but with a black tinge,” he wrote.

According to EZ Test’s colour chart, black indicates a presence of DXM or Dextromethorphan, a hallucinogen usually used in cough medication as a cough suppressant, which can also shut down your respiratory system.

The man who donated the drug to be tested “didn’t seem surprised” his sample had this result.

“The guy I bought it from is a douchebag and shady as hell,” he said. “I was going to take it without any thought, but now this has got me a little scared.”


Drug testing isn’t perfect. Not only will some people take what they have anyway, some might be allergic to a substance in the drug and not know it.

But senior figures including former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer say they would support pill testing to reduce the danger for young people who choose to take ecstasy.

“I have no problem with it at all, I think it makes absolute sense to try to test the quality of the drugs that people are taking,” Mr Palmer said.

Most experts agree the government’s “war on drugs” isn’t working.

Emergency physician and drug expert David Caldicott told 7.30: “(The saying) ‘don’t use drugs’ is perfectly acceptable for primary school kids and the people who aren’t already using drugs.

“But for this group of people, they’ve already decided to use drugs and we need to be far more nuanced in our approach to illicit drugs than we currently are.”

to read about "‘PILL TESTING WON’T HAPPEN UNDER MY WATCH’" and to see the videos, this is continued at

« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 10:09:37 PM by chipper »
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.


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