‘MDMA is the drug of the moment’, with a marked spike in young people expressing concern for their peers who are using an ‘unprecedented’ amount of this and other drugs, according to drug researcher and educator Paul Dillon.
At a recent coronial inquest into NSW music festival deaths, Dillon stated that the lack of early warning systems such as onsite and offsite drug checking services means that authorities and others lack the necessary information to appropriately respond to emergencies, much less prevent them.
“At the moment we are flying blind and when something does go amiss and we do have a spate of deaths … it’s like, what is happening here?” he said in a recent media report.
The drug and alcohol expert later called out on social media those claiming that the state’s approach to drugs is ‘soft’, and believes that heavy-handed policing coupled with a defunding of school programs, resources and services has played a large part in causing drug-related harm, including the recent spate of festival overdoses.
Dillon also observed that while pill testing alone will not be the silver bullet that some have built it up to be, it would be a positive step, particularly as part of a larger strategy of education and outreach. In fact, the most important component of pill testing is the opportunity to have a conversation with potential drug users.
“Probably the most crucial aspect of it is developing the messaging that goes with the suite of stuff that gets created,” Dillon told the coroner.
– The Guardian Australia
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