Pill testing is a harm reduction service (also known as drug checking) that analyses the contents of drugs to help you avoid the unknown and potentially dangerous substances in illicit drugs. Appropriate information and counselling is provided to service users based on their specific test result to encourage choices that reduce overall drug use and the harms associated with taking drugs.
Pill testing facilities have been effectively used internationally since the 1990’s and are currently available in 20 countries within Europe and the Americas, as well as New Zealand.
The second Australian trial of a pill testing service was conducted at the Canberra Groovin the Moo festival in April 2019 as one element of a broader harm reduction approach. This followed the first pill testing trial at the same festival last year. This second trial has been independently evaluated by a team at the Australian National University - research that is a first of its kind in Australia. See the final evaluation report for further information.
The ACT Government is committed to preventing and reducing the harms associated with drug use. ACT Health has developed The Festivals Pill Testing Policy, which provides guidance to event planners regarding harm minimisation at large events such as music festivals.