4 Realities you may not have considered!
Pill Testing may sound like a compassionate option…but what really happens
Reality 1 PILL TESTING CAN INCREASE DRUG USE & LIKELIHOOD OF RISK & DEATH
First principle of consumption: accessibility, acceptability and availability all increase consumption.
• Pill Testing will be seen by many young people as a clear endorsement of drug use. It sends a message that
illicit drugs are acceptable and ‘safe’.
Outcome? - This gives permission for young people to engage in an otherwise illegal act and worse,
harmful drug use. It is very likely to encourage use.
• Pill Testing facilitates the taking of illicit drugs by equipping young people to consume illicit drugs.
Outcome? - More lives are put at risk with a belief that the drug they are taking is somehow ‘safe’ after
testing. However, there is no ‘safe’ level of drug use for the developing brain or at any age.
Reality 2 PILL TESTING HAS NO SAFETY GUARANTEES
• Pill Testing does not (and cannot) guarantee that the drug being taken will not cause any physical/mental
harm or death to the individual consumer.
• Pill Testing cannot account for the individual’s physiological response to each drug i.e. allergies, levels
of toxins or bio-chemical and/or genetic variants etc…
Outcome? - More young people risking harm to their bodies and brains while potentially destroying their
lives, and their families through another ‘facilitated’ ill-informed decision to consume illicit drugs.
Reality 3 PILL TESTING PROMOTES ‘NORMALISATION OF ILLICIT DRUG USE’ AND IGNORES THE VAST MAJORITY
OF FACTS ABOUT THE IMPACT ON HEALTH AND SAFETY OF DRUG USE – EVIDENCE DETERMINED
THROUGH LEGITIMATE RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY QUALIFIED HEALTH AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS.
The potential outcomes?
• Young people damaging or even destroying their brain function during a critical stage of brain
development (up to age 25-28).
• Increasing numbers of young people developing depression and psychosis and risk of suicide amongst
• Increased risk of family violence and resulting impact on interpersonal, social and family relationships.
• Increase an individuals co-morbidity, entering addiction cycles and engaging in drug related crimes in
pursuit of funding their dependency.
Reality 4 GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITIES, NGO’S AND INDIVIDUALS/
FAMILIES… WHO WILL PAY THE PRICE OF DRUG USE?
Pill Testing that is permitted and/or approved by government implicates government as an enabler and
endorser of illicit drug use.
• Will governments endorse a practice that will facilitate harm to its citizens, their health, productivity and
well-being? Will taxpayers have to wear this cost, particularly in relation to lives lost? Who can place a
price on that potential outcome?
• Will event managers be liable? Who will wear the impending litigation from individuals and families
impacted by potential physical, mental harms and even cessation of lives post consumption after ‘pill
• Will insurance providers cover the risk of death and permanent injury costs as a result of damage from
one incident or subsequent uptake of illicit drug use and abuse after Pill Testing at an event?
• Will young individuals be required to sign disclaimers on potential harm to their health or even death,
after having a pill tested prior to consumption? What is the effect on those under 18 – the children?
• Frontline service providers are already stretched to capacity and the need for many more facilities and
services is already paramount. Are we able to accommodate more individuals and families needing
assistance and support due to a decision to endorse uptake of illicit drugs?