The National Union of Students (NUS) supports the calls of young people across Australia to introduce pill-testing services at festivals and across the country. We endorse the Students for Sustainable Drug Policy (SSDP) in pushing for drug policy reform towards a harm reduction approach.
While recognising that pill-testing is not the silver bullet in preventing all drug-related harm, it is a key way to reduce the harm for many young people. Tragic incidents of drug-related harm over this summer festival period have shown that a zero tolerance approach and stigmatising drug use is not an effective method to prevent such harm.
Student organisations across the country have showed their support for a harm-reduction approach. The University of Melbourne Student Union, and Newcastle University Student Association have already rolled out pill testing and drug education programs, with many other student associations looking to follow with similar programs.
“It is appalling that despite all the evidence that shows pill-testing does work, the government and other opponents to pill-testing refuses to acknowledge that our current approach to drug-related harm is not working” said NUS National President, Desiree Cai.
“Students are on board. We want to ensure that our friends and countless other young people who partake in drug use are able to be safe”.