Recent deaths and hospitalisations from drug use at music festivals has prompted calls for a pill testing trial and with young adults from the city among the festival-goers, Country Labor candidate for Orange Luke Sanger is supporting the campaign.
The call for the trial comes after a 20-year-old Victorian man died on Tuesday following a suspected overdose at the Beyond The Valley festival on Saturday, while a second man in his 20s, cheated death after overdosing at the same event.
According to NSW Police, a 22-year-old Queensland man died after attending the Lost Paradise Music Festival north of Sydney, on Saturday night.
Two other people, a man and a woman, were also treated in hospital after ingesting an unknown substance and becoming sick at the festival.
I hope it does decrease the usage of those illicit drugs and I hope it does stop those young kids from doing the drugs to begin with.Country Labor candidate for Orange Luke Sanger
Five music festival-goers have died in Australia in about five months.
The state government has rejected the idea of pill testing but Mr Sanger said it was worthwhile giving the trial a go so tests could be made on what was in the synthetic drugs taken at festivals.
“I would support anything that will help save lives and decrease the risk,” Mr Sanger said.
“I hope it does decrease the usage of those illicit drugs and I hope it does stop those young kids from doing the drugs to begin with.
“I think there still needs to be stronger ways to stop the pills getting in in the first place.”
Mr Sanger said he’s never used synthetic drugs but he’s been to many music festivals and understood people just want to have fun.
However, he said people needed to remember the pills are usually manufactured by someone in a back shed or a back room.
“These people are not pharmacists, they are not safe,” Mr Sanger said.
During the recent Field Days festival in Sydney, 194 people were charged with drug offences, including six people for drug supply, 155 people as part of the drug dog operation and a further 39 people as part of the overall operation.
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