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Australia’s only fixed pill testing trial will be extended after positive reviews

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A pill testing centre in Canberra will remain open until at least August after receiving a "great community response", the ACT Government announced on Friday.
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A pill testing centre in Canberra will remain open until at least August after receiving a “great community response”, the ACT Government announced on Friday.

The free drop-in centre is Australia’s first fixed pill testing centre, and opened on a trial basis in July last year for six months.

The ACT Government granted the extension after an interim report evaluating the centre’s performance recommended it be continued.

What did the report find?

The interim report looked at the first three months of operations at the pill testing centre.

It found 80% of people at the centre accepted an alcohol, drug or general healthcare intervention when offered to them.

Over 60% said they had never previously consulted a healthcare worker for drug use advice or information before attending the centre.

A final independent report is expected to be handed down by the end of June.

Arguments against pill testing

A blog entry prepared by the Australian Parliamentary Library outlined some of the cons of pill testing in 2018.

This included “contradictory messages” being communicated about the risk of drug use, and that on-site drug testing is not always accurate.

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