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Queensland stages first-ever drug checking

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The results from the first Queensland pill testing centre have been shared, less than one week after the first service was staged.
Queensland pill testing results

Pill testing has been offered at a Queensland music festival for the first time in the state.

It comes after the Queensland Government announced plans to roll out pill testing services last year.

More than 200 drug samples were tested at the four-day ‘Rabbits Eat Lettuce’ festival in southeast Queensland over the weekend.

Qualified chemists from Pill Testing Australia found the presence of a drug never before detected in Queensland.

Queensland pill testing results

The Queensland Government announced plans for pill testing last year to reduce harm from drug use.

This includes mobile services – set up at music festivals and other large public events – and a fixed site, due to open in Brisbane later this month.

Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival goers brought forward 210 drug samples for testing over the long weekend.

Pill testing findings

  • The average age of pill-testing users was 29.
  • The most frequently detected drugs were ketamine and MDMA.
  • A synthetic substance dubbed ‘Canberra Ketamine’ was identified for the first time in Queensland. The drug was first detected in the ACT in 2022.
  • Less than 10% of samples were thrown away by users after testing.
  • No ‘high-risk’ substances necessitating a wider health warning were detected.

What’s next for pill testing?

Another fixed pill testing centre is expected to open in Queensland following the launch of the Brisbane site later this month.

The location of the second fixed site has not been confirmed. However, it will likely be based within a pre-existing facility like a hospital, near a nightlife precinct like the Gold Coast.

Officials are yet to confirm when mobile pill testing will be offered again.

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