In 2017 the Victorian Parliament undertook a parliamentary inquiry into existing laws and procedures relating to drugs and prescription medication. The inquiry received 231 submissions and heard directly from a range of experts, finding ‘considerable support’ for trialing a drug checking service in Victoria.

The final report made several recommendations relating to pill testing. The first was to develop a drug testing unit for health and law enforcement authorities to be used in the event of a suspected overdose or other serious health effects. It also recommended further investigation of a drug checking trial that could be accessed by people intending to use drugs (not just emergency services). Finally, it recommended an independent evaluation of the use of sniffer dogs to assess effectiveness and potential harm.

This was a step in the right direction, but the reality is that we already have sufficient evidence and a clear need to introduce pill testing services immediately. Rather than waiting for another review, and another two years, the Greens would fast track these recommendations to immediately reduce harm, increase access to medical information and advice, and prevent deaths by overdose.

You can read the inquiry’s final report here.

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