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Media Release: ‘It’s not too late to stop a spate of deaths this Christmas – act today”

Press Releases | Dec 1, 2019

The national campaign for safer, saner drug laws ‘Take Control’ says it’s not too late to avoid another horrific summer of festival deaths, as it expresses its deep regret for the death of another young person at the Strawberry Fields Festival, with reports suggesting he ingested a mixture of substances.

“Governments around Australia have a responsibility to put the health and safety of children first. There is clear evidence from the Coroner that the current approach is increasing, not reducing danger to young people,” Matt Noffs, CEO of Ted Noffs Foundation and campaign spokesperson.

“Premier Berejiklian, we are asking for something, anything – we need leadership and commitment. Not more law enforcement, no more strip searches. But a search to find a way – any way – to save these young lives. It’s not too late to stop more deaths this season.

“NSW has a responsibility to do everything possible to stop another summer of festival deaths with all the available evidence, and that includes pill testing.

“How many young Australians need to die this Summer before our leaders own up to the fact that the failed ‘just say no’ strategy is hurting our kids? It doesn’t work. But we know what does work – harm minimisation measures like pill testing.

“Parents are understandably scared and it’s not good enough that governments are ignoring the evidence.

“We have doctors and drug treatment experts standing by to make live music and festivals safer for our kids with pill testing.

“Young people can get drugs easily, but don’t know what they are taking. In responding to tragedy we must sometimes face hard truths. Decades of a punitive approach where we arrest young people has not worked. It is time to take practical steps to make parties safer for our kids.

“Pill testing is not a silver bullet but it’s an excellent way to help prevent this kind of tragedy and has majority support from Australians.”

1st December 2019

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