Prior to the release of the full report regarding prevention of drug-related deaths at music festivals, debate still continues over what strategies would be in place for education around drugs and alcohol, and young people.

Several recommendations by the NSW Coroner were leaked to the media.

One of the revealed recommendations was for health and education departments to work with private drug educators, including pill testing advocate and educator, Paul Dillon, from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training.
This news has been met with disappointment from anti-drug campaigners such as Tony Wood, who lost his own 15-year-old daughter, Anna, to a drug overdose at a dance party in 1995.

“I think using someone like that to work with the education department is going in the wrong direction,” Mr Wood said.

At the time of the inquest into Anna’s death, Mr Dillon gave evidence that Anna had died from drinking too much water which was consistent with the findings of the coroner.

This comment upset the Woods family who are against pill testing and stand for drug education rather than harm minimisation.

Mr Dillon also gave evidence that teenagers who aren’t carrying drugs are often traumatised by current practices at music festivals such as sniffer dogs and strip searches.

The full NSW Coroner’s report will be released in early November.

Reference: Wednesday 16 October 2019

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