Pill-testing could have saved revellers' lives, inquest hears

Sniffer dogs, body searches and police presence CONTRIBUTED to the deaths of six revellers at Australian music festivals - and pill testing could have saved them, inquest hears Dr Stephen Bright said pill testing could have prevented death of revellers  He said the practice could have informed them of risks that come with MDMA  Some medical experts argued there was little evidence it would prevent deaths

By Karen Ruiz For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 17:13 BST, 16 July 2019 | Updated: 17:13 BST, 16 July 2019

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Sniffer dogs, body searches and police presence contributed to the deaths of revellers at Australian music festivals, an inquest has heard.  

Dr Stephen Bright spoke out in support of pill-testing on Tuesday, which he said could have prevented the tragedies by informing festival-goers of the 'increased risk of hyperpyrexia' when taking MDMA.

Dr Bright told the inquest heavy police presence and drug detection methods used by officers at festivals should be regarded as 'contributing' to the deaths of revellers, The Daily Telegraph reported.   

Callum Brosnan, Nathan Tran, Diana Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Joshua Tam and Alexandra Ross-King died from MDMA toxicity or complications of MDMA between 2017 and 2018. They were aged between 18 and 23.

The tragic deaths have sparked debate over pill-testing, which has been disputed by some medical experts who say there is little evidence it will reduce overdoses. 

Alexandra Ross-King

Callum Brosnan, 19, collapsed at Olympic Park train station after attending the Knockout Games of Destiny electronic dance music event in December 2018

Deputy State Coroner is examining the drug-related deaths of six young people at NSW music festivals between December 2017 and January 2019. Alexandra Ross-King (left) and Callum Brosnan (right) were among the group of revellers who died 

Forensic psychologist Russ Scott and Brisbane doctor Ian Scott concluded the risk of MDMA deaths was 'entirely unpredictable,' the Daily Telegraph reported. 

Pill-testing had its first official run during the Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra in 2018, which saw 83 substances tested.

The music festival conducted pill-testing for the second time this year with a total of 234 participants and 171 drug samples.

While MDMA was the most prominent substance identified, volunteers said other drugs were also tested throughout the day, including cocaine, ketamine and LSD.

Diana Nguyen, 21, died at Defqon.1, in September 2018

Diana Nguyen, 21, died at Defqon.1, in September 2018

But even with testing, Russ Scott and Ian Scott revealed in 2017,

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