NSW teen Alex Ross-King died on Saturday after she took a substance at the FOMO music festival in Sydney.
NSW teen Alex Ross-King died on Saturday after she took a substance at the FOMO music festival in Sydney.

Festival goers take action after drug overdoses

DIY drug-testing kits are flying off shelves after a spate of fatal overdoses at music festivals.

The suspected overdose of Brisbane's Joshua Tam, 22, at a NSW festival last month has sparked calls for pill testing to be rolled out at Queensland music events.

Those calls are intensifying after yet another death at the weekend.

On Saturday, NSW teen Alex Ross-King died after she took a substance at the FOMO music festival in Sydney.

The 19-year-old was yesterday remembered as a "beautiful soul gone way too early".

But many drug users are already taking matters into their own hands, with one testing kit supplier experiencing booming sales.

NSW teen Alex Ross-King died on Saturday after she took a substance at the FOMO music festival in Sydney.
NSW teen Alex Ross-King died on Saturday after she took a substance at the FOMO music festival in Sydney.

EZ Test Australia's Steve Bourke said there had been more interest from Queenslanders over the holiday period.

"There's definitely been an increase in Queensland, I'm getting orders from up there every other day," he told The Courier-Mail.

The testing kits cater to a wide variety of drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamine, GHB, bath salts and cannabis.

The tests measure the purity of a drug and, in some cases, contaminants.

"They're not foolproof, they are harm minimisation - at least you have a bit more knowledge about what you're going to take - that's what they're good for," Mr Bourke said.

The kits, which are sourced from Holland, are sold at 15 stores across Queensland, including Off Ya Tree in Brisbane and Punktured in Surfers Paradise.

Mr Bourke said sales had been up 20 per cent through last year with a 120 per cent hike in December nationwide.

The timing coincides with a smattering of major music festivals across the country.

The spate of deaths at Australian music festivals has led to a debate over whether pill testing should become state sanctioned.

Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies has thrown its support behind pill testing, while the State Government is examining a trial of the devices conducted at a Canberra music festival last year.

However, the Queensland Police Union has rubbished the idea, believing it would only lead to more deaths.