Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) congratulates the Victorian Government on their announcement of an 18-month drug-checking trial starting this summer, supported by peer work.

Commonly known as ‘pill testing’, this implementation trial means young people who choose to take drugs will be fully informed about the risks before taking them. We know this saves lives and reduces drug-related harm like overdose.

YACVic CEO Mary Nega says, “this trial is a great step in the right direction to treating drug use from a health perspective.”

YACVic particularly welcomes the inclusion of trained peer workers in the trial. Ms Nega says “young people regularly turn to their peers as the people who ‘get it’. A peer workforce will ensure the drug testing services are relevant and accessible.”

People who take drugs will be able to access mobile testing at a range of festivals and events. There will also be a fixed site in inner Melbourne. Testing will be confidential and non-judgemental.

Technology on testing sites will be able to test most pills, powders, capsules, crystals or liquids to help identify if there are dangerous chemicals present. People will be informed about what’s in the drug and given health advice to support their decision-making.

“No family should live the preventable tragedies we saw this past summer. Evidence shows again and again that when governments provide drug testing, they save young people’s lives. This move will directly help young people who choose to take drugs to make safer choices,” says Ms Nega.

Media contact: Media & Communications Coordinator Katia Pellicciotta – 0498 730 553 or

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading policy advocate for young people aged 12-25 and the youth sector in Victoria. Established in 1960, YACVic advocates for the rights of young people in Victoria to ensure they are active, visible and valued in their communities.