Fixed-site pill testing centre open for business

Women getting advice on drugs. | Newsreel
A new fixed-site pill testing centre will provide advice on drug use. | Photo: Fat Camera (iStock)

Queensland’s first fixed-site pill testing centre has opened.

CheQpoint will operate in the Brisbane inner-city suburb of Bowen Hills and offer services every Friday.

State Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said drug checking services were free, voluntary, and confidential.

Minister Fentiman said It involved testing the substances a person intends to use, while providing a health intervention aimed at reducing risks associated with illicit drug use by helping people make informed choices.

The opening of the permanent site follows an event-based service being offered at the recent Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival.

The CheQpoint drug checking service is a partnership between the Queensland Injectors Health Network, The Loop Australia, and the Queensland Injectors Voice for Advocacy and Action.

They will deliver fixed-site services at two locations in southeast Queensland, alongside at least one festival-based service in 2024.

Minister Fentiman said these Queensland-based providers had a long-standing history of delivering specialist alcohol and other drug treatment and harm reduction to Queenslanders, including dedicated peer supports.

“The addition of fixed site services improves access to drug checking for more people, more regularly,” she said.

The State Government has also engaged the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research to evaluate the services and develop a statewide monitoring framework for drug checking.

Planning for the second fixed site is underway and will involve co-design processes with people with lived experience of substance use, potential service users and other key stakeholders.

Drug checking services will also be available at another festival in May.