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Hospital Blasts Oz Overdose Rave ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on December 21, 2007

Australian hospital chief Andrew Rowe from Ballarat Health Services stepped up his campaign against the Ultraworld dance festival this week, days after fourteen revellers were rushed to his hospital suffering from overdoses.

"If you're an existing patient in the emergency department and a rave is on you may be delayed from receiving care,” Mr Rowe told ABC News, “Similarly you may not be able to get in the intensive care unit if it is full with overdoses."

Several days earlier, he complained to reporters that his hospital had been close to overloaded, with three of the 14 partygoers requiring intensive care treatment including being fully intubated (attached to life support machinery).

"I am calling on the shire of Moorabool, the organisers, and Kryal Castle to start showing some responsibility and not hold any further rave parties,” Mr Rowe told the Australian Herald Sun, “Nothing is more certain than someone will die at a rave party at Kryal Castle,”  
he predicted.

Following the rave, harm reduction expert Damon Brogan from health organisation VIVAIDS blamed cops for the overdoses, suggesting many partygoers had swallowed their stashes rather than being arrested, when scores of cops invaded the rave with sniffer dogs. However, Victoria Police Inspector Chris Duthie disagreed.

“"It's an absolute nonsense,” the Inspector told the Herald Sun, “If these people are that stupid to think taking drugs has better consequences than getting caught, that really is ridiculous," he said.

The sniffer dog issue has remained controversial in Australia ever since police were authorised to use dogs for random searches in 2001, particularly following a report by the independent New South Wales ombudsman in 2006 which discovered dogs get it wrong three out of four times.

“Our review found that despite the best efforts of police officers, the use of drug detection dogs has proven to be an ineffective tool for detecting drug dealers,” the ‘Review of the Police Powers (Drug Detection Dogs) Act 2001’ reported.

“Overwhelmingly, the use of drug detection dogs has led to public searches of individuals in which no drugs were found, or to the detection of (mostly young) adults in possession of very small amounts of cannabis for personal use,” the ombudsman added.
(Shaggy dog stories) (Drug dogs)

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