Mel Greig: We need to embrace pill testing

Festivalgoers at Groovin the Moo in Canberra took part in Australia’s first ever pill testing trial, and I’m all for it.

To think that pill testing will encourage more people to take illicit drugs is very naïve, the testing is about reducing harm for the people that have already chosen to take unknown substances.

The results that came out from the weekend were alarming, but not surprising, and its purpose of saving lives was very much a reality with two potentially deadly pills discovered.

The reality is, people will take drugs, says Mel. Photo: Instagram/melgreigradio

The best thing about the testing was that some people threw out their pills when they discovered what was in them, they made the responsible choice after being given the resources to be educated. That’s what it’s all about.

The reality is, people will try illicit drugs and you won’t ever stop that.

Adults should be making smarter decisions, but if we take a look at 16 to18-year olds at music festivals they have a completely different mindset and maturity to adults. They are far easier to influence.

I was a 16-year-old girl that made bad choices. I was a teen runaway and hung out with the wrong crowd. The peer pressure that comes with that often takes away the ability to make smart choices.

Festivalgoers at Groovin the Moo were given the opportunity to pill test. Photo: Instagram/dannyhowe

I have always been open about my journey and experimenting with drugs at a young age, the curiosity and the need to be ‘cool’ can get the better of you.

I was a straight A student, a farm girl with a loving upbringing – but I rebelled to try and make friends and discover myself.

You might be the most hands-on, vigilant, understanding and caring parent in the world and you hope that you’ve done everything you can to guide your child in making the right decision. But sometimes the choices they make are out of your control.

People were given the opportunity to visit a tent at the festival to have their pills tested and know what was in them. Photo: Getty

So, as a parent, knowing there is a high chance your child might try drugs, wouldn’t you rather know there is a system out there to help save their lives? To test their pills so they are given the information they need before making a fatal mistake?

Let’s not hide under a rock and simply say “Drugs are bad mkayyyy”. We need to start understanding how young people think and what we can do to really make a difference.

Telling someone not to do something won’t often stop someone, but showing them what can happen and arming them with the facts WILL make a difference.

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