Pill Testing at Music Festivals
New Zealand has a new plan that offers an interesting take on drug use, especially at music festivals. This plan comes on the heels of several overdoses at Australia’s music festivals. Though Australia is currently refusing to discuss the plan, New Zealand believes strongly in the idea. The basic plan is to offer pill testing at music festivals in which drugs like ecstasy are common. This is important as some pills are sold as ecstasy and related products but contain deadly ingredients like pesticide and paint. While this is typical of drugs that are manufactured such as ecstasy, pill testing would make use safer. The method does make the assumption that drugs will still be taken, but hopes to give users an opportunity to learn if the pills contain dangerous chemicals.
The idea comes with the understanding that the War on Drugs has been largely ineffective. What’s needed is a more understanding and compassionate approach where more people can be kept safe. It is clear that those dealing will still be arrested. However those with one or two pills will have the opportunity to stay safe and not gain a criminal record for a bad decision.
The hard reduction method is hoped to save lives. However, there is backlash with this idea. Some feel it would make it seem like taking illicit substances was safe or at least okay if they were first tested. This is refuted by proponents saying that pill testing will not increase drug use. Simply make it safer for those who would already use illicit drugs anyway. Those who do get pills tested often opt to take less of the drug or place it in the amnesty bin to be destroyed.
Preventing Drug Use
There are no sure-fire ways to prevent drug use. Someone who is adamant about trying or using drugs will always find a way. However there are some precautions that can be taken when children are in their late childhood and early teenage years. The most critical component is age appropriate open communication. Your child needs to feel comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns, but most of all you need to feel comfortable sharing with them, the dangers of drugs and drug use.
Risk of drug use increases during times of transition. This could apply to physical transitions or psychological transitions, such as becoming a teenager, changing schools, divorce, or even moving. Often during transition phases, children are exposed to substances for the first time and may feel pressured to use them to fit into social situations. While a certain amount of risk taking is acceptable, drug experimentation can make young people more vulnerable to undesirable situations. Also, because the brain is still developing at this age, drug use can disrupt important brain functions and development.
Identifying a Drug Addiction
If you are concerned you have an addiction or that someone you love may be addicted, then there are a few signs that may point to that direction. First, know what addiction means. Addiction is defined as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. Prominent signs of addiction include:
- Taking prescription drugs long after they are needed
- Building a tolerance to a specific drug or substance (needing more to feel the same way)
- Strange feelings once the drugs wear off (withdrawal symptoms)
- Trying to stop the substance of addiction, but being unable to
- Trouble with friends, family, or work related to the addiction
- Thinking or obsessing about the drug or the next hit
- Losing interest in things or hobbies or people you once loved
- Using and then doing dangerous things (operating a vehicle, unprotected sex)
- Hiding drug use from others
- Getting multiple prescriptions for the same drugs or similar drugs
- Mixing medications in spite of warnings, may also purposely take excess medication
- Physical changes (weight loss or gain, poor hygiene, bloodshot eyes, etc.)
If these are present, then there is a good chance an addiction is present and that help should be sought.
While conversations may not prevent all drug use and pill testing may not prevent all overdoses, we still need to find ways that a single try or even several attempts at drug use does not ruin a life. Experimentation, while not healthy, is somewhat normal. Hopefully, it will not lead to addiction and the lessons will be learned immediately, but if not then help is available. DARA rehab offers help in dealing with addiction whenever someone is ready to seek help.
Why DARA Rehab
DARA rehab offers many locations in Australia that include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, among others in different countries. DARA is an inpatient rehab facility with programs of different lengths to suit your personalized needs. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation, at least at DARA, works because it removes you from the environmental triggers in your normal environment. This takes you away from what caused you to start using in the first place. Once you are in a safe environment that is totally drug free, you can concentrate on beginning the process of living substance use free. This is not always an easy process, but it is one that DARA can help you attain and provide the tools to maintain after being discharged from the facility.
DARA does this through an intense, yet effective program. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan that will include physical wellness aspects, counseling, and even education, along with time to relax, unwind, and build their spiritual side. There is a concentration focused on dealing with the underlying issues behind your personal drug use with a commitment to teaching each patient better and appropriate coping skills.
It is possible to live a happy, fulfilled life without drugs and alcohol, and you are worth the effort necessary. DARA can help, but you have to make the call. Someone will be available to answer seven days a week, 24 hours a day to help direct you into the next steps. Make the call and change your life today.
CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.