Analysis of Arguments Reflected in the Readings
Number of words: 1099
The use of drugs and substance abuse among young people has been one of the issues that affect young people’s lives. Most people start taking drugs as young as ten years of age. Most of the people who take the drugs do not know the harm they are engaging themselves in. Some of the young people take drugs as entertainment, especially when they go to music festivals. These drugs are sold when young people are together; hence it becomes hard to track the suppliers of the drugs. The drugs taken by young people are available in different forms. Some are in powder form, some are in crystal form, and others are pills, while others are in liquid form. There are many drugs globally, and young people engage in these drugs without knowing the harm they are causing to their bodies. Following the deaths of the young Australian students during the national music festivals, the media has started debating about pill testing as a harm reduction strategy. The two articles have highlighted various points about pill testing, explain why the government should consider the system and some critical oppositions against this strategy.
According to Morgan & Jones (2019), the Australian National Drug Strategy aims to include demand, harm and reduction. This aligns with the objectives of pill testing: the reduction of harm of the drugs taken by young people. Pill testing can be defined as the strategy of analyzing the drugs to ensure that the users’ content is safe. The drugs are tested, and the results are issued to the public regarding which pill is safe and which one is not secure. Although this might not be an excellent preventive measure, it is a good strategy since it will, after all, reduce the number of deaths of young people who engage in drug use. According to Morgan & Jones (2019), reducing drug use among young people is not easy. So many cartels are involved in the spread of drug use among young people, making it hard to track the flow of these drugs. However, I think that oil testing will be met with much opposition by the young people. Most young people take drugs is that they can feel high. If the drugs are tested, and the contents that make them affects the young people rea removed, then the young people might stop taking the pills. Is this what the young people want? Will this strategy work effectively with the young persons, or will they refuse to accept the drugs that have passed the test and take those not tested? What I the strategy will not be helpful, will the government go ahead and implement it?
Groves (2018) affirms that pill testing will be hard to achieve among young people. A lot must be done to ensure that young people know the importance of embracing this strategy. Following the many deaths, the media has a massive role in ensuring that information about the significance of pill testing is spread in the country. Other countries worldwide have embraced the strategy, and it is working in reducing the number of young deaths due to drug use. Pragmatisms should be encouraged as it will be a good way of reducing harm among young people. According to Groves (2018), pragmatism should be embraced since it is the only viable solution for now. The results show that there is a need for policy reforms. Following this, the attitudinal and cultural shifts and beliefs should change since times are changing (Groves, 2018). If this happens, then a rational and logical approach that tackles drug use issues will be implemented quickly. Pill testing can be used as a preventive strategy and a harm reduction strategy, provided all the involved policymakers adhere to the rules and regulations about this procedure.
There are several reasons why various policymakers are against pill testing as a harm reduction strategy. One of the arguments is that the testing technique is not accurate enough to identify all the components of the drugs (Morgan & Jones, 2019). This is one argument that I think can be addressed by using the latest equipment to test the components of the pills. The government needs to use the newest technology to doubt that the pill testing technique can be satisfied. Another argument against pill testing is that the methods available onsite cannot provide a quantitative analysis required to prevent overdose (Morgan & Jones, 2019). This argument is valid since the materials on site might not be enough to test the drugs thoroughly. However, a lot can be done about such issues, and the process will be made effective and efficient. For example, instead of testing the drug onsite, it can be taken to laboratories designed for pill testing only. This will help to ensure that the process is efficient and the results will be acceptable to all policymakers. The arguments against the use of pill testing as a harm reduction strategy are valid. However, they can be addressed by incorporating a well-designed system.
Pill testing has been done in Australia to evaluate how it works and how effective it can be. The Greens Political party conducted pill testing activities in the country. Eighteen pill testing services were done, with the political party providing all the necessities to ensure that the procedure was done effectively. Following the guidelines, it was revealed that pill testing is one way to help reduce harm in drugs taken by young people. As a result, dangerous illicit medicines with new psychoactive substances or unusual dosages were detected (Morgan & Jones, 2019). Besides, the practice led to indirect harm reduction through the increased education of a hard-to-reach group of drug users (Morgan & Jones, 2019).
The arguments regarding the use of pill testing are very interesting. However, I think that a solution regarding the use of drugs among young people should be found. The solution, for now, is pill testing, and it should be implemented. All the concerns that make pill testing to be opposed should be addressed to embrace the procedure thoroughly. Pill testing will lead to a lot of improvement in the fight against drug use among young people. The young people will now be responsible enough to take drugs that will not harm their health to the extent of causing death.
Groves, A. (2018). ‘Worth the Test?’ Pragmatism, Pill Testing and Drug Policy in Australia. Harm Reduction Journal, 15(1), 1-13. doi:10.1186/s12954-018-0216-z
Morgan, J., & Jones, A. (2019). Pill-testing as a Harm Reduction Strategy: Time to Have the Conversation. Perspectives, 447-448. doi:10.5694/mja2.50385