986 Pill Testing vs decriminalising drugs

Is Pill Testing the answer to drug abuse accidents? A letter to the newspaper.


Jody Morgan (SMH) is a scientist, a chemist and a toxicologist. Fitz on Sunday is a prominent journo; between the two of them they see pill testing as the least of evils in the fight against drug-deaths; as opposed to the government, who think it is evil per se and think pill testing endorses drug taking. Furthermore, Morgan says: “Any information we can provide these individuals is with the specific aim of harm reduction; anything we can do to make their illicit drug consumption safer - not safe, but safer - is the best pathway to improve public health.”


I beg to differ. 


It is not good enough to make illicit drug consumption ‘safer’, it indeed can be made ‘safe’. Morgan also says: “Most young people who use recreational drugs have never spoken to a health care professional about the drug use and this provides a unique opportunity to explain what illicit drugs do to their body …” However, the solution is to force drug users to consult with their GP even before they make their purchases.


To this end all drugs shall have their illicit status removed; they would be produced by the major, established, safe drug companies and supplied by chemists on scripts issued by GPs after a lengthy, in-depth, personalised education, where the advice to the drug taker is given with taking their physical status and health history into account. The GPs will also keep a record of the drugs people take. 


People have taken drugs in the past and will take drugs in future; no amount of policing, sniffer dogs, strip searches and government procrastination will make any difference. Neither will pill testing. But with the measure of legalising drugs, education and record keeping, deaths likely will be avoided and the criminal element potentially will be ameliorated.