COMMENT: Sign petition and help to protect young people

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Janine Milburn would give anything to get her beloved daughter, Georgia, back. She faced every mother’s worst nightmare when the 18-year-old died after taking two pills at the Mutiny Festival in May.

She watched helplessly as Georgia’s temperature rose so high it made her fit for 45 minutes. Then, as her heart stopped and her lungs filled with blood, Janine had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off the machines that were keeping Georgia alive.

Now, amidst her grief, Janine is determined to do all she can to prevent such a tragedy happening to any other families.

We urge all News readers to back a petition she has launched that aims to improve drug safety and education at music festivals. She wants the government to introduce ‘Georgia’s Law’, which would require organisers to inform festivalgoers about the dangers of taking drugs and to ensure stricter security is in place.

The petition already has more than 600 signatures, but Janine needs 10,000 names to ensure that her call for a new law is debated in Parliament.

We agree with her that there needs to be better education among young people about the dangers of drink and drugs. As she says: ‘Drugs, especially pills, are used a lot more these days by kids and people’s attitudes need to change.’

What happened at the Mutiny Festival was shocking. Twenty-year-old Tommy Cowan was also found collapsed shortly after Georgia and later died in hospital. Young people need to have more information and advice and warning signs of the potential side-effects of drugs should be erected at every festival. Drug testing stations should be made mandatory.

Janine’s focus now is trying to prevent other mothers going through the devastating experience of losing a child and we wish her well with her mission.