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Sheds light on her raver past, calls for more public education on drugs

Following a slew of drug-related deaths at EDM festivals stateside over the last 12 months, CNN host and TV reporter Lisa Ling has devoted an episode of her show, This is Life with Lisa Ling, to the issue of drug use at dance music festivals.

As part of the documentary, that sees Ling visit EDM-heavy festival Mysteryland and talk to ravers on-site, as well as interview the parents of a recent drug-related casualty, Ling also admits to taking drugs herself — specifically at underground raves during her university days. 

"I was never a big drinker and pot has always made me paranoid. It certainly wasn't that I needed to consume illicit substances to feel a release, but the first time I attended a rave in the early '90s, the weights I carried on my shoulders started to dissipate with ease," Ling writes, via the CNN website. 

"Those events were hardly the massive EDM (electronic dance music) festivals of today. In fact, they were totally underground," she says.

Refreshingly, the focus of the show is not on placing blame but promoting education, with Ling interviewing advocates of on-site festival drug testing including a vigilante group named the Bunk Police, who regularly smuggle testing kits into festivals in an attempt to make drug use safer

"What young people need to be aware of when they decide to take Molly or Ecstasy is that there are risks just like there were when I carelessly took it," Ling says. 

"I was young, but I had no excuse not to know," she finishes. 

The timing of the show couldn't be more perfect, with hundreds of people arrested for drug possession over the weekend at Live Nation's HARD Day Of The Dead in California, the same festival where two teenagers died after consuming Molly earlier in 2015. 

Watch snippets from This is Life with Lisa Ling and read Lisa Ling's essay on her own drug use here.