Drug Policy Australia is a public health NGO primarily concerned with promoting new approaches to minimise the health risks and other harms caused by the use of both licit and illicit Drugs which affects the well-being of all Australians.
"We believe that legally enforced abstinence is unrealistic and counter-productive in modern Australia which has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of illicit drugs in the western world."
Johann Hari is a patron of Drug Policy Australia. Please support our work.
According to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey published by the Australian Government's Institute of Health and Welfare, 3 million Australians aged over 14 used illicit drugs within the preceding 12-months. It is estimated by Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that in 2016 Australians spent over $9.3 billion a year on illicit recreational drugs.
Some of the greatest harms from using illicit drugs are because they are illegal.
Illegal drug production is unregulated and many drugs are manufactured in backyard labs. Users cannot be sure what’s in them or how potent they are, so the risk of adverse reactions, including overdose and death, is high.
A large proportion of the work of the justice system – police, courts and prisons – is occupied with drug-related offences. Many people have a criminal record for possessing drugs intended for personal use, which can affect their work prospects.Read more >>
Essay by Kofi Annan former Secretary-General of the United Nation
In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions.
Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed.Read more >>
Psychedelic experiences have left an indelible mark on my soul that I hold dear to my identity today.
I am not alone. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2013, one in three of us have tried cannabis and one in ten regularly indulge. Hundreds of thousands of us use MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and many others every year. I’m a child of the internet age and the communities we have built together online cross the national boundaries. Psychedelic culture is a global phenomenon, expressed through art, music, philosophy and celebrations across the globe.Read more >>
Harm Reduction Australia’s Statement on the National Ice Action Strategy
Harm Reduction Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s first step to shift from a law enforcement focus to a health-based approach to addressing drug issues in Australia.
There is little doubt that the Government recognises the evidence and value of treating drug use as a health issue.
However, if Australia’s response is to evolve, be agile and truly reflect the current evidence, then there is a pressing need for all governments to also embrace harm reduction as a critical component of their health based response to drug use.
While demonstrating real progress, the recent announcement falls short of this mark.Read more >>
Special Report by Nick Wallis from Washinton DC
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference was held in mid-November in Washinton DC. It brought together over 1000 attendees representing over 30 different countries. The event was hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance, a US non-profit focused on drug law reform grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. The conference was certainly a melting pot of ideas for those seeking policy reform, but it was also clear that much that needs to be done, with so many still harmed by the policy of prohibition.
"Drug Addiction in Australia" is a fascinating new book by Doctor John Sherman, an addiction specialist who is an expert in the treatment of heroin dependence.
It is based on John’s experience working with heroin addicts in Melbourne over 40 years in specialist clinics in St Kilda and Footscray.Read more >>