Legalised Cocaine is Safer Cocaine

     October 14, 2022 ·  

  • Legalised Cocaine is Safer Cocaine

    People all over the world are warming up to the idea of legalising cannabis, a drug widely regarded as relatively harmless.

    But can legal drug regulation work with cocaine? Let’s put it to the test.

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  • Problematic drug use and ADHD

     September 07, 2022 ·  

  • Problematic drug use and ADHD

     ADHD and Addictions

    Unfortunately, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is largely misunderstood as a diagnosis, often thought to be a childhood disorder which does not persist into the adult years. This is a common misconception and the prevalence of ADHD in the adult community is estimated to be anywhere between 5 to 10% of the population.

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  • Legal MDMA is Safer Ecstasy

     August 31, 2022 ·  

  • Legal MDMA is Safer Ecstasy

    What is MDMA?

    In the 1970s, MDMA was sold legally at clubs in America until it was banned in 1985.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Australians are the world’s second highest per capita consumers of MDMA.

    If MDMA consumption was an Olympic sport we would win silver.

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  • Fentanyl is Dangerous but so is Disinformation

     August 26, 2022 ·   · 1 reaction

  • Fentanyl is Dangerous but so is Disinformation

    Law enforcement and drug law reformers have been warning for years, that fentanyl will come to Australia.

    At Drug Policy Australia, we advocate for ensuring the Australian public is equipped with the information needed to make well-informed choices about what they use, so let’s make this clear.

    Fentanyl is very dangerous.

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  • Is it Time to Legalise Drugs?

     August 16, 2022 ·  

  • Is it Time to Legalise Drugs?

    Right before the pandemic shutdown shifted the focus of concern, NSW drug policy was under scrutiny with the then Berejiklian government baulking at pill testing trials to address drug-related deaths at events and rather attempting to shut down the festival industry as a response.

    Then NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian further commissioned the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice. However, two and a half years after it delivered 109 recommendations, the Coalition government is yet to respond, and any modest proposals raised have been shot down by cabinet.

    So, it’s against this backdrop that we held the Is It Time to Legalise Drugs? forum in Sydney, with a lineup of speakers representing some of the heavyweights in the drug law reform space, who came together to discuss the long recognised need to end a century of drug prohibition.

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  • 8 Myths About Drug and Alcohol Use and Treatment

     June 01, 2022 ·   · 1 reaction

  • 8 Myths About Drug and Alcohol Use and Treatment

    8 things film and TV get wrong about drug and alcohol treatment

    Nicole Lee, Curtin University; Jarryd Bartle, RMIT University, and Paula Ross, Australian Catholic University

    Drug use and addiction are popular themes in movies and television, but they often get things very wrong. Here are eight common myths about drugs you'll see on the silver screen.

    1. Rehab goes for 28 days

    In the movie 28 Days, Sandra Bullock is given a choice between prison and 28 days in a rehab centre.

    The 28-day program, popular in the United States, actually has nothing to do with the optimum treatment period.

    Health insurance companies in the US are only prepared to fund 28 days in rehab. So the 28-day rehab model was developed around funding, not effectiveness.

    We now think about three months of treatment is optimal. Treatment completion may be as important as treatment length. So completing a shorter treatment is better than dropping out of a longer one.

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  • AFP’s 416kg cocaine bust: Futile, performative and dangerous

     April 05, 2022 ·   · 1 reaction

  • AFP’s 416kg cocaine bust: Futile, performative and dangerous

    Confronting the reality of mass drug seizures.

    The seizure of 416kg of cocaine off the Yorke Peninsula dominated mainstream media headlines last week. Journalists around the country brainlessly regurgitated the glowing press release spoon-fed to them by the Australian Federal Police’s public relations department.

    Reporting diligently lauded the 21st of March operation as the largest illicit drug seizure in the history of South Australia, aggrandising the bust as an apparently monumental win against crime. Yet such coverage only obscures the reality of drug policing in Australia.

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  • It’s Time to Decriminalise Personal Drug Use. Here’s why

     March 22, 2022 ·  

  • It’s Time to Decriminalise Personal Drug Use. Here’s why

    The global "War on Drugs" is one of the single-most catastrophic public policy failures in history. 

    Now one Victorian MP has put forward a bill to decriminalise the personal possession and use of prohibited drugs.

    The private member's bill doesn't have the support of the government or opposition, so it's highly likely to fail, but it's started an important conversation about how our drug laws are harming people, and how we can improve them.

    The whole point of prohibition was to reduce drug use and drug-related harms. Not only has it failed to do so, it's had the opposite effect.

    Prohibition has expanded drug markets and created a more dangerous drug supply. Drug-related deaths increased 60% worldwide between 2000 and 2015. Illicit drugs now account for 1.3% of the global disease burden.

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  • Fentanyl: The Growing Threat to Australian Communities

     February 16, 2022 ·  

  • Fentanyl: The Growing Threat to Australian Communities

    Everyone is familiar with heroin, cocaine, and morphine. Commonly demonised and at times glamorised, these organic substances have been used and readily available for decades. However, recently a synthetic opioid, fentanyl, has seen increased use globally, both medically and recreationally.

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid made from readily available chemical precursors is typically used to treat severe and chronic pain in cancer patients. In 2006, fentanyl became more widely available when the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme expanded the approved use of fentanyl for other chronic pain, including nerve damage and major trauma. Unfortunately, whilst this novel form of pain relief may have its benefits, the expansion of the use of fentanyl began an ever-increasing trend of dangerous use and harmful consequences.

    Fentanyl Testing Strips Available. Free Postage Anywhere in Australia

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  • Drug decriminalisation can't be delayed any longer

     January 17, 2022 ·   · 2 reactions

  • Drug decriminalisation can't be delayed any longer

    On December 2, a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly made consideration of the passage of a bill to decriminalise possessing small quantities of illicit drugs dependent on the government coming up with a plan for effective treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance dependency problems.

    This was probably not the first time that the Assembly has resolved on a course that will undermine and delay the outcome that it seeks.

    The continued subjection of people who use certain substances to the non-therapeutic, stressful processes of criminal law compounds the underlying problems that may have led to their drug use. It can also exacerbate, and even initiate, any mental health problems that they may have.

    The criminalisation of drugs is a notorious driver of stigma and is one of the main reasons people who use drugs are reluctant to seek treatment, as well as being behind the crisis in the Australian mental health system. Criminalisation and the associated stigma that goes hand in hand with illicit drug use disinclines many mental health professionals from having anything to do with people in trouble with drugs.

    The select committee that considered the territory's decriminalisation bill heard witnesses describe the failure of the mental health system to provide help when it was needed. Mental health services were stretched to breaking point. For example, speaking on behalf of the AMA, Professor Jeffrey Looi, the head of psychiatry and addiction medicine at the ANU Medical School, observed that mainstream health services "frequently struggled to meet levels of demand that they face, because of unsustainable under-resourcing, understaffing and lack of infrastructure". He added that there were "constant problems with the level of capacity in relation to bed flows; having sufficient beds to care for people with acuity of conditions, with a substantial overlap of addiction medicine problems, including substance abuse ..." The committee also heard from parents at their wits' end. Mental health services, to whom parents had reached out for help, left them to handle their child's challenging conditions without meaningful support.

    It is of inestimable sadness that the intolerance of some parents to the drug use of their children pushes the recovery they yearn for more and more out of reach.

    The picture painted by witnesses speaking on behalf of drug treatment services was more optimistic, whereby even those who displayed florid co-occurring mental health and substance dependency problems were successfully engaged, retained and stabilised in a treatment service. Those services were also struggling with funding sufficient for only half the estimated demand, but, in responding to people with co-occurring conditions, they were clearly in a far less dysfunctional state than hospital emergency and mental health services. They all articulated the need for services that are accessible, effective and non-stigmatising. No wonder they solidly supported decriminalisation.

    It is vitally important that those services co-operate with one another so that the best outcomes can be achieved for those seeking help.

    Services like the King's Cross and Canadian medically supervised injecting centres have documented improvement in the mental health of patients. Heroin-assisted treatment now available in six or seven European and North American jurisdictions has also produced better mental health outcomes.

    A primary goal of drug services is to stabilise people so they are in a position to make better choices, rather than insisting on them being drug-free. Certainly everyone wants their loved one to be free of addiction, but if the choice is between continuing drug use and the higher risk of death from enforced abstinence, life should win.

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