More than 30 of Australia’s health and social service organisations and policy leaders have agreed to work together to raise public awareness that current Australian drug laws, although well-intentioned, create or worsen a wide range of health and social harms.
As the year comes to a close, Australia21 is proud to release our 2016-17 Annual Report. We did a lot with very little over the period, running nationally significant projects, boosting our profile and calibrating the goals that will keep us powering on through 2017-2018.
The final Australia21 Board meeting of 2017 was a rare opportunity to meet face-to-face. The time together sowed the seeds for new approaches and themes, while revealing fresh sources of energy and providing a strong foundation for the work to come in 2018.
Portugal’s 2001 drug law reforms have worked: drops in HIV infections, overdose deaths, crime and problematic use. Meanwhile, the punitive approach in other countries (including Australia) has been costly and ineffective. As Alex Wodak notes, attitudes are finally changing in the face of evidence.
It’s December! That means there’s a long hot summer of celebrations and music festivals ahead. Australia21 has done a lot of research into the use of alcohol and other drugs and the evidence is clear: preventing and reducing harm is far more important than punishing people for their mistakes. So here are a few tips for getting through without too much damage.
There is perhaps no greater anguish than that of a parent who has witnessed their child suffer and die. But the grief is compounded when they see others go through the same preventable trauma and loss year after year, decade after decade, while governments ignore the evidence that could save the lives of their children.
Populist agendas do not make for effective health policy: the SA Opposition should promise better drug education instead of sniffer dogs for schools, to help stop deaths and criminalisation.
Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines show how prohibition has made a global problem far worse, according to Australia21 Director Dr Alex Wodak.