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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.
The first school to adopt ‘Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack’ has integrated it into VCE Global Politics. Download it now and get students talking!
The ACT Government’s decision to allow pill testing at the Spilt Milk festival will prevent overdoses and toxicity. Other Australian jurisdictions should also put harm reduction first.
Australian schools have started using a ground-breaking teaching resource that changes the way drug and alcohol issues are addressed among students, giving them the tools for informed discussion and evidence-based analysis of drug policies. Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack has been designed by Australia21, YoungA21 and the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation (ALDAF) to engage young people in a way that has never been done before in Australia.
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.