Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Canberra wants your input on drug strategy

The next five years of drugs strategy is being formulated by the Federal Government. While they are seeking input from experts and the community, the following introduction on the consultation website implies that there will be no fundamental change:
Australia's National Drug Strategy 2004–2009 is in its final year of implementation. The Strategy has been evaluated by independent experts under the auspices of the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (MCDS). The evaluation found that the Strategy and its three pillars of supply, demand and harm reduction are fundamentally sound and have been vital to the success of the Strategy in reducing the prevalence of, and harms from, drug use in Australia over a long period.

Nonetheless, significant harms from drug use continue to occur in Australia and new trends are emerging. This Consultation Paper aims to identify emerging issues and seek input from expert stakeholders and the broader community on directions for the next phase of the Strategy 2010–2015.
My translation of that: 'A prohibition model will remain despite a lack of objective evidence that it works, but we are prepared to strengthen harm reduction strategies.'

If they were serious about that they would recommend more medically supervised injecting centres. The Kings Cross Centre has been evaluated to death, and it works well. Nevertheless it remains the only such facility in Australia and the NSW government maintains it on a trial-only basis.

All written submissions can be forwarded to the National Drug Strategy Consultation inbox ( or sent to:

National Drug Strategy Consultation

MDP 27

GPO Box 9848

Canberra ACT 2601

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 24 February 2010.

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