Harm Reduction Australia (HRA) is a national organisation for individuals across Australia to join together in their commitment to reducing the health, social and economic harms potentially associated with drug use. Making your voice heard is crucial if we are to achieve more humane, effective and balanced drug policies in Australia and beyond. To help join now and show your support.
The argument to criminalize “street drugs,” and severely punish their sellers and users, is largely based on the assumption that a “tough on crime” approach will reduce addiction and abuse of these dangerous substances. Criminalizing drug use consistently fails to address the health problems of addiction, and drives the drug trade underground where crime, violence and death flourish. […]
“The police and the Coalition government aren’t testing drivers for the drugs like benzos and cocaine that tend to be taken by middle and upper class Australia. This is despite the fact we can see they are serious contributors to road accidents. Instead the police focus is on drugs like cannabis and MDMA that are more commonly taken by young people and people on lower incomes.” […]
There’s a better way. It’s called harm reduction. This approach focuses on reducing the negative effects of drug use rather than on punishing people who use drugs in an often-futile attempt to make them stop. Harm reduction options like supervised injection facilities or drug consumption rooms have successfully prevented fatal overdoses and connected people to treatment in cities such as Vancouver, Sydney, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Zurich; there are 74 official drug consumption facilities in Europe alone. […]
“This is the first time that there has been no increase since we started monitoring coverage of harm reduction services in 2008. Access to one of the most important HIV prevention and harm reduction services is stagnating, while rates of injecting drug use are increasing.” […]