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“We’ve been getting calls from promoters all around the country wanting us to do pill testing, there’s been a change in momentum,” Mr Vumbaca said. “They do a hell of a lot of work in maintaining patron safety and protecting the health of patrons. While program like ours is not a silver bullet, it’s part of a suite of measures they’d like to have available.[…]
Harm Reduction Australia have spoken out in reaction to the Berejiklian government’s decision to introduce harsher laws for drugs at festivals. […]
The next time someone dies at a music festival and their family asks why and whether pill testing could have made a difference I guess the answer in NSW is – sorry, we don’t talk about that here. […]
The lost decade in the global war on drugs – New report shows 10-year United Nations drug strategy set to conclude in colossal failure
Vienna, 22 October 2018 – A report released today by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) has exposed the United Nations 10-year global strategy aimed to eradicate the illegal drug market by 2019 as a spectacular failure of policy and urged a re-think of its new strategy for the next decade. […]
HRA welcomes our colleagues from across the world as new signatories to the Charter – including important organisations in Australia such as Family Drug Support and the ACT Greens.
The NCA’s willingness to potentially endanger the health and well-being of the community it supposedly serves is a betrayal of trust. The federal government’s complicity in allowing such a decision to stand, without evening engaging the medical and health professionals providing the pill-testing service, speaks to the lack of due diligence, perhaps even cowardice, in the decision-making process. […]
On behalf of the STA-SAFE Consortium and our colleagues in New Zealand – we are please to release the Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing.
We are also encouraging organisations and individuals that support the principles outlined in this charter contacting Harm Reduction Australia to be listed as signatory.
Harm Reduction Australia is hoping to raise $100,000 to roll out more music festival pill testing trials, following the success of the first pilot in Canberra. […]
Governments across the country need to publicly acknowledge that our health and law enforcement systems have worked, and can continue to work, effectively together in the grey areas of life. No-one wants to see young people (or any people) harmed from drug use but to simply believe that we have the ability to prevent supply and prevent drug use is at best fanciful and at worst tragic. […]
The need for drug policy reform remains as urgent as ever. We need to talk to our politicians, write to the newspapers, enlist the support of young people who are so often damaged by current drug policies. By educating people on the pitfalls of current drug policy, we stand a chance of getting the community onside. […]
When I am asked by people at the ceremony why people using drugs are treated as criminals and pursued by the law, I have to be honest and say I don’t know why, in the face of all the evidence, we have governments that still prefer to punish rather than help. […]
A Better System for Better Outcomes
Harm Reduction Australia and ScriptWise are calling for improvements in opioid treatment due to the current lack of availability, acceptability and affordability of treatment for affected Australians.
Harm Reduction Australia has written to the Federal, State & Territory Governments, as well as Opposition Leaders and Shadow Ministers to offer pill testing in their jurisdictions.
See the letters here:
Prepared by the Safety Testing Advisory Service At Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) Consortium […]
Harm Reduction Australia and ScriptWise are joining forces to host a national summit in Canberra on May 23 to re-think outdated policies and increase access to opioid treatment. The current system, the two organisations say, must be updated to ensure Australia avoids continuing on a trajectory towards the opioid crisis currently being seen in the US. […]
On behalf of our STA-SAFE consortium partners, Harm Reduction Australia would like to advise that the first pill testing trial to ever be held in Australia took place in Canberra on Sunday the 29th of April.
HRA held three OTP forums in 2017. Reports on each of the forums are now available:
Here is a plan for governments of all persuasions in 2018:
1. Convene a national summit to commit to introducing policies that reduce drug harm.
2. Redirect funding from ineffective policies and practices to those that are effective.
3. Stop criminalising people for the simple act of possessing or using drugs and expunge the existing records of people with such convictions […]
The answer is not to give away the game of trying to control an uncontrollable market, but rather to learn from history and approach the problem with a clear headed focus on evidence. The answer lies in decriminalisation of personal use of drugs, regulation of the market and reducing the demand for drugs, not a focus on stopping what is a tidal wave of supply. […]
Until drug use is truly seen as a health issue and not one to be addressed via punitive measures, the stigma, discrimination, isolation and helplessness will remain. This program will not result in helping people but rather increase their likelihood of moving into a life of crime and homelessness. […]
Today law enforcement agencies continue to receive more than 65 per cent of the national drug budget to arrest people using drugs — so rather just saying we can’t arrest our way out of a drug problem, maybe it’s time to actually do something different. […]
This plea is not about permitting people to use drugs whenever they want — it is a plea for evidence-based harm reduction policies and programs. […]
As a new year begins so does the effort continue to make Australia a safer and more humane country in how we deal with people who use drugs.
Here are five changes that would make a real difference.
Helping people with drug and alcohol problems is not the soft option, it is the smart option. Providing resources for family and treatment services achieves far better outcomes for the community than even more punishment ever will. […]
It’s time for Australia to get back into the business of acting on evidence when it comes to drugs and to lead in this region. If you want our kids to be safer then we cannot simply push out more of the same and expect things to change. […]
HRA has expressed its strong concern over the callous extra-judicial killing spree that has to date left thousands dead. We have asked the Australian Government to make the strongest representations possible to the Philippines President and Government. […]
The NSW Government has no reason to be fearful of a forum to debate and discuss policies that affect so many of its citizens’ lives. It is an opportunity to review the evidence, understand the impact of current laws and policies and develop effective approaches that make communities, families and people healthier and safer. […]
The idea that rooms are provided to allow people to take drugs like crystal methamphetamine needs to be taken seriously. When my son Damien died in 1997, the idea of injecting facilities and prescription heroin drew my attention but I was cautious about them. Rather than dismiss them out of hand I took it upon myself to visit Switzerland and see them functioning in Geneva and Berne. […]
The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. So together we must realise that the real problem is not the use of drugs, it is the fear and the subsequent belief we created that the criminal justice system is the answer. […]
If evidence-based drug policy is something you want to see in this country and is more important to you than public moralising, misguided beliefs and a fanciful goal of a drug free world, then this is your how-to-vote card to take with you on the 2nd of July. […]
Earlier this year HRA asked Dr Michael McFadden to prepare a paper on the Drug Harm Index, used by some law enforcement agencies, for use on our website. […]
HRA is pleased to be part of a coalition of organisations recognising the 7th of May each year as International Harm Reduction Day. […]
HRA has prepared a summary of how the 2016 Budget affects you. […]
Uniting, the services and advocacy arm of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, is calling for a re-think on illegal drug use. […]
Given that many countries are talking seriously about the need to change the international treaties, and the abject failure of a law-enforcement approach for addressing drug use, the pressure will be on Australia to decide if it remains in the small band of countries fighting a ‘war on drugs’ or becomes part of the growing movement for change, which even includes the USA these days. […]
Australia was once a world leader in drug policy and addressing HIV and related diseases but over the years this has sadly diminished as our leaders have become politically fearful of evidence that highlights a need for change. […]
Diplomacy or denialism? […]
Another week passes and, somewhere in Australia, another announcement by a Justice Minister is made on how we are winning the so-called ‘War on Drugs’. […]
The current overcrowding in NSW prisons left little political room to manoeuvre, and so the announcement of a decision to add an additional 1650 beds was to be expected. […]
Our current drug laws largely penalise the young and poor, not the drug kingpins you’d expect. […]
Harm Reduction Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s first step to shift from a law enforcement focus to a health based approach to addressing drug issues in Australia. […]
Harm Reduction Australia is extremely saddened by the loss of yet another young life from drug use and extends its sympathies to Sylvia Choi’s family and friends. […]
Australia’s first national harm reduction organisation for individuals committed to reducing the health, social and economic harms potentially associated with drug use – Harm Reduction Australia (HRA) – was launched at Parliament House in Canberra. […]