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Consortium asked to test pills by festival promoters Australia-wide

“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.


HRA-IDPC Media Release on Global Drug Strategy 22nd October 2018

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. […]

NCA’s decision on pill testing betrays public trust

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. […]

Support sought for more pill testing

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. […]

GINO VUMBACA. Drug Reform series-At last, a government sanctioned pill testing program

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. […]

TONY TRIMINGHAM. Drug Reform Series-Don’t punish drug users. Help them instead.

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. […]

Drug users shouldn’t be treated like criminals

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. […]

National Summit in Canberra to Plan Improvements for Opioid Treatment

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. […]

Ineffective drug policies can no longer be ignored

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 […]

Decriminalisation Is The Only Way To Arrest Australia’s Drug Problem

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. […]

Drug Testing The Dole Queue Won’t Help Make It Shorter

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. […]

War on drugs — It’s time to change tactics

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. […]

We Can’t ‘Breed Out’ Drug Addicts

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. […]

Health Warnings On Drugs Shouldn’t Be Provided By Police

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. […]

It’s Important To Understand Pill Testing Before We Condemn It

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. […]

Safe Injection Rooms Would Save Lives

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. […]

Confronting the ‘meth monster’

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. […]

Drug Policy Based On Fear Means Everyone Loses

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. […]

Drug Harm Index Paper

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. […]

Uniting calls for a re-think on drugs

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. […]

When it comes to handling drugs, we need to be transparent

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. […]

HRA UNGASS and NDS Statement

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. […]

HRA Ice Strategy Statement

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. […]

Launch of Harm Reduction Australia

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. […]