Dr David Caldicott, Clinical Lead for Pill Testing Australia and CANTest, who provide festival and fixed-site health and drug checking services in the ACT, told Yahoo News Australia that Canberra has offered other states, like NSW, free trials. […]
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President of Harm Reduction Australia and Pill Testing Australia Gino Vumbaca said his offer to conduct free trials had been knocked back by the state government for the past five years. […]
Gino Vumbaca, President of Harm Reduction Australia and Pill Testing Australia, questioned why strip searching has to continue in the first place. “I think what’s fundamentally missing from this report is an understanding of the impact of strip searching people, and young people at that” […]
President of Harm Reduction Australia and Pill Testing Australia Gino Vumbaca said the organisation had offered to run free pill testing trials, both during last month’s pride month or at a future music festival, which were not responded to favourably. […]
How to sign up for Australia’s first dedicated harm reduction online education course
Reforms to the Opioid Dependence Treatment Program (ODTP) will come into effect on 1 July 2023. HRA has compiled this fact sheet for community and hospital pharmacists to provide an overview of the reforms and their implications for pharmacy
If you are on the ODTP (on methadone or buprenorphine – tablets/film/injections) you may have heard about changes to the program in the 2023 Federal Budget. At HRA we understand this is important, so here’s the main information to know.
Harm Reduction Australia welcomes the announcement in tonight’s Federal Budget that will see $377.3m over 4 years (with $98.4m ongoing) invested in making access more affordable under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the Opioid Dependence Treatment Program (ODTP).
HRA remains concerned with the number of people to be excluded – see our 23 Feb Media Release
Pill testing will not be available onsite at this year’s Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra after exorbitant insurance premiums meant the service was too costly to offer, but CanTEST is expanding its services on the festival weekend. […]
Groovin the Moo will be without pill-testing when it returns to Canberra later this month. […]
Queensland’s move aligns the state with a growing international norm. In fact, the evidence to support such services has existed for decades.
Pointing to new data that revealed an increase in heroin overdose deaths, Cohealth says some “would still be alive” if a safe injecting facility was available in the CBD. […]
“There’s a storyline that drug users don’t care and they’re reckless and don’t give a shit about their own health, but it’s just not true.” […]
“The lack of pill testing services outside Canberra is an ongoing tragedy for far too many people and families, and begs the question of how much more evidence is required for these services to be established,” Mr Vumbaca said. […]
Australia’s first government-sanctioned drug-checking service CanTEST has issued its inaugural ‘red alert’, the highest level of warning, following the detection of metonitazene in a yellow pill masquerading as the pharmaceutical drug oxycodone. We should be very worried about this drug’s emergence in Australia. […]
This whole process has almost been a complete waste of money and time for everyone involved.
Its Time for Drug Law Reform
Media Release 17 Feb 2022
7 Oct 2021 – Media Release
26 August 2020
Call for Federal Health Minister to immediately remove the discriminatory and unlawful payments plaguing the opioid treatment system
Important 2018 Document
Pharmacy Guild Submission Supports Opioid Medication Reform
When we discuss drug use in society, let us first remember that most illicit drug use is not problematic and secondly, that if someone we know or love does experience problems, we would want the best help, support and treatment available for them and their family. Its time all our politicians realised, as many voting citizens in the USA have just done, that our current drug policies and laws are not fit for purpose and cause preventable harms and intolerable human rights violations for far too many people. […]
Anything that reduces the antagonism between would-be offenders and the cops is worthwhile. The latter may well then be seen as a catalyst for getting help, therefore making it a far safer situation for all. Allowing police to focus on diversion instead of arresting and charging is going to make the job of police far safer than what it is today. […]
HRA is pleased to announce 4 new Board Members
A joint media release from HRA, Take Control & Pill Testing Australia regarding the NSW Special Commission on Ice Report being handed to the NSW Government
Families Respond to NSW Coroner’s Report on Festival Deaths
“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.
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 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. […]