Drug use

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Indonesia is forcing people with drug dependence problems to go into rehab. joloei/www.shutterstock.com

Forced rehabilitation of drug users in Indonesia not a solution

Indonesia's war on drugs aims to protect the country's young generation from an alleged "national drug emergency." But the government's coercive approach is harming the people it wishes to protect.
Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan inside a holding cell as they wait for their final appeal against the death sentence at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia in 2010. EPA/Made Nagi

Impending Bali executions rely on mistaken ideas about drugs

Ideas about drug use that are used to justify the death penalty for smuggling don't hold up under scrutiny.
New treatments have minimal side effects and cure rates of over 90%. Dubova/Shutterstock

Eliminating hepatitis C – an ambitious but achievable goal

Hepatitis C is a hidden epidemic affecting 170 million people worldwide. Hepatitis C kills nearly 700 Australians every year, mostly from chronic liver failure and liver cancer, and costs over $78.9 million…
After long periods of regular use, changes to the dopamine system can mean users appear flat and unmotivated. Shutterstock

Ice age: who has used crystal meth – and why?

If you’ve listened to the news lately, you might think that Australia is overrun with uncontrollably violent people on crystal methamphetamine. This may be true of those in crisis, but the bigger picture…
Recovery is a long journey, with addictions typically lasting for around 27 years. Image from shutterstock.com

Addiction can’t always be cured so let’s focus on quality of life

Alcohol and substance abuse costs the Australian economy A$24.5bn a year. The human toll from accidents, overdoses, chronic disease, violence, mental illness and family disruption, however, is immeasurable…
In the aftermath of Glee star Cory Monteith’s death, a lot of media attention has focused on his ‘troubled life’ and ‘dark past’. EPA/MIKE NELSON

Cory Monteith, addiction and the search for better endings

Public attitudes towards drugs are shaped by many things, including high-profile celebrity encounters with drugs and addiction. One unfortunate example of this involves popular Canadian actor Cory Monteith…
Researchers found early and persistent cannabis users showed an eight-point decline in IQ compared to those who hadn’t used cannabis in this way. Jonah G.S.

Teen cannabis use lowers IQ, despite claims to the contrary

A study published today in the scholarly journal PNAS questions the conclusion of a paper from last year that was widely seen as greatly strengthening the evidence that regular cannabis use beginning in…
The finger has been pointed at Collingwood player Dane Swan in the latest drugs in sports ‘scandal’. AAP

AFL drug policy is the best and fairest

Here we go again. Another high profile sportsperson has been implicated in the latest drugs in sport “scandal”. This time the finger is being pointed at Collingwood Brownlow medallist Dane Swan. The same…
Alcohol is responsible for more drug treatments than any other substance. AAP/Melanie Foster

Alcohol is half the problem for substance abusers

Alcohol continues to account for nearly half of government-funded substance abuse treatment in Australia. A report from the…
The products marketed as “legal weed” might cause more harm than the real thing. prensa

Legal highs: what should we do about synthetic cannabis?

Synthetic cannabis is a lab-made product that mimics the effects of cannabis to give users a high when smoked. It has been sold in Australia since 2011 under various brand names, with a range of chemical…
US-led enthusiasm about so-called “smart drugs” may be problematic. rafa2010

Ritalin rising? Let’s be smarter about ‘smart drugs’

Do so-called “smart pills” enhance performance in students? Are they part of a widespread, growing phenomenon? You would be forgiven for thinking so. In a recent article on The Conversation, Simon Outram…
Would it be so bad if a pill that improved athletic performance was available to everyone? Dave Campbell

What if doping were legal at the Olympics?

The Olympics is arguably the greatest show of combined physical and mental prowess we’ll ever see. The Games challenge competitors and challenge the watching public to think about the achievements they’re…

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