Articles on Drugs

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Medical experts say more transparency is needed in financial dealings between big drug companies and doctors. Flickr/e-MagineArt.com

Code for pharmaceutical industry ‘falls short’

Pharmaceutical companies will be required to disclose more details about their financial ties to doctors under a revised…
Should cannabis to be considered a “performance-enhancing” drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency? pietroizzo

Cannabis use, WADA and the Australian sports system

It has been widely reported that representatives from a group of Australian sporting codes – including athletics, cricket, rugby league and Australian Rules Football – met with the director-general of…
Drugs smuggled into a South Australian prison. If jails can’t be kept drug free, what hope is there for wider society? AAP/Thuy On

Australia’s love affair with drugs

Australians have always loved their drugs – more so than any other nation in which those same drugs are proscribed and used under threat of native, criminal penalties. Drug taking is a national trait…
Brazilian police patrol a favela in Rio De Janiero. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

A moral argument against the war on drugs

Former Brazilian President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, has argued that the war on drugs has failed and cannabis should be decriminalised. He argued that the hardline approach has brought “disastrous” consequences…
Despite some alarming findings, recreational mephedrone use appears to be on the rise. Robert Conrad Photography

Mephedrone: what doesn’t kill you might still mess you up

Human use of cathinones for their psychoactive properties traces back to prehistory. Known as “khat” by the people of eastern Africa, the leaves and twigs of the Catha edulis shrub have been chewed for…
Shamed senior police officer Mark Standen is lead away from King St Supreme Court after being found guilty of attempting to import a massive haul of pseudoephedrine. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Good cop, bad cop: how corrupt police work with drug dealers

The Australia21 report on illicit drugs draws much-needed attention to many serious issues, including the major role played by corrupt police in drug distribution networks. The role played by drugs in…
Drug hauls are not a sign of successful drug policy. AAP/Lee Besford

Back to the future – the war on drugs we never had to have

It’s 1974 again. I am 25 and a member of Lionel Murphy’s national Drug Advisory Council. Occasionally I am a drug educator with my mate, psychologist Simon Haselton, for the NSW Health department. As a…
It’s worth taking another look at Bob Carr’s record on decriminalising drugs. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Rap sheet: does Bob Carr’s record on drug reform stand up?

The Australia21 thinktank has today released a report describing the war on drugs as a failure. Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr, part of the working group that developed the report, today told the ABC…
Consumption of cocaine globally rose by 27% between 1998 and 2008. AAP

Time for Australia to abandon ‘failed war on drugs’

Australia must abandon its failed war on drugs and reopen the debate over legalising and regulating their use, according…
Using lab rats allows us to experiment in ways that would not be acceptable in humans. ressaure

Rats, rewards and mental illness

Many forms of mental illness can affect our moods. But that isn’t all they do: they can also damage our willpower. Problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity…
Have scientific standards negatively affected legal reasoning? Alberto Martin/EPA

Contador, doping and the need for speed

On the day the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed down its decision on the Alberto Contador doping case, Cadel Evans – Australian Tour de France champion – was quoted in the cycling press repeating…
Slain underworld figure Carl Williams, who made a living trafficking illicit drugs, is carried from his 2010 funeral in a gold coffin. AAP

Gangster-nomics: the nasty business of criminalising drugs

Policy making is supposedly influenced by scientific evidence, which in turn leads to better political, social and economic outcomes, depending on the issue at hand. One would like to think that in a moderately…
Married people are less likely to commit crime. Flickr/Marcus Hansson

Marriage helps reduce crime

More than half of all murders in Australia involve family members. The majority of them are committed by men who kill their partners. Here, as in many other countries, violence in the home is a major social…
Doctors’ wining and dining by drug companies distort prescribing patterns and may influence them to recommend less-than-ideal drugs. PhillipC/Flickr

It’s not you, it’s the patients: why doctors should tell drug firms it’s over

This week Radio National’s Background Briefing looks at how pharmaceutical companies market their products to doctors. The program is presented by Ray Moynihan, an award-winning journalist, columnist at…
The Australian Ambassador is doing everything he can for the Australian boy detained in Bali, but Indonesian children aren’t so lucky. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Hypocrisy over Bali teenager as Indonesian children remain in jail

This week the nation has been in an uproar over the arrest of a 14 year old Australian boy in Indonesia, accused of buying drugs. TV news reports discussed the terrible conditions of the prison, where…

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