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Drug policy

Analysis and Comment (10)

Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Jason Verwey/Flickr

What works best in the war on drugs

In 1967, the Beatles took out a full-page advertisement in The Times describing Britain’s marijuana laws as “immoral in principle and unworkable in practice”. Almost half a century later, both past and…
‘I’m not so much anti-establishment as pointing out the obvious.’ ‘I’m not so much anti-establishment as pointing out the obvious.’ Imperial College London/Layton Thompson

David Nutt: ‘I was sacked, I was angry, I was right’

The John Maddox Prize for standing up for science is awarded to individuals who are judged to have “promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest” and especially those who have faced…
Recovery is a long journey, with addictions typically lasting for around 27 years. 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…
Most overdose deaths are due to heroin but an increasing number are due to pain relieving prescription opioid drugs. Most overdose deaths are due to heroin but an increasing number are due to pain relieving prescription opioid drugs. Thomas Marthinsen

How to reduce opioid overdose deaths in Australia

Once again, overdose deaths from opioids are increasing in Australia. And once again, we are in danger of ignoring effective, evidence-based interventions. According to the National Drug and Alcohol Research…
The possession and use of cannabis and ecstasy should be decriminalised for Australians aged 16 and over. The possession and use of cannabis and ecstasy should be decriminalised for Australians aged 16 and over. garyowen

A new approach to drug reform: regulated supply of cannabis and ecstasy

Sixteen years ago the premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, asked me to conduct an inquiry into drug policy. At the time, deaths from heroin overdoses were high and the use of cannabis and other drugs continued…
No matter how sophisticated testing is, it can’t catch everyone. No matter how sophisticated testing is, it can’t catch everyone. EPA/Justin Setterfield

How many Olympic athletes are taking drugs?

John Fahey, the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), promised before the London Olympics that anti-doping testing at Games would employ the latest advancements and would be as rigorous as…
WADA is determined to wipe out doping at the Olympics, and to bring public opinion along with it. WADA is determined to wipe out doping at the Olympics, and to bring public opinion along with it. Department for Culture, Media & Sport

More Olympic drug testing than ever, but why do we bother?

From a drug-use control perspective, the 2012 London Olympic Games (LOG) will be the “biggest ever”. Since the Ben Johnson affair at the 1988 Seoul Olympics there has been a concerted effort to secure…
It’s difficult to detect impairment among doctors, but drug testing won’t solve all our problems. It’s difficult to detect impairment among doctors, but drug testing won’t solve all our problems. Best In Plastics

Dangerous addiction – should doctors be tested for drug use?

Doctors, just like the rest of the population, make personal choices about drug use. Some choose to use legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol; others take illicit substances like cannabis and amphetamines…
Brazilian police patrol a favela in Rio De Janiero. 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…
Drug hauls are not a sign of successful drug policy. 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…

Research and News (1)