Drug abuse

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The many people who are mourning the loss of Phil Walsh should also reflect on what we as a society can do to help families avoid such tragedies. AAP/Ben Macmahon

When a parent is killed: family tragedy is often a mark of our broader failings

The killing of Phil Walsh is a tragedy for his family and the football community. It should also lead us to question whether we do enough to support families before the issues they face spiral out of control.
Since the NT Intervention a large body of evidence has built up showing that income management does not achieve its stated goals. So why does it continue? AAP/Dean Lewins

A $147m budget saving missed: income management has failed

Various studies, culminating in the final evaluation report of income management in the Northern Territory, have found such programs don't achieve the claimed benefits. Why did the budget extend them?
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.
Not a good look. Muscles by Shutterstock

Using anabolic steroids harms your health and social image

Performance enhancing or doping substances such as anabolic steroids and erythropoietin, a hormone that enhances the production of red blood cells and increases oxygen consumption in the body, are no longer…
Easier access to marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to more addicts. Image of person smoking via Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock

Will legal marijuana lead to more addicts? Probably not

At present, cannabis is fully legalized in Colorado and Washington and will soon be fully legalized in Oregon and Alaska. Additionally, medical cannabis is legal in 23 states. The writing is on the wall…
In states like Massachusetts, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. vidguten/Shutterstock

Can medical marijuana curb the heroin epidemic?

In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, embarked on a fierce anti-marijuana campaign. Highlighted by the 1936 anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness – where marijuana…
Housing First is a program that offers housing to homeless drug users – regardless of whether or not they’re drug free – with a goal of social recovery. Bryan Guilas/Flickr

Being drug free shouldn’t be a requirement to receive housing

Over the past decade, drug use in the US has risen dramatically, with heroin use reaching epidemic proportions. The country’s policy for combating abuse has involved incarceration, abstinence-only treatment…
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Explainer: naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose

Many first responders' – even some university police officers – are carrying a new tool in their first-aid kits. It’s naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote drug, and today it’s more widely available than…

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