People who take GHB at dance parties say it makes them feel euphoric and less inhibited. But the drug is easy to overdose on.
It's easy to overdose on the recreational drug GHB, as recent cases in Melbourne show.
Medically supervised injecting facilities can prevent overdoses turning into a medical emergency. So why has progress in Victoria stalled?
There's no legal reason why Victoria can't have its own medically supervised drug injecting room to prevent more overdoses, despite political setbacks.
The not-for-profit UK group The Loop said it tested the drug ecstasy with ‘loop lasers’ at a festival in July 2016.
The Loop UK/Facebook
Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said conducting on-site drug tests at public events "safely and quickly is not really a practical option". But the technology is available.
Police seized 200kg of methamphetamine during a drug bust in Perth, Western Australia, in May 2016.
AAP Image/Department of Immigration and Border Protection
West Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan said his state has the "worst rate of methamphetamine usage in the country". We asked the experts to check the evidence.
How should we deal with this?
Most of our drugs policies have failed to curb use or reduce their impact on individuals or society. It's time for a more enlightened and informed approach.
LSD causes euphoria, increased body temperature and hallucinations where some or all of the senses are distorted.
During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used more for psychotherapy than recreation. Between 1950 and 1965, many were treated with LSD for alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, autism and homosexuality.
Drug analysis would be a safe, ethical and cost-effective way to reduce harm to young people.
Drug analysis would allow young people to make more informed choices about what they are consuming and save lives.
The average user is a male in his 20s.
Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock
Today, there are more than 20 cryptomarkets selling illicit drugs, or more than 55 if single-vendor markets are included.
Since 2009 an increasing number of drugs have emerged that are designed to circumvent the law and are cheap to produce.
There is a potential for significant harm in Australia if we don't have adequate systems in place to monitor our drug markets and respond rapidly when specific dangers are detected.
How effective are drug-detection dogs in minimising harm?
Drug-detection dogs don't stop most drug use. And they have been shown to encourage more dangerous practices, criminalise and traumatise marginalised groups, and render all as potential suspects.
Pills sold as ecstasy contain variable amounts of MDMA, sometimes none.
AAP/Australian Federal Police.
Ecstasy is the street name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, an illicit party drug that speeds up messages to and from the brain and alters the user's perception of reality.
The AFL season opened this week. But on the day that Collingwood was slated to play Sydney, the media was focusing on much more than the footy. The Herald Sun alleged that 11 Collingwood players had positive…
Drug checking would make music festivals safer.
Not only are our drug policies not working, we're falling behind the rest of the world and what evidence says is best to ensure we have fewer deaths from illicit drugs.
While Sydney’s medically supervised injecting centre has had positive results, we need drug consumption rooms all over the country.
With use of drugs such as ice on the rise, drug consumption rooms are now being set up in Europe to provide supervised inhalation.
Attempts to disrupt the supply of ice have helped reveal the nature of the problem in Australia.
To tackle the ice problem, the government must learn from experience and avoid adopting a blinkered law enforcement approach.
Methamphetamine comes in several forms – crystal, or ice, is by far the strongest.
The ice taskforce's report sends a clear message about the importance of focusing on drug use as a health issue. This signals an important shift in thinking.
Evidence-based drug treatments are relatively successful at reducing use and improving quality of life.
Many untested drug therapies are expensive at best and potentially dangerous at worst. So what treatments do work for ice and other drug users?
Most opioid overdoses occur among experienced users.
Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medicine that temporarily reverses the effects of opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone.
Footage was recently aired of Jake Carlisle, now at St Kilda, ingesting a white powder while on an end-of-year holiday.
This week the AFL announced revisions to its illicit drug policy. With strident critics calling for “zero tolerance” and even criminal sanctions for transgressions, it is an opportunity to reflect on why…
Policymakers should consider other solutions, such as prison diversion programs.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
The challenge is to intervene before users hit crisis point. A Hawaii-based program does just this and has achieved substantial reductions in drug use. A similar scheme could work in Australia.