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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Make Prevention, Not Addiction, The Policy Priority

It  is difficult for many people to reconcile concerns about drugs with what our governments do on drug policy, particularly on illicit drugs when the law gives the issues quite a wide berth.

In fact in NSW today you are more likely to get fined for smoking tobacco in a public place than smoking illegal marijuana.

But why is that?

The answer is actually quite simple.

The campaign to legalise and normalise substance abuse and addiction has been a long running and far reaching one that now has grabbed the attention and interest of most government advisors who are both misguided and misinformed on this issue.

It is funded by many people including one of the world’s richest men and the people involved use arguments that despite being flawed, are hard to ignore for anyone who fails prey to the misdirections and false evidence.

Like the argument for injecting rooms claiming they save lives.

The fact is that helping addicts to not use harmful drugs saves lives and improves health.

(*see note)

The fact is that most registered injecting room users inject elsewhere for most of their injecting episodes.

The fact is that injecting rooms  refer addicts to government subsidised methadone clinics to maintain their addiction and ongoing drug use, does not save their life.

...Turn It Up.

I'm Michael Robinson


Preventing drug use and addiction in the first place, saves lives, many drug addicts who use injecting rooms do so on rare occasions, Despite thousands of registered drug users, the injecting room sees a small number of them visit every day. The remaining addicts inject elsewhere for most of their injections, which is the argument for having an injecting room in every suburb.

Instead what Australians need the drug policy to focus on is prevention, and helping addicts to recover not focus on maintaining addicts in their addiction.

We need to make prevention a priority, not an afterthought after the campaign to legalise drugs.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. -----Original Message-----

    Subject: op ed from Garth Stevens in Arizona Republic

    The Arizona Republic June 7, 2011

    Stevens: Flawed logic behind push for drug legalization
    by Garth Stevens - Jun. 6, 2011 12:00 AM
    My turn

    The Associated Press article headlined "Major panel: Drug war failed" (The Republic, June 2, Page A5) presented a very skewed view of the so-called war on drugs in our country.

    Our federal, state and local governments must continue to explore ways to curb illicit drug use in our communities, but legalizing marijuana and other controlled substances will never be the answer.

    Making illicit drugs legal means increasing their availability to children. Such increased availability leads to higher acceptance and a perceived lower risk of use. And acceptance and low risk ultimately leads to more drug use.

    The top three drugs used by teens are readily available in their own homes: alcohol, inhalants and prescription drugs. This is not a coincidence. This is simple function of demand following the most readily available supply.
    We must continue to be diligent in the effort to reduce illicit drug use, and a multifaceted approach to dealing with this scourge has proven to be successful. Drug knows well the importance of bringing together prevention, enforcement and treatment to combat this problem. This three-tiered approach is best and does make a difference.

    Since the mid-1980s, when our country began seriously funding substance-abuse prevention, we've witnessed a dramatic decline in drug use. Numerous academic and independent studies point to the effectiveness of prevention. It's not a war. It's a health issue, and educating families, health-care providers and our communities is our best option.

    Here in Arizona, we know this to be true.

    Thanks to prevention and treatment efforts and the hard work of our law-enforcement community, drug use is down throughout our state. Since 2002, we have seen a steady decrease in the use of alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy among our teens. But there remains much work to be done, and legalizing illicit drugs is not a constructive way forward.

    It is interesting to note that the 19-member commission cited in this article has not one member of any organization actively involved in drug prevention or treatment. Also of note, the commission includes among its members former heads of state from some of the world's largest producers of illegal drugs.

    We do agree on two points in the article: We should be looking at ways to offer health and treatment services for drug users in need and, like White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, we, too, believe this report by the commission is misguided.

    Garth Stevens is chair of

    In accordance with Title 17 USC 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.