From 2-4 pm today (starting in 90 minutes) there will be a live-to-air edition of the CAHMA radio show “News from the Drug War Front”.
Drug injecting rooms have made news in Melbourne recently following a Coroner’s recommendation to set up a trial of a supervised injecting facility in North Richmond, an area where 34 people fatally overdosed in 2016. A private member’s bill before the Victorian Parliament proposes an 18-month trial of a supervised injecting facility.
Naloxone, which can cost up to $1000 over the counter, will now be subsidised as part of a $1.3 million package announced by Victoria’s Mental Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday. The announcement comes a day after the minister confirmed the government has no plans to set up a supervised drug injecting facility in the overdose hotspot of North Richmond.
The so-called war on drugs has failed “abysmally” and it’s time for governments to change tack and work on improving treatment and regulation. The Australian government's current approach to the ice epidemic is only "digging a deeper hole" and progressive policy is needed, say the authors of an article in the Medical Journal of Australia. A "harsh" approach is not just ineffective but counterproductive. Despite the recommendations of last year's Ice Taskforce, the government continues to define dependency on ice as a criminal justice problem. The authors argue contempt and an unwillingness to help those with a serious drug problem has aided the expansion of the illicit drug market in Australia.
People who take GHB at dance parties say it makes them feel euphoric and less inhibited. But the drug is easy to overdose on as evidenced by a result spate of overdoses at music festivals.
The UK government’s blanket ban on novel psychoactive substances, formerly legal highs, has succeeded in shutting down high street trade in the substances but has led to products such as Spice being added to the regular menu of illicit street dealers.
It's time to accept that human beings use mind-altering substances. They always have. Canadian public health physician Hakique Virani says even the most forward thinking policy makers need to recognize the limits of managing drug use; “To address this overdose epidemic, what we need to fix is our perspective. Deciding to use substances like tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or heroin does not make people less human. It reflects the fact that they are human.”
The highest-profile critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war and slaughter of drug users was arrested last Friday on charges she said were meant to silence her, but she vowed to keep fighting the “sociopathic serial killer”. Senator Leila de Lima was taken into custody on charges of drug trafficking, outraging supporters and human rights activists.
Marijuana, like alcohol, can be regulated, taxed and used in moderation by adults who choose it, like a glass of wine with dinner. An article from Forbes magazine says the burgeoning legal cannabis industry wants Donald Trump to know five critical benefits to marijuana legalization.
Marion Watson will be co-presenting with me. Music will be played throughout the 2 hour broadcast.
For those in the ACT you can tune in to 2XX, 98.3 FM. The show can be streamed from the 2XX website. Also you can now listen to the show at a time of your choice via the 2XX website. Go to “Program Guide”, click on ‘News from the Drug War Front” and the full 2 hours can be heard.
Feel free to pass on any ideas, suggestions or comments on the ‘News from the Drug War Front’ Facebook page.
Geoff (Producer "News from the Drug War Front")