Friday, September 14, 2007

Bishop on Drugs.

Bronwyn Bishop chairwomen of The Federal Parliamentary Committee on Family and Human Services has let the cat out of the bag on future drug policy. The Tough on Drugs theme will move to new heights of madness if The Liberal Party is returned. They wish to redirect the entire drug strategy away from harm minimisation to harm prevention, as does the failed American model, for purely dogmatic reasons.

"The inquiry into the impact of illicit drug use on families" suggests the abandonment of needle exchange programs. As Dr Alex Wodak, director of St Vincent's Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Service in Sydney, so rightly says the report's contents were "frightening". He said the report's advocacy for drugs to be considered a moral issue ignored evidence from the US. About one person in 100,000 contracted HIV in Australia each year, compared to almost 15 in the United States, where a zero tolerance stance meant needle exchange programs could not receive federal funding. Let's not forget, also, the other STD'S that needle exchange has helped protect the population from.

It also recommends that the Federal Government establish adoption as the "default" care option for children aged up to five where child protection orders involve illicit drug use by parents. Any illicit drug use by parents would trigger the new Centrelink income management provisions under which payments to parents can be withheld and only spent on food and essentials.

The report blames "drug industry elites", who it said had hindered the zero-tolerance approach advocated by the Federal Government. These "elites" advocated treatment approaches that aimed to reduce harm, "but do not have the aim of enabling users to become drug-free". They are, of course, the people who work in the field, day after day, that Bronny and co Know far better than.

Coupled with that, the committee has proposed a new wave of television advertising that is even more graphic than the current campaigns.It wants words like "harm" to be replaced by "damage", "destruction" and "danger". Yeh, let's give another grant to advertising executives and media companies for more pointless propaganda at the publics expense.

Tony Trimingham's son died 10 years ago from a heroin overdose. He the CEO of the Family Drug Support organisation and is appalled. "I could have actually cried this morning when I read the recommendations and some of the report," he said. So also, might the rest of us, if these morons ever get to implement any more of their, head in the sand, nonsense.

Picture by Tim Sanders.


Suki said...

Oh my. More punishing behaviour from this government.
The whole flawed-individual, scrap-heap mentality of this policy is staggeringly grim and mean.

I'm hoping the logistics will be too vast to ever implement this policy and it will crash and burn in the pyre of its own making.

What will constitute a drug. Prescription or illicit?
Will all parents with children 0-5 years of age be randomly drug tested, or will this policy target only single parents or those on welfare benefits?
Will alcohol be included as a drug?
Where will DoCS find the qualified professionals to implement this?
Who will fund this new work?
Will this end in forced sterilisation for repeat offenders?

Curious that this government pays a baby bonus ($4133.00) to encourage people to have babies and then chastises them for only wanting babies for the money.

joe2 said...

Yes suki, these fools are 'all stick, no carrot' for some of the most vulnerable in our community. The plan seems to be, to officially declare advanced warfare against those who look after their interests, as well. The dangerous, druggie-loving, "elites".

They fail to even grasp that the greatest damage from drugs, by far, comes NOT from the so called illicit drugs BUT the legal and prescribed drugs. They hardly even mention this form of substance abuse.

The good news is that the Labor reps, on the Committee, did not seem to go for this most extreme view. Fingers crossed Bishop and co never get to implement more punitive policy. Nice to hear from you, Suki.