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.