A push to decriminalise hard drugs such as heroin and ice is being championed by Greens’ Senator Richard Di Natale.
In an ABC Radio interview with Political Editor Alison Carabine, the former GP says drug addiction should be treated as a health problem rather than a criminal matter.
He says, resources are currently wasted prosecuting individuals for drug use and the resources could instead be used for rehabilitation and support services.
The issue will be on the agenda this week at a series of roundtable meetings leading up to a National Drugs Summit in Canberra next month.
Senator Di Natale wants Australia to consider adopting Portugal’s successful drug policy where drug dealing remains a criminal offence but individual users are not prosecuted. The policy has helped many individuals to tackle their addictions by making support services more readily available.
In Australia, treatment accessibility to rehabilitation and support services is an issue to be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. The Conference will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016.
A priority aim of this Conference will also be to deepen our understanding around the interrelationship of addictive disorders between each other, as well as with mental health, family, community, and culture. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.
The 2016 Conference promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers alike.
To listen to the full ABC radio interview CLICK HERE.