National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Submissions received


This page lists received submissions that comply with the submission terms of use.

Submissions found

Currently viewing 15 published submissions.

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SubmissionDate

Submission by Dr Khim Harris (Fresh Start Recovery Programme)

Overall the draft strategy is vague and non-specific on how the government is going to reduce the number of individuals who are addicted to illegal and government funded legal drugs. More resources need to be directed towards helping people to become drug free in as short as time as possible.



In the 2006 paper entitled “Australian Government Response to the House of Representatives inquiry into substance abuse in Australian communities - Road to Recovery: Report on the inquiry into substance abuse in Australian communities”, there was a recommendation to “give priority to treatments including naltrexone that focus on abstinence as the ultimate outcome.” We would like to see this recommendation actioned by the current Government.



The Draft Strategy makes no reference to individuals addicted to both legal and illegal opioids who wish to become drug free and ultimately an active, functioning member of their community. Why is it that antagonistic pharmacotherapies are not included in the Government’s Draft Strategy, when there is clear evidence for their effectiveness?



References



2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: first results http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10579



National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection: 2009 report http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/11417



Kimber J, Copeland L, Hickman M, Macleod J, McKenzie J, De Angelis D, et al. Survival and cessation in injecting drug users: prospective observational study of outcomes and effect of opiate substitute treatment. BMJ 2010:341:c3172.

View full submission by Dr Khim Harris

20101210195513

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Macciza

Although this is my submission, I feel it is also a submission made on behave of numerous others as well.



It is a submission reflecting the views of millions of ordinary Australians who support Cannabis Law Reform. It also presents views shared by their political organisations such as HEMP, Help End Marijuana Prohibition, and representative organisations such as NORML, National Organisation to Reform Marijuana Laws.



Recommendations.



Cannabis 'misuse' should be dealt with as a medical issue without attendant criminal penalties. We are an 'Intoxicated Society"; drugs are used acceptably in many social contexts within our society. We also use drugs to medicate; although almost every commonly available prescription drug has a far greater potential for harm, including lethality, the use of Cannabis as medicine is criminalised.



Medicinal use of Cannabis should be approved immediately. This would apply to proprietary medicines such as Sativex and to cultivation of the plant for personal medicinal use. Licensed growers should be allowed to grow certified medical-grade Cannabis for those unable to self-cultivate.



Cannabis 'use' should not be subject to criminal sanction. At the barest minimum personal cultivation and use of Cannabis by adults should not be a criminal offence. I believe its private cultivation should be encouraged as an alternative to 'illegal' supplies of unknown quality or purity. As we are a consumer society that often prefers the protection and certification of purchased goods it follows that a legitimate supply of known quality and purity is required to give the consumer the necessary protection and information when making an informed decision to consume Cannabis. Similar to the ability for people to brew there own beers, or purchase it as a known product, adult individuals should always retain the right to cultivate there own Cannabis, regardless of any possible means of legitimate purchase.



In closing, I was an activist for Cannabis Law Reform during the 1980's and I can only hope that my actions contribute to ensuring that my grandchildren are not exposed to the horrors of a continuing 'War On Drugs' in another 25 years. View full submission by Macciza

20101210203456

10 Dec 2010

Submission by WANADA (WANADA)

P/Measure 1: Disruption of illegal drug supply It is appreciated that measures across the 3 pillars are not distinct however it would be useful to include a measure for the disruption of supply of legal drugs and not just focus on illegal drug supply. A possible measure could, for example be determined on an average reduction of alcohol outlet density (in terms of actions to reduce availability), or reduction of alcohol use reported by under aged young people (in terms of supply by family and friends resulting from actions/strategies taken)

While the measures of disrupted production and supply of illegal drugs presented offer one approach it is never clear what percentage of production and supply this represents. Additional measures of availability and price could provide a better indicator of the success of supply and production disruption/reduction

P/Measure 2: Indicators of drug use WANADA supports the now long standing measures of prevalence of use and age of uptake. Examination of this data for population sub-groups (youth, jurisdictions, regional rural remote/metropolitan, Indigenous, gender etc) and qualitative contextualisation and patterns of drug use are supported

WANADA is encouraged by the intended review of the National Minimum Data Set. It is hoped that the data set can be enhanced to include measures that support effectiveness and continuous quality improvement – i.e. outcome and impact measures

P/Measure 3: Harms associated with drug misuse A key measure that is missing from this section is drug related deaths and drug related crime. In relation to these and all of the measures in this section at least WANADA would like to see the performance measures with desired targets that indicate a percentage reduction that would represent action and strategy success

General: The structure of the NDS is sound, and the linked approaches comprehensive. NDS partially addresses relationship between disadvantaged populations & AOD use- gap addressing relationship between inequality re poor societal outcomes contributed to by AOD use ie a focus on effecting strong community not just individual resilience

WANADA welcomes any request for clarification/further info View full submission by WANADA

20101210173901

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Burnet Institute (Burnet Institute)

Use of the term “drug” to include both licit and illicit is a positive development. However, the terminology throughout the document should be alcohol and other drugs and drug use.



Words such as misuse and abuse contribute to stigmatisation of individuals and risk groups and undermine program implementation. If misuse must be used then it requires definition/explanation.



The shift in approach from individual and population group risk to risk “settings” should be applauded and ideally will translate to incorporation of international best practices many of which have emerged in international HIV prevention programming.



The increased emphasis on disadvantage is appreciated but the new document does not adequately recognise the important role individuals and communities including people who use drugs, have in the development of effective responses. The strategy needs to go beyond recognising needs exist (e.g. among remote and rural communities) and outline strategies for improved access and affordability.



The challenges section (p12) partially recognises the scale of harms/costs but would be improved by a statement of prioritised responses according to the hierarchy of harm (health, economic, social and legal) with sufficient flexibility to respond to emerging harms.



The inclusion of headline performance measures facilitating strategy evaluation is commended.

View full submission by Burnet Institute

20101210153557

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Fiona Sharkie (Quit Victoria)

I wish to reiterate the position of Cancer Council Australia, Heart Foundation, Action on Smoking and Health Australia and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health that was submitted to the NDS consultation in February 2010. We feel that it is no longer appropriate to include tobacco in the NDS as it is comprehensively covered in the National Preventative Health Taskforce Report and National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health. As the NDS has a strong law enforcement focus, we believe that the future approach for dealing with tobacco differs from what is required to manage other illicit and licit drug use. We note that tobacco control should be managed, at a national level, through the National Preventive Health Agency. View full submission by Fiona Sharkie

20101210164951

10 Dec 2010

Submission by J.B. Withnall, Prof S.B.Hill, Dr S. Bourgeois (University of Western Sydney)

Midlife women and practitioners in Australia recommend alcohol harm reduction through abstinent recovery care and development with recovery support as necessary for lifespan wellbeing.



Barriers to Midlife Women receiving Recovery healthcare

1. Inadequate recognition of the severity of midlife women’s alcohol use disorders (AUDs); the growing number of midlife women who are in need of safe access to women-focused AUDs complex care; distressed women, who do not know about AUDs, and who are not being checked for AUDs by unaware health practitioners



Solutions – short-term

1. People with responsibility and authority to provide targeted plans for system-wide targeting midlife women-specific treatment with the goal of abstinent recovery for wellbeing as an achievable outcome in an inclusive harm-minimisation policy. Limit lifestyle drinking advertisements



Solutions – mid/long-term

1. Practitioners (empowered) with the understanding of midlife addiction as a complex chronic illness and the resources to meet midlife women’s AUD recovery needs; women culturally supported to seek help with concern about alcohol consumption and misuse earlier in life



Barriers

2. No planned engagement with midlife women’s need for AUDs healthcare in current policy or strategy documents; including access, women-focused treatment, retention, therapy completion, ongoing development and support with recovery wellbeing monitoring



Solutions- short-term

2. Screen midlife women with ‘stress’, emotional instability, low mood and self-worth and fatigue for alcohol misuse, using a ‘two question’ non-intrusive approach. Advice provided at all health check-ups (e.g., pap smears) on toxicity of alcohol, damage to women’s bodies and life consequences



Solutions - long-term

2. Partnered research with practitioners across specialisations and women in recovery representatives to consider integrated care of midlife women with AUDs pathopathopsychology in context (Australian society, especially middle income families);also implement knowledge translation projects for raising awareness of successful women’s recovery development and support.

The remaining table is available. j.withnall@uws.edu.au View full submission by J.B. Withnall, Prof S.B.Hill, Dr S. Bourgeois

20101210155747

10 Dec 2010

Submission by J.B. Withnall, Prof S.B.Hill, Dr S. Bourgeois (University of Western Sydney)

Midlife women and practitioners in Australia recommend alcohol harm reduction through abstinent recovery care and development with recovery support as necessary for lifespan wellbeing.



Barriers to Midlife Women receiving Recovery healthcare

1. Inadequate recognition of the severity of midlife women’s alcohol use disorders (AUDs); the growing number of midlife women who are in need of safe access to women-focused AUDs complex care; distressed women, who do not know about AUDs, and who are not being checked for AUDs by unaware health practitioners



Solutions – short-term

1. People with responsibility and authority to provide targeted plans for system-wide targeting midlife women-specific treatment with the goal of abstinent recovery for wellbeing as an achievable outcome in an inclusive harm-minimisation policy. Limit lifestyle drinking advertisements



Solutions – mid/long-term

1. Practitioners (empowered) with the understanding of midlife addiction as a complex chronic illness and the resources to meet midlife women’s AUD recovery needs; women culturally supported to seek help with concern about alcohol consumption and misuse earlier in life



Barriers

2. No planned engagement with midlife women’s need for AUDs healthcare in current policy or strategy documents; including access, women-focused treatment, retention, therapy completion, ongoing development and support with recovery wellbeing monitoring



Solutions- short-term

2. Screen midlife women with ‘stress’, emotional instability, low mood and self-worth and fatigue for alcohol misuse, using a ‘two question’ non-intrusive approach. Advice provided at all health check-ups (e.g., pap smears) on toxicity of alcohol, damage to women’s bodies and life consequences



Solutions - long-term

2. Partnered research with practitioners across specialisations and women in recovery representatives to consider integrated care of midlife women with AUDs pathopathopsychology in context (Australian society, especially middle income families);also implement knowledge translation projects for raising awareness of successful women’s recovery development and support.

The remaining table is available. j.withnall@uws.edu.au View full submission by J.B. Withnall, Prof S.B.Hill, Dr S. Bourgeois

20101210155747

10 Dec 2010

Submission by APSAD (Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD))

Overall, APSAD supports the thrust of the consultation draft particularly in so far as it retains many of the strengths of the existing NDS. We regret that opportunities have not been taken to fix problems of the previous phase of the NDS and to innovate in such a way as to improve the quality of policy and its implementation.

APSAD draws attention to the importance of prevention as part of the NDS. Some years ago NDRI was commissioned to document the evidence base for prevention — it was to be used by IGCD to develop a NDS national prevention agenda. It has been a great disappointment to APSAD and the ATOD sector more broadly that this did not occur. APSAD recommends that a section on prevention be included in the new Strategy, and that it include a commitment to developing and implementing, during the life of the next Strategy, a National Prevention Agenda.

Also missing is any discussion of the implications of resource allocation within Australia’s drug sector. We need to move incrementally towards a more rational funding mix. APSAD opposes the current situation in which 45% of governments’ drug expenditures are on illicit drugs but only 5% on tobacco, considering that illicit drugs account for just 16% of the drug-caused burden of injury and disease, and tobacco 65%. This is another example of a missed opportunity to create a more modern, evidence-informed National Drug Strategy that will better serve Australia into the future.

Another major omission is a failure to include any statements about who is responsible for implementing the strategy, using what resource, on what timetable. It could be argued that this is not appropriate in such a high-level strategy and that this matter should be documented elsewhere. That being the case, we would like to see in the new Strategy a commitment to developing an NDS implementation work plan, and making it available to the sector as a whole.

APSAD would also like to see funding for appropriate research under law reform. View full submission by APSAD

20101210150450

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Trevor King (DPMP Deputy Director) (UNSW: Drug Policy Modelling Program)

Strategies to engage with the public are absent from the document. As mentioned in a previous submission ‘the future of effective AOD policy in Australia will rest with an engaged and committed public driving better processes and outcomes’ (DPMP: Expert Group NDS submission 2010, p 4). Increasing a sense of public ownership of the strategy is important. Improved public evidence literacy will serve to reduce marginalisation and stigma experienced by drug users and create the environment for evidence informed policy change.



Although drug user/consumer involvement in treatment service planning and operations is mentioned on p 22, involvement in policy processes/governance structures is not mentioned. This oversight needs to be addressed.



This and future strategies should focus on incrementally rectifying the misallocation of funding by placing greater emphasis on interventions of known effectiveness than is currently the case.



Although prison and post-release settings were identified as areas of focus for the strategy (p 10), this is not followed up with specific actions across the 3 pillars. Further commitment in this area is necessary.



Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities are mentioned in the disadvantaged populations (p 9) and partnership sections (p 11). Given that the Complimentary Action Plan covered the period 2003-2009 a further statement of commitment is required. This area should also be listed as a challenge (p 12–14). This comment is also relevant to one earlier about the relationship between the NDS strategy and the sub-strategies. How do they relate? Will this change? How will performance of these sub-strategies be evaluated?

View full submission by Trevor King (DPMP Deputy Director)

20101210121352

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia)

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia appeals to the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy to revise the draft strategy to address the concerns raised above. The Australian government is committed to closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal mortality rates, but this will not happen unless the particular impacts of alcohol, tobacco, illegal and prescription drugs in Aboriginal communities are appropriately managed. The opportunity to use the National Drug Strategy to facilitate this still exists, and must be grasped. Indifference will perpetuate the problem. View full submission by Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

20101210110155

10 Dec 2010

Submission by Australian Drug Foundation (ADF)

Having become involved in the consultation process a year ago, the ADF is disappointed that such an important document is being subjected to a rushed final consultation process, and final drafting stage. View full submission by Australian Drug Foundation

20101210101433

10 Dec 2010

Submission by P James (Motivated Individual and Parent)

As identified in the Draft Strategy it is imperative that the community be part of the solution, so I would like to see more mention of how the strategy will do this. The use of the internet has been identified and I agree that this could facilitate a range of communication channels to the community. For example, web sites showing community dash boards concerning drug use and activity. View full submission by P James

20101203170817

03 Dec 2010

Submission by Professor John Toumbourou (Deakin University)

lthough I appreciate the strategy development process must be sensitive to political, I have some disappointment that the proposed strategy is insufficiently ambitious. Because Australia has a successful history of encouraging population-level behaviour change through the actions coordinated by the previous national drug strategy documents, it would be possible for the next five year strategy to be more ambitious.



Policy actions that are not currently included that research has indicated to be effective for encouraging population-level behaviour change include the following:

• placing a volumetric tax on alcohol and hypothecating funds to health promotion

• raising the minimum age for the purchase and use of alcohol from 18 to 21 years

• taking actions to restrict the marketing and supply of alcohol

• increasing investment in evidence-based prevention of use and harm

View full submission by Professor John Toumbourou

20101206075346

06 Dec 2010

Submission by Michael (NationalOrganisation to Reform Marijuana Laws)

After reading the National Drug Strategy it provides me with pages upon pages of proof that prohibition is a sad,broken,outdated measure that has NEVER worked.

When the Police themselves are publishing articles that look at alternatives to prohibition as in the Australian Police Journal March 2010 edition, it really shows what a sad state of affairs it is.

Under a regulated taxed cannabis system with proper education the gateway drug theory dissolves. The gateway theory is born of prohibition itself.

When a person tries cannabis for the first time after being taught how EVIL cannabis is and find it to not be the case, they assume this to be true of all their drug education. They think well the cannabis was relatively harmless,I was lied to. Maybe these other drugs arent as bad as i was educated to believe either. Drug dealears are not concerned about what they sell, only about profits. Under a regulated system people moving onto harder drugs would be greatly reduced as cited in Portugal and Holland. It would also reduce the availability of cannabis to minors leaving the tax dollars to crack down of the devistating trade of amphetamines and opiates. View full submission by Michael

20101129131456

29 Nov 2010

Submission by Norml Australia (NORML AUSTRALIA)

I must say that the ignorance that you possess in relation to Cannabis and how helpful it is with the sick and needy as PROVEN WORLD WIDE is pathetic.



You people seem to forget, or rather simply do not acknowledge, that some pharma drugs that are LEGAL have severe side effects and are a detriment to anybodies health.



Your statistics are



Causes of deaths in Australia*



Tobacco 19,019

Pharmaceuticals 2,831 ( this one was not on your list ) maybe a bit bias on your part, but thats okay we did our own research

Motor Vehicle Accidents 1,731

Illegal Drugs 863

Murders 203

Cannabis 0. (another one that is not on your list)



Yes thats right Cannabis 0, 0 deaths. You cannot overdose on Cannabis. This is a proven scientific fact over and over again.



Your draft is really simple for our organization to understand.



We understand that you, yes you, support organized crime.



You would rather someone who only uses Cannabis for their health problems to go to a underground drug dealer and purchase it.



Drug dealers do not ask for identification and dont really know their product, to them weed is weed. If they dont have any they'll push something else.



Cannabis is not a gateway drug.



Cannabis has not made anyone commit any crime.



Cannabis is not addictive.



Lets face the fact shall we?



The Australian Government, simply knows all the benefits about Medicinal Cannabis but still persists to drive further backwards with blinkers on.



Every PATIENT who uses Cannabis legitimately knows that the only reason that Cannabis is illegal in Australia is because anyone can cultivate this miraculous plant and that the government wont get their cut.



Boohoo. Legalize it and tax it then.



Tobacco, alcohol and pharma drugs kill millions around the globe every year and yet they are legal.



This is a pretty sad state of affairs dont you think?



Let the public have a say and a vote for or against Cannabis. Although I must admit our organization dont want or need you to manage the sale, quality control and distribution of Cannabis.



We would do a far better job for the management and policing of Cannabis if it were legally available medicinally in Australia.



View full submission by Norml Australia

20101127181620

27 Nov 2010

Page currency, Latest update: 23 September, 2009