Families and Friends for Drug law Reform began in March 1995 following the death by overdose of eight young people in Canberra. One father questioned the laws that allowed such a potent drug to be sold to his son without any controls whatsoever. Following contact with Michael Moore, then Independent Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, a meeting was called to include families who had been affected. Forty people attended this first meeting which was the beginning of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. All in attendance believed that the drug laws were more the problem than the solution and called for change. They wanted laws and policies that caused less harm. They wanted addiction to be treated as a health and social issue not a law enforcement one. They believed that the huge profits made by the illegal trade made drugs more available to their kids.
One of the first successes of this group was influencing the non-attendance of police at overdoses unless violence or death were involved. This meant that friends were more likely to call an ambulance if a friend was in trouble. They would not be afraid of police involvement.