SUBMISSION OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS FOR DRUG LAW REFORM TO THE INQUIRY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICES INTO THE IMPACT OF ILLICIT DRUG USE ON FAMILIES
The overriding objective of drug policy should be to safeguard life and
promote the physical and mental well-being and social functionality of all. It
should not be to make people drug free when this would be at the expense of
their physical and mental well-being and social functionality.
Governments should be open to the truth in formulating measures to achieve
this overriding objective. They should become informed on the basis of the
best available evidence of the likely consequences of the policy and law that
they put in place.
Substitution therapies such as methadone that are effective in stabilising the
lives of drug users should be expanded and procedures surrounding their
dispensation should be modified so as to avoid stigmatising and
discriminating against those suffering from an addiction.
The dispensation of drug therapies in different states and territories should be
co-ordinated so as to facilitate freedom of movement of those suffering from
and being treated for an addiction.
Drug policy should not involve the sacrifice of the life and well being of drug
users in the purported interests of the rest of the community.
There should be open minded exploration of measures that may promote the
well-being of drug users including the research of promising measures even
though they may lack strong evidence of efficacy.
Absence of proof of efficacy of a measure to promote well-being should not
be used as a pretext to refuse implementing it where there is strong evidence
that it does promote well-being.
Governments should develop policies that address the social and economic
risk factors of substance abuse.
Governments should pay special attention to the promotion of well-being of
the large proportion of the young population with personality types in
moderate or high risk of using available illicit drugs.
Governments should take steps to ensure that only effective school education
programs are supported and that the principles for drug education in schools
contained in the National School Drug Education Strategy are followed.
Anti-drug media campaigns should:
(a) be carefully designed so as to have the desired impact on the target
audience and not be shaped by what may seem convincing to those not in that
(b) not cause parents to panic or otherwise react in ways damaging to the
well-being of their children who may use drugs.
Drug policy should:
(a) reflect the fact that some illicit drugs are more dangerous than others and
that some methods of ingestion are more dangerous than others;
(b) influence drug users to use less harmful substances or ingest them by less
Drug policies should empower families to make choices that best promote the
well-being of their family members.