Caring Government Welfare Policy Helps Drug Users & Community Chose Better Than Addiction
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Dear caring citizen,
Australia has been conducting a three-decade long experiment in a the drug policy framework that is supposed to not merely deal with the harms of ongoing drug use, but first and foremost reduce drug use!
Sadly, the focus of the important three pillar Harm Minimisation Policy was quickly narrowed in many venues to Harm Reduction only, resulting in (for just one example): over 3500 Needle & Syringe programs, as well as approximately 50 million pieces of injecting equipment per year1 being distributed at tax-payer expense to help facilitate, not reduce, ongoing illicit drug use. These outcomes, among others has contributed to a growing culture of permission - It is now permission, not prohibition that is a significant driver of drug use uptake.
Our networks and constituencies have, and are, dealing with 1000’s of ex and recovering addicts who longed to be drug free, but their addiction to the psychotropic toxins impeded them from ‘freely’ making that ‘choice’ to exit drug use. These same people only found the enabling to reduce, remediate and recover from drug use because of a facilitated process, be it via drug court ‘coercion’ or the other wise proactive incentivization toward best health practice of drug reducing and rehabilitation/recovery vehicles.
According to reports ‘70% ice users are on welfare’2
All evidence focused and caring practitioners understand ongoing drug use is not conducive to health, capacity, productivity and/or sustainable employment. Social, mental and physical health faculties continue to be eroded, and for the unsupervised welfare recipient, only adds to their dysfunction and further decline of their health/ productivity potential.
“For every person using ICE, 10 family members will be affected!”3
Families not only suffer at the hand of the continuing drug use behaviour, but are also emotionally, socially, psychologically, as well as, financially depleted by the unrelenting drug use.
According to a National Drug Survey4 first time drug use has very little to do with ‘being a battler’ or suffering from trauma, with this specific demographic only covering an average (yet tragic) of approx. 7% of the drug up taking population – “wanting to feel better!” But, that is not by far the majority, with numbers as high as 72% using drugs out of curiosity, or simply because a ‘friend’ offered it!’
Drug use normalisation messages and an ever increasing ‘permission culture’ NOT Prohibition, have fostered these statistics.
No functional and caring government/society will condone the use of any resource, let alone taxpayer funds, to service this self-harming process. Any self-harming, society damaging and law-breaking behaviour must be addressed by a civil society. As much as an austere response to such conduct may be well justified, that is not what is being sought by this proposed policy for the hapless drug user. Any vehicle that facilitates the reduction and cessation of drug use, whilst empowering/enabling the drug user to become a contributing member of society is a proactive and positive step for the entire community.
What is also little know is that the cost of keeping a drug user – using drugs is at least twice as expensive as a facilitated compassionate 12-month period in Therapeutic community.
“When health, welfare, legal and law enforcements costs are considered, it is estimated that each person in this survey [current drug users] would have cost Governments [tax payers]
$181,934.00 per annum.” 5
Over the coming weeks, Parliament will vote on whether to implement mandatory drug testing. Many doctors, nurses and allied health workers – determined to stop workplace (as well as community and family violence) on and through their alcohol and other drug using patients, are wanting to see change - “98% having received verbal aggression’ and ‘92% experiencing violence of physical threats’ 6 - They are tired of the relentless community and self-harming conduct and want better for their patients and their work place.
Our communities, families and Health care professionals want the best for their patients and loving holistic care always seeks to help people OUT of drug use!
Drug Advisory Council Australia
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