Australian article on youth depression essay
Illicit drug use in Australia is the recreational use of prohibited drugs in Australia. Illicit drugs include illegal drugs such as cannabis , opiates , and certain types of stimulants , pharmaceutical drugs such as pain-killers and tranquillisers when used for non-medical purposes, and other substances used inappropriately such as inhalants.
In Australia, many drugs are regulated by the federal Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons , as well as various state and territory laws. This includes many prescription-only drugs which are considered "illicit drugs" if the holder does not have a prescription or other authority to possess them.
However alcoholic beverages , tobacco and caffeine are not covered by this law. Prior to Australian Federation , there was little policy response to the use of illicit substances. According to the Victorian Premier's Drug Advisory Council in , there were three main "classes" of opium users. The first class of opium users were middle-class , middle-aged women who took the drug for menstrual pain or to alleviate the symptoms of depression. The second class of opium users included doctors, nurses and other health professionals, who used the drug as a strategy for coping with the stress of their work.
The third class were Chinese immigrants , amongst whom the drug was primarily used as a recreational substance. Many of the initial attempts to control opium were motivated by racism , with Anglo-Celtic Australians citing opium use by Chinese Australians as a danger to health and morality. By , there were many laws in place which prohibited the import and use of smoking grade opium; however, by the s, Australia had the developed world's highest per capita rate of heroin consumption.
With the introduction of laws and policies which prohibited the import and use of opium, taxation income the government had previously been earning from opium imports was redundant. A customs report in noted that "it is very doubtful if such a prohibition has lessened to any great extent the amount bought into Australia. Desmond Manderson, an expert on the history of Australian drug policy, has asserted that from this time forward, Australia's drug policies have been more dictated by international relations and a political need for moral panic than any concern for health and welfare Manderson, Britain signed the treaties on behalf of Australia, and from this point on, Australia's State and Territory governments have created their own laws and policies relating to illicit drug use.
Although Australia was initially influenced by the strict illicit drug controls and penalties promoted by the League of Nations, and subsequently the United Nations ; following the end of the World War 2 , Australia's illicit drug policies became increasingly influenced by the United States, due to the United States' increasingly pro-active participation in United Nations policy making and large financial contribution to United Nations budgets.
Hence, the strong British influence on Australia's drug policies waned, and Australia's illicit drug policies shifted from a health and social focus to an increased focus on law enforcement and criminal justice. Illicit drug use in Australia was popularised in Australia in the s. The shifting of social and cultural norms in the s counterculture , which explicitly involved a sense of revolution , created a youth culture which was enthusiastic about exploring altered states of consciousness and were keen to experiment with drugs.
In 's Sydney , the most high-profile use of illicit drugs was focused around the Kings Cross area, whose reputation as a "red light district" attracted members of various international armed forces on leave from the Indochina Wars.
American troops stationed in major Australian cities such as Sydney provided access to drugs like heroin. Since this period, Kings Cross has retained its reputation for vice and has remained a popular destination for tourists. Drug literature, later defined as apart of the grunge lit canon, shone a light on drug taking in Australian's urban areas: Monkey Grip by Helen Garner charts the fraught relationship between a single-mother in her thirties, and a twenty-something heroin addict living in Fitzroy , while Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction Luke Davies details a young couple addicted to heroin in s Sydney.
Prior to this time, drugs had been synonymous with Kings Cross and the neighboring suburb of Darlinghurst. In the s and s, local Razor Gangs achieved such a level of notoriety through their violent attempts to control the local cocaine trade,  that Darlinghurst became colloquially known as "Razorhurst".
Jeffs avoided police attention by bribing high-profile police officers to refrain from raiding the club.
Drug use increased exponentially by the mids. Australia's first National Drug Strategy , focused on demand reduction , supply reduction and harm reduction.
The death of Sydney teenager Anna Wood from ecstasy in prompted strong media coverage and moral outrage over concerns relating to teenage drug use in Australia and attacks on rave dance parties , where Wood consumed the drug and later became ill. During the s, Australia experienced a heroin "epidemic",  in which high quality, low priced heroin, imported from South East Asia, was readily available in many metropolitan, suburban and rural areas.
As a result of this, many other illicit drugs have risen and fallen in popularity to fill this void, with prescription temazepam , morphine , oxycodone , methamphetamine and cocaine all being used as a substitute.
It was opened on the recommendation of the Wood Royal Commission. Prior to this, several venues such as strip clubs or brothels in Kings Cross rented out rooms to injecting drug users so that they could have a private and safe place to inject. This practice went on with unofficial approval by the police, as it kept injecting drug use off the streets and in the one area.
This further allowed criminal activity to profit off illicit drug use, as many venue owners would sell rooms and drugs. The Wood Royal Commission identified that while there were benefits to these illegal shooting galleries, allowing police to cooperate with illegal activities could encourage corruption, it suggested an independent medical facility to continue providing safety for the users, and safety for the public by lessening the impact of drug use on the streets, such as discarded needles or drug related deaths.
The Australian Crime Commission's illicit drug data report for — was released in western Sydney on 20 May and revealed that the seizures of illegal substances during the reporting period were the largest in a decade due to record interceptions of amphetamines, cocaine and steroids.
The report also stated that average strength of crystal methamphetamine doubled in most jurisdictions within a month period and the majority of laboratory closures involved small "addict-based" operations. The Melbourne inner-city suburbs of Richmond and Abbotsford are locations in which the use and dealing of heroin has been concentrated for a protracted time period.
Research organisation the Burnet Institute completed the 'North Richmond Public Injecting Impact Study' in collaboration with the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, City of Yarra and North Richmond Community Health Centre and recommended hour access to sterile injecting equipment due to the ongoing "widespread, frequent and highly visible" nature of illicit drug use in the areas.
Illicit drug use in Australia
During the period between and a four-fold increase in the levels of needles and syringes collected from disposal units and street-sweep operations was documented for the two suburbs. In the local government area the City of Yarra, of which Richmond and Abbotsford are parts, syringes were collected each month from public syringe disposal bins in Furthermore, ambulance callouts for heroin overdoses were 1.
The Burnet Institute's researchers interviewed health workers, residents and local traders, in addition to observing the drug scene in the most frequented North Richmond public injecting locations. On 28 May , the Burnet Institute stated in the media that it recommends hour access to sterile injecting equipment in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray after the area's drug culture continues to grow after more than ten years of intense law enforcement efforts.
The Institute's research concluded that public injecting behaviour is frequent in the area and inappropriately discarding injecting paraphernalia has been found in carparks, parks, footpaths and drives. Furthermore, people who inject drugs have broken open syringe disposal bins to reuse discarded injecting equipment.
A study part of the Global Burden of Disease Study published in The Lancet , led by Professor Louisa Degenhardt from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, reported in late August that Australia has one of the world's most serious drug problems, caused by amphetamines, cocaine, cannabis and opioids. Co-author Professor Harvey Whiteford, from the University of Queensland, stated: "There is no doubt Australia has a culture, especially among our young people, which does not see the taking of illicit substances or binge drinking as particularly detrimental to the health.
Our study suggests otherwise. The same research also recorded a fall of 19 per cent between and due to a reduction in the sales of heroin and cannabis. An Australian study released on 16 September showed that ambulance callouts for meth and amphetamine-related issues rose from to cases in Melbourne , the capital city of Victoria—this rise is attributed mainly to crystal methamphetamine, as attendance figures rose from to cases.
The list of reasons for the callouts included anxiety, paranoia, palpitations, gastrointestinal symptoms, and self-harm.
The data revealed that the 1, overdose deaths recorded nationally in by the ABS outnumbered the road toll for the second year in a row, as well as a per cent increase in accidental overdose deaths among females over the previous decade. Many of the recorded deaths were the result of prescription drug use. The United Nations World Drug Report published data that indicated that Australia has one of the highest global prevalence of cannabis use. The report also stated that cocaine use had increased over the four years leading up to The Australian government enacted numerous policies in response to illicit drug use.
During the s, it was one of the first countries to enact the policy of "harm minimisation", which consists of three pillars: " demand reduction ", "supply reduction" and " harm reduction ". This policy is still in effect as of and the following outlines are contained in The National Drug Strategy: Australia's integrated framework document:. In Bronwyn Bishop headed a federal parliamentary committee reported that the Government's harm reduction policy is not effective enough.
It recommended re-evaluating harm reduction and a zero-tolerance approach for drug education in schools.
Chinese immigration to Sydney
The committee also wanted the law changed so children can be put into mandatory care if parents were found to be using drugs. The report says federal, state and territory governments should only fund treatment services that are trying to make people permanently drug-free and priority should go to those that are more successful. The report was criticised by a range of organisations such as Family Drug Support,  the Australian Democrats  and the Australian Drug Foundation  for lacking evidence, being ideologically driven and having the potential to do harm to Australia.
The Labor Party authors also released a dissenting report. The report and its recommendations have been shelved since the election of the Rudd Government in Rudd was prime minister until Entitled "Government Drug Policy Expenditure in Australia", the report also concluded that the harm reduction arm of the government's policy, with 2. The report identifies a significant decrease in the proportion of funds allocated to harm reduction over time and Ritter expressed her concern in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:.
It's a shift in policy that hasn't been formally acknowledged. There is absolutely no reason that investment should have decreased. We don't have good evidence that law enforcement works, and we have anecdotal evidence I suppose that it might not work as a policy.
We continue to arrest people and drugs keep coming into Australia … and profits continue to be made. A number of Australian and international groups have promoted reform in regard to 21st-century Australian drug policy.
The membership of some of these organisations is diverse and consists of the general public, social workers, lawyers and doctors, and the Global Commission on Drug Policy has been a formative influence on a number of these organisations.
Upon joining the group, all members sign a charter that states:. This Charter seeks to encourage a more rational, tolerant, non-judgmental, humanitarian and understanding approach to people who currently use illicit drugs in our community.
The aims of the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform are to minimise the adverse health, social and economic consequences of Australia's policies and laws controlling drug use and supply. Long-term goals include "the reform of drug laws in planned stages with detailed evaluation of such laws at all stages and the minimisation of the harmful use of drugs".
According to its website, Responsible Choice is an organisation that was initiated in response to the criminalisation of cannabis in Australia, specifically in terms of the legalisation of alcohol, another drug that the organisation describes as "our ONLY legal similarly categorised substance". The organisation explains that its mission is to "enliven the debate as to whether or not cannabis should enjoy regulation within Australian society comparable to alcohol.
It is also our intention to provide recent, relevant and factual information regarding both cannabis and alcohol"  and Responsible Choice's "resident writer", Tim, further explains that:. As a parent I have come to realise that I no longer believe alcohol is a recreational drug I would encourage my children to use.
Knowing full well that when the time comes the choice will not be mine to make, I have made it a goal of mine to investigate, research and comment on current drug policy juxtaposed with the negative effects alcohol, with a view towards providing researched based information to those who are seeking it. This has allowed me to see the place that cannabis should rightly have in our society, specifically in its capacity to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol.
The Charter of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation is "endorsed by the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform, seeks to encourage a more rational, tolerant and humanitarian approach to the problems created by drugs and drug use in Australia.
The website also lists numerous Australian supporters of drug law reform:. If heroin were legal today, as it was in , society would not have a drug problem. I talked to a former member for Monaro who was a chemist and who dispensed heroin in the s. He said he had no problems with his customers when heroin was legal. In those days 70 per cent of crime was not associated with drug prohibition: It did not exist because heroin was legal.
The problems began only when heroin became illegal and a criminal fraternity developed around its sale, as occurred during the prohibition era of the s when criminals made money by selling illegal alcohol. When there is a profit motive involved people will push any illegal substance.
That is the key problem: If there were no profit motive there would be no incentive to push drugs on the streets of Cabramatta or anywhere else. When people finally realise that they will find a solution to the drug problem. NORM Australia is based in Kotara, New South Wales ,  produces a quarterly magazine  the first edition of the NORML Australia Magazine can be viewed online  and "supports the right of adults to use marijuana responsibly, whether for medical or personal purposes.
Cubitt has revealed that successive employment positions within the Australian correctional and justice system, including a period at the Alexander Maconochie correctional centre in Canberra , Australia, and a vocational course led him to an understanding of "the harm that society is doing to people who are afflicted by drug abuse". Greg Denham, a former police officer who served in the Australian states of Queensland and Victoria , has conducted work on behalf of LEAP Australia in Melbourne   —as the executive officer of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, Denham has also been a vocal supporter of a proposal to establish a supervised injecting facility in the Melbourne suburb of North Richmond.