Illicit Drugs: Harm Minimisation Essay

1972 words - 8 pages

IntroductionWhere the criminal justice system is concerned, the most significant impact of illicit drug use has been its association with other forms of crime and health (Ross & Polk, 2003, p. 133). Currently, Australian drug policy operates within a prohibition model, but in practice has developed, together with the criminal justice system and the government, a range of realistic harm minimisation strategies to deal with the issues surrounding drug dependence and crime (Makkai, 2000). This paper will begin by evaluating the current problem with illicit drugs in Australia today by recognising that not only is illicit drug use a primary health concern, it also has a considerable involvement with crime. Secondly, the history of Australian drug policy and prohibition will be briefly explored. The current approach of harm minimisation developed as a response to illicit drugs including supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction will be discussed and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches will be evaluated to determine the success of these programs. Lastly, a method of tackling the problem of illicit drugs using harm minimisation will be suggested.Illicit drug use, including cannabis, heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamines, and designer drugs such as ecstasy, is a primary concern in Australia today. The impact of illicit drug use and its association with various forms of crime has been the criminal justice systems major concern (Ross & Polk, 2003, p. 133). The establishment of the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia assists in understanding the drug/crime link, and it has been determined that between 13% and 45% of arrestees test positive for opiates, 52% - 65% for cannabis, and 4% - 14% for amphetamines (Ross & Polk, 2003, pp. 133-134).These issues have attracted a high level of political and social interest. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), illicit drugs are directly and indirectly a major cause of death and ill health. Medical conditions associated with illicit drug use are overdose, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, low birth weight, malnutrition, infective endocarditic (i.e. inflammation of lining of the heart), poisoning, suicide and self-inflicted injury (Standing, 2003, p. 149). The harm caused by licit and illicit drug abuse has an impact at every level of society from the individual person to the global community. A report on the inquiry into substance abuse in Australia was developed by the Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs in 2003, and presents that crime associated with drug use is deeply concerning, adding to unease in the community (Standing, 2003, p. 6). The report further states that at a national level, the impact is visible in economic losses due to harm, diminished productivity, and damage to property. In addition, the services that governments put in place to address crime, trauma and ill health are costly. After realizing the issues that illicit drugs...

Find Another Essay On Illicit Drugs: Harm minimisation

A brief outline of the long and short term risks of ecstasy use

793 words - 3 pages As with all drugs, the best way to avoid problems with ecstasy is simply to not use it. In the past the Australian Drug Foundation has worked from this perspective with campaign slogans like 'Just say no!' However, these messages have not been effective, as people who choose to take drugs will do so no matter what the risk. A new approach has been adopted that focuses on harm minimisation. Harm minimisation attempts to lower the risk of serious

week five written assignment

1907 words - 8 pages , of which an estimated 500,000 occasional or regularly are cannabis users. Switzerland has a four pillar policy of repression, prevention, treatment, and harm reduction which is credited with reducing the mortality rate, crime, and deprivation associated with severe addition (Kapp, 2003). In September of 2012 the nations that make up Central American had a summit in reference to the legalization of illicit drugs. Several Latin American

The Economics of Illicit Drugs

1341 words - 5 pages transaction, as long as it does not impose substantial, involuntary harm to a third party. John Stuart Mill, the 19th-Century economist who made this argument, individual liberty was an extremely important value (Moomaw & Olson, 2007) Having in mind that there are those that think we should legalize illicit drugs, let’s consider the economic impact of doing so. It's pretty much universally agreed that illegal drugs in the U.S. are bad for the country’s

Drug related crime: a distinction between crimes rooted in prohibition and crimes caused by drug use

2938 words - 12 pages , test positive for drugs and are dependant on that substance . This is important because those who are dependant on cannabis are more likely to be arrested and charged with an offence under the legislation, compared to those who are dependant on heroin and alcohol who are most likely to be arrested and charged with property crimes and crimes of violence respectively .The aim of harm minimisation is empirically achieved with the intensification of law

Mexican-American Drug War

1429 words - 6 pages harm caused by the policies themselves. Some policies cause greater problems and only fester the Drug War. Many of these illicit narcotics are transported across our border by land using commercial trucks or private/rental vehicles; rarely drugs are smuggled by maritime or airways. Airline smuggling is used least and at the most only 24% of heroin seizures are tracked. Through ocean trafficking the Caribbean smugglers exploit Puerto Rican and

Drug Legalization

1151 words - 5 pages consequences that someone can face in the near future. Absolutely nothing good comes out of illicit drugs. Whether it is emotionally or physically, the only thing that drugs do is harm others. Drugs are illegal for a reason, they hurt and kill. Drugs need to stay illegal. Everyones safety is at risk with the legalization of drugs. Even the users themselves! So,what would happen if drugs were legalized? It is simple, absolute madness. Works Cited

"Drugs don't kill people, people who use drugs kill themselves."

925 words - 4 pages they usually mean illegal substances such as amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and so on. It is important to remember that the legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are still the greatest cause of drug-related harm in our society. More than 100,000 kids enter treatment each year for marijuana and other illicit drugs that are between the ages of 12 and 17.One controversial solution is the proposal of legalizing drugs. Many believe

The Five Wars of Globalization

1715 words - 7 pages drug smuggling there is intense amount of planning and technology used. For example, drug smugglers use cloned phones and broadband radio receivers to not get caught by the governmental stuff such as the border guards and the police. (Niam, 2008, p. 152). Continuing if one of the drug lords is killed, there is always someone to replace the individual that is running the illicit network. The reason is the demand for drugs is very high due to immense

THE IMMORAL PROPOSAL FOR THE CHANGE OF DRUG LAWS

1619 words - 6 pages must realize that harm resulting from drug abuse is not individual but systemic (Inciardi 38). There are more than 6.6 million children under the age of 18 living in alcoholic households, and an additional number of children living in households with parents that have problems with illicit drugs. A significant number of children in this country are being raised by addicted parents. Substances abuse plays a large role in incidence were violence

Rethinking The Drug War Strategy: Winning A Losing Battle

1695 words - 7 pages The three major international drug control treaties are? The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol (UN, 1961), Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 (UN, 1971), United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. These conventions seek to combat the drug trafficking and drug abuse while ensuring that there is availability of narcotic/psychotropic

Illicit drugs use has to begun to undergo a process of normalization in Britain: Assess the argument for and against this thesis?

2419 words - 10 pages all to 16 to 59 years old,12%had taken on illicit drug and 3%had used a class A drug in the last year. This equates to around four million users of any illicit drug and around one million users of class A drugs. Cannabis is the most frequently used drug, with around three million 16 to 59 years old having used it in the last year (1%).(Bcs 2001)According to British crime survey 1998 published on drug scope website ,the number of users reported

Similar Essays

Harm Minimisation Has Been An Overwhelming Success In Australia. It Would Be Equally So In Other Countries

2032 words - 8 pages prominent role in international debates on drug issues (Single & Rohl 1997). Control of illicit drugs has been a global concern since the International Opium Commission, known as the Shanghai Conference of 1909 (Australia Institute of Criminology 2001). This essay will describe Australia's three main strategies for harm minimisation and discuss the success of Harm Minimisation in Australia and oversea's.Three types of strategies responsible for the

Drugs In Australia; Which Way Is Best?

779 words - 3 pages the harms involved in them. Detox leads addicts of illicit drugs, to other substances, but this program does nothing about the addiction itself. Rehabilitation programs, in my opinion, are not harsh enough for users, and are more of a temporary inconvenience than a solution. My view of Harm Minimisation is that it only reduces crime and such acts, but does not bring to an end the problem as it should.Decriminalisation, where you prescribe drugs

Different Commentators Define 'harm Reduction' And 'harm Minimisation' In Different Ways

2028 words - 8 pages . , 1993). Harm minimisation has been a hallmark of Australia's approach to drugs, giving Australia prominent role in international debates on drug related harm (Single & Rohl, 1997). However the use of the term has changed from its inception with the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse in 1985. This easy will discuss the understanding of the term 'harm reduction' and 'harm minimisation' and the different applications to the drug use arena

Risk Of Experimenting With Drugs Essay

817 words - 4 pages A drug is either a naturally occurring or man-made chemical substance whose action alters the body structure or functions when administered. The administration of a drug could take many forms including oral, inhalation or injection. The action of drugs on the cells has various side effects and risks. However, this varies according to the category of the drug, which could either be licit or illicit. In this context, illicit drugs, which comprise