ANCD Membership 2007-2010
• DR JOHN HERRON – ANCD Chairperson

Executive members:
• • • • COMMISSIONER TONY NEGUS – Australian Federal Police PROFESSOR MARGARET HAMILTON – Former Chair, Multiple & Complex Needs Panel, VIC MR GARTH POPPLE – Executive Director: We Help Ourselves, NSW A/PROF ROBERT ALI – Director, Clinical Services: Drug & Alcohol Services Council, SA

ANCD Membership 2007-2010
• MR DAVID CROSBIE – CEO, Mental Health Council of Australia, ACT • MAGISTRATE JEFF LINDEN – Magistrate, NSW • PROFESSOR RICHARD MATTICK – Director, National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre • PROF TONI MAKKAI – Dean, Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University • MR DAVID MCGRATH– Chair: Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs • PROFESSOR IAN HICKIE – Brain and Mind Institute • MS SHEREE VERTIGAN– Australian Secondary Principals Association • MS TAMARA MACKEAN – Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, Uni of WA • MS COURTNEY MORCOMBE – Ernst & Young • JOSEPHINE BAXTER – Drug Free Australia • A/PROF TED WILKES – National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University • DR DENNIS YOUNG – Executive Director: Drug Arm, QLD Advisors: • Mr Simon Cotterell – Department of Health & Ageing • Supt Tony Biggin – Victoria Police (Police Commissioners Committee Rep) • Ms Donna Ah Chee - Central Australia Aboriginal Congress • Mr Nick Heath - Hobart City Council

Advisory structure for the National Drug Strategy







Of Substance National Drug & Alcohol Magazine

Australia’s Response
Australia’s National Drug Strategy
Harm Minimisation

Supply Reduction

Demand Reduction

Harm Reduction

Australian drug use trends
Drugs used in the past year, Australia, 1993-2007

National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2007

Number of accidental deaths due to opioids among those aged 15 - 54 years (1988 – 2005) in Australia

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Value of treatment purchase
Rydell et al (1996)
Program • Focus Cost of reducing consumption of drugs by 1% ($ million/year) Cost relative to treatment
Source country Interdiction Programs Domestic Enforcement Treatment









Provided by NDARC

HIV prevalence in injecting drug users

World Health Organization Western Pacific Region

Return of NSP investment
• Total investments (2000-2009) = $243 million
– Estimated HIV cases prevented = 32,050 – Estimated HCV cases prevented = 96,667

• For every $1 invested in NSPs, $4 was saved in healthcare costs • For every $1 invested in NSPs, $27 was saved in health care costs and lost productivity

Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

PORTUGAL – Case Study
On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that

decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the
new legal framework, all drugs were “decriminalized,” not “legalized.”

Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.
Ref: Cato Institute

None of the fears of Portuguese decriminalization has come to fruition, whereas many of the benefits predicted by drug policymakers have been realized.

While drug addiction, usage, and associated pathologies continue to rise in many EU states, those problems have been either contained or measurably improved within Portugal since 2001.
By removing the fear of prosecution and imprisonment for drug usage, Portugal has dramatically improved its ability to encourage drug addicts to avail themselves of treatment. The resources that were previously devoted to prosecuting and imprisoning drug addicts are now available to provide treatment programs to addicts. Those developments, have dramatically improved drug related social ills, including drug-caused mortalities and drug-related disease transmission although it is noted that treatment is not voluntary. Drug policymakers in the Portuguese government are virtually unanimous in their belief that decriminalization has enabled a far more effective approach to managing Portugal’s addiction problems and other drug-related afflictions.
Ref: Cato Institute

Australia – Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative
• In Australia the number of people in prison has continued to rise.

• A significant proportion of prisoners have substance misuse and dependence problems that contributes to their criminal activity.
• The average annual cost for a prisoner ranges up to $80,000 per year

• The average annual cost for treatment in a residential rehabilitation centre is less than $30,000 per year,
• The average annual cost for non-residential treatment such as methadone and buprenorphine, counselling etc is even less In response to increasing international and national evidence on the benefits and effectiveness of treating offenders with drug use problems rather than imprisoning them in 1998 the Australian Government announced the National Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative as one of its major investments to address drug use

Police cautioning or apprehension

(either court or community based system) Treatment Assessment

Criminal justice/court


Drug education


Partnerships between Law Enforcement, Health, Government & NGO

Diversion Initiative Details
• Participation in the Drug Diversion Initiative is not compulsory offenders are given the option of appearing in court, or choosing to undergo assessment for the purposes of receiving treatment for their drug problem. • If offenders choose to undergo assessment, the diversion process becomes compulsory in order for them to expiate their offence. The treatment episode will not be more onerous than the equivalent court obligations. • The initiative is premised on drug users ―expiating‖ their offence by engaging in treatment and rehabilitation as recommended by their assessment. One effect of ―expiation‖ is that often no criminal conviction is recorded for that particular offence.

Some Diversion Program Results
• The saving of 18,000 hours of police time, the saving of $400,000 in police costs and an estimated saving of $800,000 for local courts just from the Cannabis Cautioning Police Diversion Program in New South Wales. In just 3 years of operation; • Participants in the NSW MERIT program (a court based diversion program) being far less likely to re-offend than those who did not complete the program; • Conservative cost estimates of the NSW MERIT program suggested that more than twice the amount spent was saved; • Queensland participants in the police illicit drug diversion program reporting increased employment and improved physical and mental health; • Victorian Drug Court participants reporting full-time employment increasing from 11% to 25% after six months;

• South Australian Police Diversion participants reporting a 40% decline in drug related offending with similar declines being reported across the country.

Drug prevention strategies
Drug prevention strategies: Drug prevention in the family Drug prevention strategies: Drug prevention in the school setting Drug prevention strategies: Drug prevention in the community

Barack Obama: Rolling Stone Interview
"Anybody who sees the devastating impact of the drug trade in the inner cities, or the methamphetamine trade in rural communities, knows that this is a huge problem. I believe in shifting the paradigm, shifting the model, so that we focus more on a public-health approach...
The point is that if we're putting more money into education, into treatment, into prevention and reducing the demand side, then the ways that we operate on the criminal side can shift. I would start with nonviolent, first-time drug offenders. The notion that we are imposing felonies on them or sending them to prison, where they are getting advanced degrees in criminality, instead of thinking about ways like drug courts that can get them back on track in their lives — it's expensive, it's counterproductive, and it doesn't make sense.―

Albert Einstein

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

Confucian Proverb
―Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome‖