Decriminalisation

It is our view that the evidence supports:

  • our understanding that most people who use drugs are productive members of society and most do not experience problems that require intensive treatment.
  • the removal of criminal penalties for possession (decriminalisation) as a prudent strategy to reduce the investment required over time to process people through the criminal justice system and increase opportunities for people to access treatment when they need it.
  • a review of current approaches across law enforcement, treatment and harm reduction to ensure an appropriate balance across the three pillars of the National Drug Strategy in future investment.

Please click on the image below to read the full paper.

Stigma and discrimination

It is our view that the evidence supports:

  • person first language must be adopted across the health and community services sector in Queensland to reduce attitudes that stigmatise people who use drugs.
  • careful reporting by the Queensland media of AOD issues will assist in reducing stigma and promoting help seeking behaviour.
  • implementation of the options for reform outlined in Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives will contribute to system improvement and should be implemented as a matter of priority.

Please click on the image below to read the full paper.

Systemic responses

It is our view that the evidence supports:

  • new investment should prioritise protective responses rather than punitive responses and include a diversity of treatment options including harm reduction strategies. These options should be amenable to families and include residential and non-residential treatment available to those on remand and in prison.
  • the best system responses include a multi-dimensional assessment capable of distinguishing between occasional substance use, problematic substance use and dependence so that treatment intensity is matched to need.
  • increase the investment in treatment because it works. It has been shown to reduce consumption of alcohol and other drugs, improve health status, reduce criminal behaviour, improve psychological wellbeing, and improve participation in the community.

Please click on the image below to read the full paper.