The Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) invited feedback on the draft National Drug Strategy 2016-2025. The draft Strategy has been developed drawing upon extensive stakeholder input through earlier consultative processes, and has been approved by the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council for public consultation.
The draft National Drug Strategy 2016-2025 describes a nationally agreed harm minimisation approach to reducing the harm arising from alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. As well as outlining the national commitment to the harm minimisation approach, the Strategy describes priority actions, groups and drug types and summarises effective demand, supply and harm reduction strategies. The Strategy also includes headline indicators to monitor success.
Feedback will inform the further refinement of the strategy prior to its endorsement and release.
It should also be noted that separate to this process, the National Ice Taskforce, established by the Australian Government, is currently developing responses to crystal methamphetamine. The Taskforce’s report and its implications for the National Drug Strategy will be considered through a parallel consultative approach led by the Australian Government.
RAY'S SUBMISSION TO THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON DRUGS RE VALID ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO THE SCOURGE OF ICE AND OTHER "DRUG" PROBLEMS IN AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY:
I believe one of the biggest social problems in our Australian society is the scourge of ice. I am disappointed when I read that various task forces conclude there is no antidote or solution to ice addiction. There are at least two proven solutions that have been demonstrated to assist people.One is the herb Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and the other is a restricted substance called BZP (benzylpiperazine) This natural herb I write of is banned in Australia, but not in America, which begs the question- why is the scourge of ice so much bigger, per head of population here in Australia than in America? The proportion of Americans who use methamphetamine on a monthly basis has hovered in the range of 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent since 1999. 7.0% of Australians aged 14 years and over have used meth/amphetamines one or more times in their life. 2.1% of Australians aged 14 years and over have used meth/amphetamines in the previous 12 months. Of these people, 50.4% report crystal or ice as main form of the drug used. Well I believe one of the reasons for the lesser use of methamphetamine/ice in the USA may be that the herb Kratom is freely available there. The sales of herbal Kratom are the mainstay of a lot of herbal and "head"shop businesses in America, with the herb and its addiction interruption properties being reasonably well known about,or at least acknowledged in mainstream society, I believe people don't turn to ice in such great numbers in America simply because of the availability of Kratom. Or if they are using the drug,when they get to the point where they realise they are addicted and they know they have to do something about it, they will often try Kratom, being aware of its availability and the fact that it is a natural addiction interrupter. So why is Kratom banned in Australia and therefore not helping in the abuse of methamphetamine ? Is the herb dangerous? No not at all.
In small quantities it can have a mild stimulant effect, similar to a cup of coffee, which, combined with other actions of the herb, seems to be enough to keep drug cravings at bay. In larger quantities it has more of an opiate-like effect, which can calm people down when they are suffering the usual extreme agitation of withdrawal.
The other proven effective alternative and addiction interrupter is BZP (Benzylpiperazine) which was originally promoted by a chemist in New Zealand,who himself was addicted to methamphetamine.Knowing he was addicted, and that his life was suffering because of it,he was prompted to find a solution,particularly after a friend died from an overdose of methamphetamine. After researching he found that BZP could be an addiction interrupter. He tried it on himself and has never taken ice again, regaining control over his life.Unfortunately BZP was subsequently sold without regulation or control and was banned and classified as a dangerous drug. However it is not dangerous when taken in correct dosage and I believe, like Kratom, it should be available under prescription by qualified counsellors and healthcare practitioners.
The problem with the particular scheduling of such herbs and substances in Australia is that it prohibits further research, but these treatments should be available for licensed practitioners to prescribe as these two substances have the potential to restore health to the lives of thousands, many of whom are out in society committing unspeakable crimes directly because of their exposure to the heinous drug ice and the unavailability of safe, legal addiction solutions.
There is no need for a task force, legislators just need to make these substances available under prescription for addicts. This is an area that is not looked at enough. Prohibition doesn't work, not at all. Even in states and countries that have the death penalty - people still take and deal in drugs in those places. Zero tolerance does not work and actually breaks apart our society as much as the drug does. I believe that the availability of the described substances under prescription is the answer to the methamphetamine scourge in our society.
TOBACCO Many smokers,including the writer,have successfully give up nicotine with the use of alternative herbs.Yet anti-smoking laws around Australia forbid the public promotion of that fact! Unfortunately there also seems to be restrictions in some states on vapour pipes even though the harm from smoking comes from the burning material, not the vapour.
ALCOHOL Alcohol is definitely a problem in Australian society. I believe this problem could be lessened by the lifting of the Australian drinking age from 18 years of age to 21 years of age. Also state governments must restrict advertising,lobbying and political donations by alcohol companies. There should be a prohibition of alcohol in nightclubs throughout Australia after 1 AM in the morning and bottle shop sales after10 PM. DRUGS Prohibition has never worked and this has been proven. It is much better that all substances be regulated and be prescribed by qualified practitioners. Surely computer technology could be introduced where overprescription and substance-abuse of prescribed substances is individually recorded, monitored and controlled. The supply of prescribed drugs could also be individually coded to prevent sales of such drugs to unauthorised people. Yours
Founder & Director
Happy Herb Company P/L