“For the second year in a row, methadone has killed more Scottish drug addicts than heroin,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“So it is very disappointing that the Australian Labor Party has ignored this evidence, saying in its official response to the FamilyVoice federal election survey that it will continue down the harm minimisation path in its National Drug Strategy (2010-2015). The Greens approach is equally doomed to failure.”
The findings come days after a review commissioned by the Scottish Government raised serious concerns about the methadone drug replacement program, which is similar to the program widely operating in Australia. In Australia, as in Scotland, putting heroin addicts on a regular dose of methadone has not stopped them using illegal drugs and has not helped them become drug-free.
“The Tough on Drugs strategy launched by the Howard government in 1997 brought drug use down for the first time in three decades,” Ros Phillips said. “But when Labor came to power in 2007, drug use in Australia rose significantly.”
“Clearly, Australia’s harm minimisation approach – which includes methadone substitution, needle and syringe hand-outs, injecting rooms and liberal cannabis laws – is not working,” Ros Phillips said. “We need to adopt evidence-based programs such as Fresh Start, which has helped Australian addicts become drug-free for over a decade.”
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