We all pay the price:
Our drug laws are tearing apart Australia’s social fabric, as well as harming drug users and their families
An unprecedented collaboration between experts in drug treatment and community welfare has led to a ground-breaking Australia21 report that exposes a wide range of health and social harms created or worsened by Australia’s current drug laws.
The national report reflects expert views shared at a cross-sector Australia21 Roundtable that included representatives from the Kings Cross MSIC, Uniting ReGen, Anglicare Australia, the Noffs Foundation, the ACT Council of Social Services, the Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, the Penington Institute, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies, the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and high profile addiction specialists, sociologists and criminologists, as well as participants with lived experience of drug use and imprisonment. The legitimacy of these voices cannot be ignored.
We All Pay The Price explores the complex two-way interactions between the punitive approach to drug use and problems including poverty, social disadvantage, unemployment, homelessness, family violence, child protection interventions, mental illness, stigma, discrimination and suicide. It calls for the removal of criminal penalties for personal use and possession, in order to reduce the health, social and economic costs ultimately borne by all Australians.