September 29, 2009
A recent analysis of official reports on the Sydney Kings Cross injecting room confirmed that unavailability of heroin is of far greater significance in preventing heroin deaths than the availability of injecting rooms.
Less than 9,800 drug users were registered at Kings Cross, a small number of illicit drug users in New South Wales. Most drug users lived well away from Kings Cross and used the rooms only occasionally so most drug use was elsewhere.
The severe heroin drought at the end of 2000 led to the reduction in drug deaths. In fact, timely ambulance attendance is more likely to prevent a drug death than any other factor.
Source: Kings Cross Injecting Centre Fails to Reduce Overdose Deaths, Dr Sullivan PhD. Click here for the research.
DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA COMMENTS
This study confirms overseas research that indicates that injecting rooms are a failure and are being closed down. Restriction of illicit drug supply is effective in reducing use and deaths.
Reducing the demand for illicit drugs is a key to successful drug policy.
Drug policy should divert identified drug users into court ordered and supervised detoxification and rehabilitation to get them drug free.
THE DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL SUPPORTS:
• More detoxification & rehabilitation that gets illicit drug users drug free.
• Court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.
• Less illicit drug users, drug pushers and drug related crimes.
Posted at 10:40 AM in News, Policies, legislation | Permalink
A very good point. So let’s destroy the heroin fields in Afghanistan!
Posted by: Frugal Dougal | September 29, 2009 at 04:54 PM
There were 2,106 overdose “events” treated at the Centre during the trial period. Nobody died during this time and yet, according to the study, no deaths were necessarily prevented, because these people could have been treated by paramedics or in a hospital ED.
True – as long as they were using with a responsible friend who could call out an ambulance. But the target group, street injecters, often don’t.
It is impossible to say exactly how many of these 2,000+ events would have been fatal had they happened elsewhere, but to choose instead to look for the effect of a single clinic by using overall population data is misguided, or just plain dishonest.
What this study shows most clearly is that people will take the evidence that suits their ideology and use it to attack the good work that is being done by others, simply because, in their opinion, it is “wrong”. Whether lives are saved, or not, is secondary.
Posted by: Adam Baxter | September 30, 2009 at 10:59 AM