Drugs, Substance Abuse & Addiction

Drugs, Substance Abuse & Addiction

A harm minimisation approach is the most appropriate way to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use. Read the full policy.

(Adopted August 2015; updated February 2017)

Principles

The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. The use of all drugs, both legal and illegal, has the potential to cause harm to the individual and to the community.

2. Strategies to minimise the impacts of personal illegal drug use is best delivered through health and social services.

3. A harm minimisation approach is the most appropriate way to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use, for the individual user and subsequently the rest of the community.

4. Policy and programs adopted should be evidence-based and subject to continuous evaluation.

5. All people with a substance use problems should have access to a range of evidence-based and regularly evaluated treatment and recovery services.

6. Information and education programs should be available to enable informed debate about the effects of all drugs, including prescription, non-prescription, legal and illegal drugs.

7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must be involved, to the greatest extent possible, in the development and management of harm minimisation policies and treatment and recovery programs in their communities.

Illicit drugs

8. The legal framework for drugs and other substances used for non-medical purposes should be informed by evidence of the extent and nature of the harm likely to be caused.

9. There should be greater funding for demand, supply and harm reduction programs.

10. The individual use of illegal drugs should not fall within the criminal framework.

Alcohol

11. The costs to the community of alcohol use are enormous, and include negative health effects, reproductive health impacts, traffic deaths, violence and family violence.

Tobacco

12. Direct and passive consumption of tobacco smoke is a demonstrated health risk and has a significant cost to the community and health

Aims

The Queensland Greens will:

1. Work towards a reduction in harmful substance use, including smoking rates that are close to zero and alcohol consumption patterns that are within the limits recommended by public health experts.

2. Aim to improve the effectiveness of all management, treatment and other regulatory and judicial responses to drug use in the community, to maximise harm reduction, by reducing supply reduction and demand so as to improve health and social outcomes.

3. Introduce universal access to drug and alcohol treatment programs for those in need.

4. Increase the public dissemination of scientifically rigorous information on the risks and safe use of licit and illicit drugs.

5. Develop highly controlled strategies for the regulated use of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or raw cannabis for specified medical purposes, such as intractable pain.

6. Increase the availability of harm reduction programs including drug-substitution therapy, medically supervised injecting rooms, and widely accessible supply of clean needles, including in prisons.

7. Removal of legal barriers to both research and the evidence-based management of substance misuse and other medical conditions, where considered necessary by the public health community.

8. Increase in penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs at levels that impair cognitive or psychomotor skills.

9. Address the issue of inhalant misuse through supporting the rollout of measures, such as low-aromatic fuel throughout regions of Queensland, as well as associated diversionary and rehabilitation programs.

10. Support research trials and evaluation of substance use policy and treatment programs.

11. Extend the range of counselling and treatment programs to address substance use covered by Medicare.

Illicit Drugs

12. Introduce a system of civil sanctions for personal use of illicit drugs, when not associated with other crimes, including measures such as education, counselling and treatment, rather than criminal penalties while maintaining criminal penalties for drug dealers.

13. Increase the use and availability of diversionary, rehabilitation and treatment and recovery programs as sentencing alternatives for people convicted of offences involving personal addiction to drugs.

14. Improve communication between relevant agencies and local communities to address problems associated with harmful drug use.

Alcohol

15. Establish alcohol shelters in Queensland to address the issues of homelessness and addiction.

16. Prohibit advertising promotions of alcohol in sport targeting young people or which encourage excessive drinking.

17. Implement changes so that all alcoholic beverages are taxed based on alcohol content rather than value.

Tobacco

18. Ban all financial donations from the tobacco and alcohol industries to political parties and candidates.

19. Increase assistance to support programs to quit tobacco, and treatment strategies for nicotine addiction.

20. Extend bans on smoking in defined public spaces to reduce the effects of passive smoking.