FAMILY DRUG SUPPORT
5 Key Points
In the addresses at the events held at the Canberra, Sydney, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia Parliament Houses, Mr Tony Trimingham (CEO, Family Drug Support) will call for the following major requirements.
1. Policy must focus on measures that reduce drug fatalities - families want policies and programs that keep their children alive. This includes harm reduction strategies such as safe injecting facilities, pill testing and heroin prescription programs.
2. Families want informed and innovative policies and programs that reduce the likelihood of harm for their children. This means substantially increasing the proportion of Australia’s $1.7 billion drug budget for harm reduction (2.2%) and treatment services (22%) from the current allocations.
3. A reliance on criminal sanctions to address drug use only serves to create more problems – drug use is a health issue not a crime issue and families want services that assist their children not punish and criminalise them in a way that creates lifelong penalties. Drug users and their families should always be treated with respect care and compassion.
4. Greater inclusion of family members in the decision making process for families experiencing problematic drug use – For too long families have been left in the cold as they are often seen as part of the problem. Families must be included as equal partners and consulted on all aspects in the development and implementation of drug policies and programs.
5. Family support must be recognized and resourced as a key element in achieving positive outcomes with people experiencing problematic drug and alcohol use, with a much greater emphasis needed to support Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse families – families want services that are there to help them as well as the affected individual.