In this volume, international contributors discuss the philosophical basis and history of harm reduction policies and examine their outcomes. They also cover controversial topics related to harm reduction especially conflicts between the public health system, where most programs are located, and a worldwide criminal justice system that further marginalizes drug users. The book describes programs from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia.
Chapter 9: Harm Reduction in Australia: Politics, Policy, and Public Opinion
Harm Reduction in Australia: Politics, Policy, and Public Opinion
The drug of choice in Australian society is alcohol, and although the temperance movement was active in Australia, alcohol was never prohibited (Makkai, 1993b, 1994). Prior to federation in 1901, opium and cocaine were as widely available as alcohol and tobacco, although they were usually consumed in patent medicines. At the turn of the century, racist concerns primarily about the Chinese resulted in the various states introducing legislation to ban opium use. At this time, the medical profession was also seeking to enhance its professional status by restricting the availability of patent medicines via prescription (Manderson, 1993). They were successful in their bid to control prescribing, and a ...