August 22, 2017 – As Delaware Valley residents struggles to deal with the drug epidemic, it’s important to note that the problem isn’t just an issue confined to the United States – the crisis can be felt all over the globe. Unfortunately, the questions that American families and communities are facing are the same ones asked by citizens of other countries.
According to The Guardian, Australian elected leaders, law enforcement and health experts are struggling to get on the same page to address the opioid crisis. Like America and many other countries, Australia has dealt with drug issues for decades as a criminal justice issue rather than a health and social problem. However, the problems are only getting worse.
Despite little evidence that threatening punitive measures is helpful, the government unveiled a plan to strip those living with addiction off disability pensions and certain employment protections.
Health officials argue that resources should be directed to offering treatment services through an evidence-based approach:
If the government wants to help people with severe alcohol and drug problems it should redirect funding into the proven frontline referral services crying out for more support. If they are indeed trying to connect drug users with employment, they should create more meaningful work in our communities.
But what if all that they’re trying to do is distract their followers from their calamitous polls and appeal to a callous minority?
Australia is better than this. We have tried punishing people struggling with severe drug problems for half a century and it hasn’t worked. When people are down, don’t push them down even further: help them to get up. These proposals are exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.
Read the full story on The Guardian.