Monday, 4 February 2008

Hydromorphone Trial

What ever happened to the proposed Hydromorphone trials in the ACT?. The proposal for a Hydromorphone trial in the ACT in 2003 was led by the ACT health minister, Simon Corbell and strongly supported by ACT opposition leader, Brendan Smyth. The ACT government took the proposal to the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy in Adelaide in November, 2003. The state and territory ministers endorsed the right of the ACT to hold the trial, but none were willing to join the program.

Why did the heroin trial only a few years before have so much support yet this trial got the royal cold shoulder. Nearly all the states and territories were labour and they all seemed to toe the line from the Federal Liberal Party who pushed hard with their 'Tough on Drugs' policy. I would guess Howard quietly warned the states and territories that supporting this trial would effect their funding. This is the style of the US who threatened Howard when the heroin trials were first raised in 1997 and it makes sense that Howard has has learnt well from his master.

ACT opposition leader, Brendan Smyth had some wise words for us:
I think it's unfortunate we don't look at options for keeping people alive - that's the fundamental driver on this for me, If this is an option that stops someone from overdosing on extra-strength heroin or getting blood-borne contamination from using a dirty needle, then I'd like to try it simply because we all should aiming at the preservation of life

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