Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Will The Daily Telegraph Writer Who Wrote This Crap Please Own Up

It doesn’t get any funnier than this.

An article(below) from The Daily Telegraph pushing that moralist cornerstone, the failed Just Say No anti-drug slogan continues with a story about a mystical cancer cure attributed to the miraculous powers of pending saint, Sister Mary MacKillop. It seems apt that miracles, God and divine intervention are gracing the same page as a moralist pushing tougher drug policies, a Just Say No ideology and drug education made especially to please the religious right, parents and voters. Who needs science, research, facts and weak minded junkies who can’t say no to drugs, when we could have miracles, faith and our prisons full of nasty drug addicts?

Mixing The Drugs Message
The Daily Telegraph
January 2010

WHEN it comes to doing drugs, the message should be "Just Say No".

Drugs are illegal to people of all ages and the problem with these so-called drug safety pamphlets is that they can be accessed by everyone - including impressionable children under 18.

Although the campaign is targeted at the 18 to 29-year-old market, the brochures can be found in places like public libraries or at rock concerts where teenagers are known to congregate.

But the issue should not only be about the age but about a drug education policy which needs to be overhauled.

The Government needs a tougher policy that sends an uncomplicated, unambiguous and more easily understood message to everyone - young and old - to just say no to drugs.

New research revealed at the weekend showed that ecstasy abuse is at an all time high, underlining that the message just doesn't seem to be getting through.

Drug education should primarily be about preventing drug use, not minimising the harm - basically to stop disaster before it occurs. It's too late after the horse has already bolted - and in the case of drug use the consequences can be irreversible.

The Daily Telegraph revealed inappropriate drug material was being circulated 18 months ago, forcing the State Government to act and pulp the material.

It is inconceivable it has happened again. Although the Government's message about drug use is ambiguous there is one thing that this debacle makes clear and that is authorities have run out of ideas on how to control drug abuse by teenagers. 

Miracles Of An Ordinary Kind

KATHLEEN Evans describes herself as an ordinary miracle. She says she was just an ordinary mum who contracted a horrible disease that was expected to take her life prematurely. And then something extraordinary happened - 10 months after doctors delivered her death sentence, Kathleen's cancer was cured.

The Evans family, Kathleen's friends, parish and now the Pope attribute this amazing survival story to the miraculous powers of Sister Mary MacKillop.

Their story has already been met with rolled eyes and sighs of disbelief from those who scoff at the notion of miracles and divine intervention. But they don't care - and nor should they.

At its core, the story of Kathleen Evans and the pending sainthood of Mary MacKillop is not all about religion or the traditions and customs of the Catholic Church. This is a story about hope and a grateful family who once had none.

It is a story about faith, courage and optimism. It is a story about the power of community and it reaffirms that when things get tough salvation - or in this case life - can be found in the support of others.

And that's something that should be celebrated by everyone, regardless of their religious persuasion.

Who writes this crap? Whoever it is, they don’t want their name associated with the piece as there is no author listed. I would’t own up either.
The Government needs a tougher policy that sends an uncomplicated, unambiguous and more easily understood message to everyone - young and old - to just say no to drugs.
-The Daily Telegraph

Hey, that’s a good idea! But hasn’t that strategy been tried before? Yes, the type of strategy that causes all the problems mentioned a few lines later. The very strategy that is now being blamed for tens of thousands of deaths over the last 10 years or maybe even a million deaths since it was first uttered by Nancy Reagan in the 1980s. Blaming the drug problem on Harm Minimisation is simply wrong as HM has never fully been implemented. Only the parts that suit the current policies have been implemented and a spattering of Harm Reduction programs like needle exchanges.
Drug education should primarily be about preventing drug use, not minimising the harm - basically to stop disaster before it occurs. It's too late after the horse has already bolted - and in the case of drug use the consequences can be irreversible.
-The Daily Telegraph

We can’t have both? If the author actually understood Harm Minimisation they would realise that it is made up of 3 strategies and not just Harm Reduction.
Demand Reduction (prevention, education and wide treatment options)
Demand-reduction strategies work to discourage people from starting to use drugs, and encourage those who do use drugs to use less or to stop. A mixture of information and education, along with regulatory controls and financial penalties, help to make drug use less attractive. A good example of a demand-reduction strategy was the graphic health information advertisements that 'Every cigarette is doing you damage'. Treatment is another example; it works to reduce a drug user's need to use drugs.

Supply Reduction (customs, law enforcement, the criminal justice and prison systems)
Supply control strategies involve legislation, regulatory controls and law enforcement. An example of a supply control strategy is liquor licensing laws restricting the sale of alcohol to persons aged 18 and over.

Harm Reduction (user education, needle programs, pharmacotherapies, etc).
Harm-reduction strategies have been controversial, because they work to reduce the risks of harm, but not necessarily to reduce drug use. For example, introducing low-alcohol beer means that people can still drink beer, but the long-term health risks can be reduced. Another example is providing injecting drug users with access to clean equipment through needle syringe programs. By reducing the risk of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis C and HIV being transferred, the risks are reduced for both the individual and the community as a whole.

Source: Australia Drug Foundation

By far, most attention is already on law enforcement followed by education. The evil Harm Reduction only receives a miserly 3% of the government’s drug budget.

Supply Prevention 56%
Harm Prevention 23%
Treatment 17%
Harm Reduction 3%

So there. A quick lesson from a drug addict blogger who sadly knows more than the imperious author poncing about as some sort of authoritative morals expert.

Related Articles:
Free Drugs Guide Offer To Children
Journalist Should Be Ashamed
Piers Akerman, His Readers, Oxycodone and The Truth
Drug Hysteria - Headlines from News Ltd.


Anonymous said...

Its funny because i read this article in the paper today and laughed out loud. I was looking on google for an online version and came across this link. What more can you expect from the Australian media... sigh

In a seminar at the Operah House late last year "Make drug use Legal", one of the key barriers mentioned by a speaker was how the Australian media is leading the way for our drug policiy. This a perfect case and point;


Johnny Rockets said...


Those are editorials - so I guess it is the opinion of the DT's editors.

Anonymous said...

Harm reduction - a measly 3%. But how much money does it save Aus? A whole lot! No one could make those cost-effective and humanitarian claims about our prison systems... But when you make it morally based, I guess that doesn't matter.

celltech said...

Just say no!
Don,t ask questions.
Don't seek information.
Don't think for Yourself.
Don't make informed decisions.
Just do as You're told.
Just say no!

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that other parents know as I do,- this kind of message comes from a fool. And raises more of the same.

Terry Wright said...

Sorry about replying so late.

Hi Anon(1).
I checked out your link and saw the bit you mentioned. It was Greg Barns who blamed the media for their continued lies and exaggerations that attacked drug law reform and Harm Minimisation. It was so spot on!

Thanks Johnny Rockets.
So the editors are just as fucked up as the crappy journalists!

Howdy Anon(2)
Yep, a lousy 3%. You're right about the savings. Ironically, 56% goes on law enforcement but I am sure 10 times that is spent on day-to-day activities by the police and courts Australia wide. Check out the readers comments in The DT, The HUN, CourierMail, AdelaideAd, PerthNow etc. Any article about drugs brings out a huge mob of rabid rednecks crying out for prison to all drug users/dealers. If only they realised how many are already in prison for drugs and how much it costs. Then again, they might already know this but just hate drug users and want them in prison anyway?

Thanks Celltech(LS)
I think most parents don't know. Most anti-drug campaigns are actually targeted to parents because they are usually the biggest supporters of "Just Say No". The results of anti-drug campaigns are not important and have been failing for decades. It's the perceived success of being “Tough on Drugs” that the government care about.

You'll come back, yer hear.