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    Supporting families affected by alcohol and other drugs in Australia.
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Opinion piece written by David Caldicott from Canberra’s Calvary Hospital

Stop sacrificing young lives at an altar of drug dogma
DECEMBER 11, 2018
I am the very proud father of some very naughty children, and I would happily walk through fire for them. I am also an emergency consultant with an interest in illicit drug overdoses and, by obvious ¬extension, how to reduce them. This year, I was proud to be part of an extraordinary coalition of individuals who conducted Australia’s first government-sanctioned pilot pill test in the ACT.
Since the death of yet another young man at a music festival this weekend, from a presumed overdose, it is in this latter capacity that I have been asked, on several occasions now, “How do you feel about another festival death in NSW?” He has a name: Callum Brosnan.

Letter from NADA thanking FDS staff and volunteers

NADA letterA Letter from the Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (NADA) thanking FDS staff and volunteers for a recent collaboration delivering workshops around Australia. A big thank you to all the attendees at these events, and to NADA for the invitation to be involved in these valuable and important sessions.

Pill testing can ‘save lives’

A video article by Sky News on a recent overdose death at a music festival in Homebush, NSW. 
This story includes an interview at the end with Gino Vumbuca – President of Harm Reduction Australia


Drug users shouldn’t be treated like criminals

Please see below a link to an article by Gino Vumbaca – President of Harm Reduction Australia, in the Daily Telegraph. 
It includes excerpts from a speech by a family member at the recent Family Drug Support remembrance ceremony in Adelaide:
There are a number of negative comments on this article. Here is a response to those comments by Tony Trimingham (OAM) – CEO and founder of Family Drug Support:
“The hard hearted commentators don't appear to have read the article properly. This is not about condoning crime associated with drug use, or suggesting that drug use is a right. The mother quoted in the article stated that her son died as a result of alcohol use - a legal drug. Whether we like it or not, people use drugs. Some are legal, some illegal. Some more harmful than others. The point of the article is to emphasise the pain that is caused when people die from drugs, and trying to find a better way of dealing with the problem. There are many issues that were formerly criminal acts that are now accepted - prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and even mental illness. We advocate for compassionate pragmatism, rather than a punitive moralising system of prohibition which has never worked. I sincerely hope that all the commentators never have to face the trauma of having someone dependent on drugs or dying from their effects.”

Items of Interest