Editorial: Turning the question around — why punishing drug users is immoral
The criminalisation of drugs has been a fact of life for so many years that we forget what a comparatively recent phenomenon it is. Those who advocate for the end of drug prohibition often find themselves on the defensive, having to argue step by step why we should end criminalising drug users. But what if we turn the question around? What if we ask on what basis drugs should be criminalised in the first place?
Interview: Naltrexone — no substitute for the hard yards
Lissette, a previous contributor to User’s News, caught up with her friend Tanya to get her views on naltrexone, a treatment for heroin dependency. Tanya talked about her experiences going through Ultra Rapid Opioid Detox and the effectiveness of this radical treatment that captured Australia’s attention in the late 1990s.
The 1997 Women’s Weekly article, ‘I woke up cured of heroin’, sparked enormous public and political interest in naltrexone in Australia. Naltrexone is a safe and inexpensive drug which is well absorbed when taken by mouth, lasts for a couple of days, and is very effective in blocking the action of opiates, including heroin. After the Women’s Weekly article appeared, the Australian media ran hot with stories about the amazing benefits of naltrexone. Naltrexone was the Miracle Cure of the Year. Politicians and media commentators abused clinicians and researchers who, having been caught out before, demanded to see evidence of the effectiveness and safety of naltrexone before endorsing the drug.