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Word Count: 777
The Heroin War Why We Must Change our Battle Plan If a single reason can be given to illustrate the urgent need for reform of the current Australian drug policy it is this that the prohibition strategy is simply not working The toll from heroin deaths in Victoria has risen 73 percent over the last ten years addiction and overdose rates are soaring and the price of heroin is declining The Federal Government is applauding the zero-tolerance regime The Prime Minister displays the seizure of large amounts of the drug and apprehension of suppliers as proof that the law is working while the obvious truth is illustrated on our streets No matter how tough on drugs the government becomes they will never eliminate their presence in society This is clear from the failure of the approach in other nations For example the US carries out a drug associated arrest every 20 seconds with no signs of any decline All that prohibition succeeds in achieving is turning the drug trade into an illegal dark and murky black market affair We must now ask the question are we going to stand staunch in policies which have proved to be unsuccessful or are we going to take a brave leap into a more hopeful future There is great fear reverberating through the community fear of stepping into a more open and frightening yet decidedly more promising way of tackling the issue Reform does not mean as opposers argue condoning the use of drugs It means accepting that drugs are part admittedly an unfortunate part of our society which will not simply go away The refreshingly new ideas of controlled heroin trials legal injecting rooms and greater availability of clean needles should be given consideration Lightening of the law would bring drug use out of the shadows it has long
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