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Amphetamine fever comes to Canberra

By johnboy - 6 October 2006 56

Not wanting to be left out of the national media wave of “amphetamine madness” the Canberra Times has a piece of our Top Cop, Audrey Fagan, talking tough about the demon drugs.

“”We can’t underestimate the harm these drugs present to the community,” she said. “These are potent, illicit drugs and nothing about them is anything like the casualness the word party drug suggests. Amphetamine-type substances have been linked to violence, crime and are very damaging to individuals.”‘

Now let’s engage our brains for a second here, at the top of the article we’re told that police are seizing record quantities of the drugs, but that’s not having much of an effect on supply, or we wouldn’t need more warnings (also prices would rise). Yet we get constantly told the crime rate is falling. So despite a huge influx of these drugs which “potent, illicit drugs” which we’re assured are “linked to violence, crime” there’s actually no outcomes to point to here?

And let’s not forget we’re talking about a class of drugs, amphetamines, that are so “dangerous” they get given to Presidents, Prime Ministers, fighter pilots, and, er, hyperactive school children.

Oh yes, let’s have another moral panic please.

UPDATED: Thanks to DT for the heads-up, Bill Stefaniak is weighing in to the moral panic. He suggests an advertising campaign (because party drug users get their style tips from government advertising) to make it clear that ice is not cool.

He then goes on to talk about his ice addict friends:

“I have seen at close hand the horrifying effects of ‘ice’ on a couple of people I know.

This suggests Bill goes to better parties than I do which annoys me intensely.

What’s Your opinion?

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56 Responses to
Amphetamine fever comes to Canberra
FC 11:18 am 06 Oct 06

legalising the drug does mean that it can be regulated to an extent – but then what, will we have nightclubs where you can shoot up, buy pills over the counter??
I wouldn’t be down with that.
What message would it send out to the younger ones (or the older -not-so-bright one) “It’s legal so it can’t be that bad for you”
Alchohol is just as damaging as a lot of drugs, but legal and therefore more socially acceptable – do we really want “responsible herion use” becoming a slogan, or become socially acceptable?

Danman 11:08 am 06 Oct 06

Alcohol is legalised and quality controled – still people going blind and mentally retarded from drinking dodgy homestill methanol moonshine.

Legalisation isnt going to make the illicit market go away.

I have knowledge of counterfeit perscription and pharmacy medications. Why do people do this – to undercut the legal market.

Same goes with now illicit drugs. Legalise them and they will just get cheaper on the illicit side.

Anyone who downs a bottle of vodka is either very irate to its effects or stupid. So is anyone taking illicit drugs in vast quantities.

This is the reason you dont see me taking whole boxes of travel sickness pills or panadol – they are legal too – but can still kill you, its called responsible use.

While drugs remain illicit using them is going to be like playing russian roulette.

As for legalising illicit drugs, good luck I dont think for a minute that will solve the problem.

FC 11:06 am 06 Oct 06

Binker – I agree that there are legitimate ADHD diagnosis, but yes, the drugs are grossly over prescribed (as are a lot of prescribed medicines)
I mean more what will the long term affects of taking amphetamines for 15 years be for the people who were misdiagnosed.
As for the diet issue, I mean look at the diet before the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, not as a cure for people who a legimate ADD/ADHD cases.
I for one had to had to have a special diet when I was little becuase of behavioural issues, when my mum connected that I would react after eating certain foods (various preservatives etc) and cut them out of my diet my behavious improved dramatically – although I got somewhat resentful when I had to have ‘carob’ easter eggs and everyone else got real chocolate.

simto 10:58 am 06 Oct 06

The problem is, people care about other human beings. So demonising them is somewhat difficult, even when they behave hideously.

We don’t really care about inarticulate, immobile combinations of chemicals. So demonising them is incredibly easy. And blaming them for what happens when the chemicals hit the human being is what we do, when we’re seeking to avoid blaming the people we used to love for their increasingly dubious natures.

Thumper 10:48 am 06 Oct 06

Anyone that can down a bottle of vodka in one hit is already clinically dead.

johnboy 10:46 am 06 Oct 06

I am yet to go to a pub and see someone die so quickly from a hotshot of VB

How about downing a bottle of vodka?

Anyway quality control would be fixed by legalisation so it’s hardly an argument for continued criminalisation is it?

Danman 10:39 am 06 Oct 06

Difference being Alcohol has quality control in most developed nations (provided its not moonshine).

I am yet to go to a pub and see someone die so quickly from a hotshot of VB that they are still clutching their skoo-ey glass firmly in their hand.

Demonise away – Illicit drugs are bad mmkay

Binker 10:32 am 06 Oct 06

Don’t demonise the drug, if you have to demonise, demonise the user. Just because alcohol causes more problems (violence, crime, health) than all other drugs combined doesn’t lead to society demonising it (except the Sally Army), why do this for other drugs.
There are plenty of people who were “nice guys” before they started drinking and are now rabid violent arseholes just as there are with amphet/heroin etc. Occasional drug use doesn’t usually change your personality just as occasional alcohol use does not.
I’m not really fussed about drug/alcohol use I just think people should take a consistent position on substance (drug and alcohol) use and abuse, not demonises drugs on the one hand while demonising the abuser of alcohol on the other.

FC, now there are plenty of adults who were prescribed methylphenidate or dexamphetamine as children and they are now perfectly normal adults. Admittedly there is a tendency to over-diagnose ADHD/ADD and over-prescribe stimulants but that doesn’t mean they do not have their legitimate uses and that they are not highly effective when used appropriately (don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater). Diet (eg Finegold) as a treatment for ADHD/ADD has been largely discredited (despite what ACA of TT would have you believe), although behavioural therapy has not (however behaviour therapy and stimulants used together are more effective than either one alone).

Thumper 10:31 am 06 Oct 06

Agreed VY.

VYBerlinaV8 10:24 am 06 Oct 06

If people choose to take drugs then that’s up to them. What shits me is when they describe themselves as ‘victims’.

FC 10:04 am 06 Oct 06

Prescribed amphetimines – can’t wait till these kids grow up.
Its the easy way out –
How about a healthy diet and discipline.
I work with heaps of kids who apparantly have ADHD – They are also fed caffiene and junk food constantly by their parents -hmm, I wonder why they are having behavioural issues??
I guess its easier for the parents/doctors to drug them up than actually do some real work to help change behaviours..

Danman 9:59 am 06 Oct 06

Have a look at the latest Illicit Drug Data report found here and you will see that meth is not a new problem – More likley local media liaison officers getting on the national media bandwagon. The media coverage will die down soon – but the problem wont. Its cyclic.

johnboy 9:57 am 06 Oct 06

When the CPO stops generalising I’ll be happy to do so too.

FC 9:57 am 06 Oct 06

These drugs have been around forever –
I have known heaps of people who have turned psychotic after taking heaps of ‘ice’, oh -that’s right, they where psycho crims before they got into it to – my bad.

captainwhorebags 9:55 am 06 Oct 06

If you’re wanting to generalise drug use down to the class of drug, then don’t forget to mention how opiates are given therapeutically and thus the bad reputation of heroine is undeserved.

There’s a world of difference between prescribed use and proscribed use.

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