We have lost the so-called war on drugs, but the battle rages on and Australians are being made to live in the wreckage. Drug-induced deaths have hit their highest number in 20 years. Only 16.6% of the people that have a problematic behaviour with drug use are presenting for treatment, and this tends to be when there is an acute problem. 200,000 Australians are unable to get the treatment they need each year.

Now is the time for meaningful and effective drug policy reform. For a courageous movement forging a new path for people affected by drug policy. A hand that reaches out with help and not handcuffs.

The SMART Recovery Australia team attended the Uniting Church led Fair Treatment campaign launch event on October 12 at Sydney Town Hall, and heard from Sir Richard Branson, Dr Marianne Jauncey, and Dr Khalid Tinasti, about how we can reform lives and reform drug policy, for the fair treatment of all people.

KEY SPEAKERS

Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group, and Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP).

Dr Marianne Jauncey – Medical Director of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC), Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre UNSW, and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney.

Dr Khalid Tinasti, PhD– Executive Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), Honorary Research Associate at Swansea University, and former independent consultant for UNAIDS, WHO, the Graduate Institute and others.

After the event, SMART Recovery Australia team caught up with Dr Tinasti, which provided an opportunity to understand the work of the GCDP, as well as to share the progressive work of SMART Recovery in Australian and internationally, and how SMART programs are giving participants the power of choice to save and improve their lives.

From left: Dr Angela Argent - National Program Coordinator at SMART REcovery Australia, Dr Khalid Tinasti, PhD– Executive Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), Nadene Lee - Chairperson of SMART Recovery International and Ryan McGlaughlin - Executive Director at SMART Recovery Australia.
From left: Dr Angela Argent – National Program Manager at SMART Recovery Australia, Dr Khalid Tinasti, PhD– Executive Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), Nadene Lee – Chairperson of SMART Recovery International, Ryan McGlaughlin – Executive Director at SMART Recovery Australia.