Support Fair Treatment

31-May-2019

‘In other areas of medicine, the whole point is to try and have an open, respectful, non-judgemental relationship with your patient. Why is it any different for drug and alcohol?’

-Dr Marianne Jauncey.

 

What is the Fair Treatment campaign?

In April this year ASMOF formally endorsed the Fair Treatment campaign, after gaining the support of the majority of our members working in drug and alcohol and EDs.

Fair Treatment is a campaign being led by Uniting in NSW/ACT, and aims to reduce the harm caused by personal use of illegal drugs. The campaign asserts that ‘we have lost the war on drugs’ and proposes a different approach:

  • increase investment in evidence-based drug harm reduction and demand reduction strategies; and
  • decriminalise personal possession and use of illegal drugs.

It supports problematic drug use being treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue imposing jail sentences and criminal records.

The campaign was launched in Sydney in October 2018 by leaders of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and there are currently 58 non-government/not-for-profit organisations who are also supporting this campaign. Dr Marianne Jauncey, the Medical Director of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, is one of the campaign leaders.

 

Get Involved

In October last year, 100 supporters walked 500,000 steps from Dubbo to Sydney to highlight the distance a person in regional NSW may have to travel to reach the drug treatment they need.

This journey has now been made into a documentary, and ASMOF will be attending the premiere. We would love members to come along with us to support the campaign and meet other partners in the Fair Treatment Alliance.

 

Sydney Premiere
  Dubbo Premiere

When:


Thursday 13 June 2019
6pm arrival for 7pm screening
 
When:


Friday 14 June 2019
6pm arrival for 7pm screening

Where:


Palace Chauvel Cinema
249 Oxford Street
Paddington
 
Where:


Dubbo RSL Memorial Club
178 Brisbane Street
Dubbo, NSW 2830

 

 

If you are able to attend please email asmof@asmof.org.au and we can register you.

Future of Fair Treatment

Earlier in May ASMOF attended a Fair Treatment Partners Meeting alongside experts in the field to inform future directions of the campaign and consider options for drug law reform.

The discussion was thought-provoking, with different models of reform considered, such as the Portugal model. Using or possessing small quantities of drugs was decriminalised in Portgual in 2001, and drug users are referred to treatment services rather than dealt with as criminals. Since this time the use of harmful drugs has dropped, and the rate of death from overdose has lowered significantly. Australia currently has an overdose death rate 20x that of Portugal.

You can read more about the different models in this paper: Why we need to change our approach to people who need treatment.

ASMOF will be aligning our advocacy with the campaign, and we will contribute our member’s expertise where it is needed. As doctors’ on the frontline, it is important that we are involved.