Heroin Trial - Supporter List

With the growing success of Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) overseas, there is an increasing need for Australia to implement such a program. Whether we conduct a trial or rely on existing evidence to establish a prescription heroin program, we must first get the support of the government.

Although there is clear evidence that Heroin Assisted Treatment is the most successful strategy for treating long term heroin addicts, ignorant politicians and a hesitant government remain the biggest hurdle. For too long, politicians have allowed the trash media, anti-drug zealots and their own ideology to dictate important decisions about drug policies instead of research and evidence. This is why a list of supporters is important to show our elected leaders that a growing number of drug experts, health professionals and concern Australians want a Heroin Assisted Treatment program.


SUPPORT
  • *Phillip Adams:  Journalist - The Australian / Announcer - Radio National / Author
  • *Andrew Bartlett:  Senator(Dem)
  • Peter Beattie:  Qld. Premier(ALP)
  • Kim Beazley:  National ALP Leader(ALP)
  • Bob Brown:  Federal Greens Leader
  • John Brumby:  Vic. Premier(ALP)
  • David Brunt:  Director - Salvation Army Drug and Rehabilitation Services Vic.
  • Kate Carnell:  A.C.T. Chief Minister(Lib)
  • Neil Comrie:  Vic. Police Commissioner
  • Rev Tim Costello:  Director - Melbourne Urban Mission Unit Baptist Church
  • Nicholas Cowdery QC:  N.S.W. Director of Public Prosecutions 
  • Gary Crooke:  National Crime Assoc. Chairman  
  • John Della Bosca: NSW Minister for Health / Government leader in the NSW Legislative Council(ALP)
  • Ivan Deveson:  Melbourne Lord Mayor
  • Geoff Gallop:  W.A. Premier(ALP)
  • Nick Greiner:  N.S.W. Premier(Lib)
  • Bill Groves: District Court Judge - WA
  • David Indermaur: UWA Crime Research Centre criminologist 
  • Rev. Gregor Henderson: National General Secretary - Uniting Church
  • Gary Humphries:  A.C.T. Chief Minister(Lib)
  • Mal Hyde:  S.A. Police Commissioner
  • John Johnston:  Tas. Police Commissioner
  • Alan Jones:  Radio/TV Personality
  • Jeff Kennett:  Vic. Premier(Lib)
  • *Christian Kerr:  Political Journalist - Crikey
  • Rob Knowles:  Vic. Health Minister(ALP)
  • Prof. Richard Larkins:  President - Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Meg Lees: Federal Democrats Leader
  • *Dr. Andrew Leigh:  Economist - Australian National University, Blogger - Andrew Leigh
  • Dr Jane Lomax-Smith:  Adelaide Lord Mayor
  • Clare Martin:  N.T. Chief Minister(ALP)
  • Michael Moore:  A.C.T. Health Minister(Lib)
  • Judith Moylan:  Minister For Family Services/The Status Of Women(Lib)
  • Dr. Brendan Nelson:  AMA President / Federal Liberal Leader
  • John Olsen:  S.A. Premier(ALP)
  • Mick Palmer:  Federal Police Commissioner
  • Prof. David Pennington:  Chairman of Victorian Premier's Drug Advisory Council
  • Kerryn Phelps:  AMA President
  • *John Quiggin:  Aust. Research Council Federation Fellow - University of Qld., Blogger - John Quiggin
  • Bishop Richard Randerson: Bishop - Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn
  • Peter Reith:  Minister For Workplace Relations(Lib)
  • Peter Ryan:  N.S.W. Police Commissioner
  • Frank Sartor:  Sydney Lord Mayor
  • Jon Stanhope:  A.C.T. Chief Minister(ALP)
  • Tony Trimingham:  CEO Family Drug Support
  • Dr. Mal Washer:  Member for Moore - WA(Lib)
  • Dr Alex Wodak:  St Vincent's Hospital - Director, Alcohol & Drug Service
  • Justice James Wood:  Royal Commissioner
  • Michael Wooldrige:  Federal Minister for Health(Lib)

AGAINST
  • Piers Ackerman:  Journalist - Daily Telegraph
  • *Andrew Bolt:  Blogger - HeraldSun
  • John Howard:  Prime Minister of Australia
  • Brian Watters:  Director - SE Region - Salvation Army N.S.W.
  • Michael Wooldrige:  Federal Minister for Health(Lib)
*Replied to a survey email or gave a direct response


FEEDBACK

The evidence is already in that such approaches are foolish, and have wider ramifications than are usually considered in "evidence based" trials - especially trials by researchers with a predisposition to distribute heroin rather than minimise its use.
--Andrew Bolt

While ever this government is in office and while ever I am Prime Minister of this country, there will be no heroin trial.
--John Howard

In Switzerland, after a three-year trial, 71 per cent of voters in a national referendum in 1997 supported retention of prescription heroin as a treatment option. Why would the usually conservative Swiss support heroin prescription so overwhelmingly if this had not significantly benefited the community?
--Dr. David Morawetz (Clinical Psychologist)

I think the idea is definitely a promising one. I would be happy to support it so long as it was done in a randomised controlled trial framework – ie. with a treatment and a control group, so we could compare the impacts.
--Dr. Andrew Leigh (Economist in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University)


NOTE:
The list is compiled from publicly available information on the internet and from emails asking the question. This was their position at the time and although some people may have changed their mind, resigned or are working in a different role, they are on record claiming their support for or against a heroin trial. All job titles and political affiliations are recorded as they were at the time they declared their support or opposition.

There are many, many people against a trial so don't take my small list of those against as a cross spectrum of numbers. It is small simply because I am focusing on those who support a trial and if I get a response against a trial, I put their name up. If I see a clear statement from someone, I will put that up as well.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

after a century of prohibition , the hardest thing i think is unbrainwashing the masses about addiction in general...
A) popular recurring theme.... junkies did it to themselves ,they dont deserve any sympathy...
that being the case ..maybe we should jail,harass and destroy the lives of the obese /overweight... for "doing it to themselves"..or force lap banding surgery on them ( the George Oneil school of fascist medicine )
B) the way the economy has been corrupted by the war on drugs...=
Cops sending their own children thru University by destroying the lives of other peoples children...
or paying their mortgages by making other people homeless...
Newspapers love drug related stories as they obviously sell newspapers... and the relationship the right wing leaning daily rags have with conservative govt seems like a conspiracy when you break the facts down...
The same govts that send ppl to jail for self medicating on heroin
which has little/no impact on the body on a cellular level even after 30 years are the same govts
that are happy to let you smoke yourself till you have emphysemia or develop lung cancer and
alcohol which creates all manner of health problems ,domestic violence etcetc...
seems that "junkies" are the perfect scapegoat lepers every society can blame for its failures..
But the scariest chapter of this hypocracy is when corporate pressure is applied in the form of Privatized Prisons ( please criminalize as much human behaviour as possible for profit)
and the war on drugs being financed by competing vices...
aka The Alcohol and Pharmaceutical
industries....
All this in the name of morality...
see its not immoral to be a businessman exploiting children in 3rd world sweatshops under the guise of investment portfolois...
or to be raping and pillaging mother nature because you are obliged by law to tend to the "bottom line =$$$ " as a corporation...
but its sinful/immoral to consume a drug which is derived by nature
( even tho the bible says to make use of Gods bounty )...
Its OK to be zonked out /addicted to mind/mood altering psycho-pharmaceuticals =Xanax etcetc
but if diamorphine (heroin) helps with your depression... you get to look forward to homelessness,unemployability, and if ya extra lucky...geting raped in jail...
So in my view ..the war on drugs
is just a massive fraudulent job creation scheme for those born on the right side of the tracks to make sure those born on the wrong side,die on the wrong side...
That and the fact life exprectancy
has gone up 15 years in the last 50 years... means babyboomers and older need to keep the fingers in the the younger generations pie for longer...and how do you eliminate competition from people competing for the same resources???
= turn them into a marginalized permanent underclass
how very christian !!!!

Anthony From Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Victoria Australia said...

Hi there, i'm a current addict i have been since the age 17 i just turned 27 so for the last 10 years i have been using and abusing the substance, the easy part off heroin addiction is quitting the hard part about it is staying away from it its a substances you hate to love or love to hate either way once you shoot up there isn't a better way to self medicate and stay young, i still go to the gym work and live a productive life and i'm using everyday since i have been using i have had more days high than i have had straight, look if you look at the facts you can be prescribed methadone right?, thats a pharmacy dispenses so why not use the real thing? its cheaper to make you could clinically test it make sure the heroin is a certain strength that doesn't change chemically only an overdose can occur if taken more than prescribed you see that the quality must stay the same at all times, no exceptions or you play with people's tolerances however methadone is a synthetic opiate created by Adolf Hitler for those who didn't know because he had no access to morphine for his soldiers during war, but by dosing people with methadone they become a dependent patient now hooked on 2 substances on legal the other illegal go figure you see 90% fact methadone users only take it because they have no money to obtain the real thing, thus it gives them the energy to still live but it gives them an opportunity to obtain funds by crime or deception thus your putting there habits on pause until they have money so just decriminalize it and make it legal and there will be no more dealers/pushers and you won't have to worry about your kids because you need a perscription also should be an adult age, no more crime no one killing or fighting over it, except that the capitalist world we live in its our own government that creates junkies and a low social class for them to live in you have to understand drugs make the world go round not money, think about it seriously you get sick you goto a doctor creates employment and everything is linked to drugs/medication one way or another its like the butterfly effect you need medicine whether it be prescribed or not you have to be healthy to live with drugs/medication we all be dead doesn't matter what substance, i say create safe injecting rooms with trained medical staff, which will also stop spread pf disease like hepatitis c a blood born virus common to heroin use if sharing i'v use equipment syringes/spoons accidental you have to give it a go, seriously besides all those who object to it i'm sure you were opposed to major changes in society that you didn't like but still accepted it to be a hypocrite and you can't judge or criticize until you've been a heroin addict yourself walk in my shoes and see why i do what i do try and understand we'll explain it if you listen, but there's the problem i'm just a junkie according to all those that stigmatize use of heroin. instead of fighting heroin related crime spend the money on our future which is our kids...and it will give heroin addicts with kids a chance to give there kid a life if they have money you see instead of junky parents using the kids money provided by the government on heroin than buying food or clothing or giving a education

shane russell said...

My name is Shane Russell,39yrs old.I`ve been on methadone for nearly 20yrs (w/ a few breaks between)but using other heavy opiates while not on treatment.As in the U.K I believe I.V & I.M methadone should be availible for hard-core addicts.Not to mention heroin & cocaine prescription,although this is rarely given after the Chealsea trials in the 1980`s.I think I would have done much better if these options were available to me.

Dawes said...

Just finnishing a looong assessment on the benefits of the heroin trials in Switzerland,the Netherlans, Germany and England (just to mention a few), where the trials have been successful, why is it not only helping addicts here,(who are mentally ill), so obviously need some sort of help and methadone seems to have been outdated - we need to moove with the times and not only help these people but as has been proved in the countries where the heroin trials began, save taxpayers money by reducing the crime rate, bettering peoples health and save lives. What many need to ask themselves is "who or what does a heroin addict look like?' and when they see realistic pictures of not only "down and outs" (who probably cannot afford it anyway and look at the real pictures of doctors, nurses, secretaries, CEO's, lawyers, politicians, laourers and so on they may find themselves quite surprised. Why not ask them why they who may not use themselves, but have sons, daughters and granchildren who do - so why are they not out there supporting this very real problem????Confused.

Dawes said...

when are these politicians going to realise that it is well over time that the heroin trials began here in Aus. as it has in other affluent countries such as Switzerland, Germany, England , the Ntherlands, just to mention a few. These trials have proved time and time again to be successfull. tHEY NOT ONLY HELP ADDICTS (WHO ARE CLASSED AS HAVING A MENTAL ILLNESS) , they have helped reduce the crime rate, put people into jobs, helped in thier health and most importantly saved lived!! Are we really still that backward?? No heroin treatments have been 100% or even close to 100% succcessful here in Australia, so why not try an approach that has shown evidenced based research, it is not like some hearsay the facts speak for themselves. As one reporter put it after the German heroin trials - how boring - another heroin trial another excellent result, when are governments going to realise that this is what works for long term addicts. He is Sooooo right

Dawes said...

If more people lookeed at who the heroin addicts are i think that many would be very suprised. It is certainly not necessarily "those homeless, poor looking people - they couldn't aford it. One would be surprised to see pictures of doctor's, nurses, teacher's, computor specialists,drug and alcohol workers, psychiatrists, lawyers - just to mention a few. The public should be informed about who the real criminals are.

Anonymous said...

IVE BEEN ON METHADONE 17 YEARS,,AND IM ANGRY BECAUSE I CANNOT GET OFF IT ,,ITS 100 TIMES HARDER THAN HEROIN, WITHDRAWLAS START ON THE 2ND DAY WHEN YOUR HALFWAY THROUGH ALREADY DETOXING FROM HEROIN (THAT TAKES 4)ONCE I JUMPED OFF AND I DIDNT SLEEP FOR 3 WEEKS(FULL ON AGONY),I WAS ONLY 21 AT THE TIME USED 25 WORTH S DAY AND AM NOW 41,ITS SO WICKED ,,METHADONE SHOULDNT BE USED ONLY AS SHORTY TERM PROGRAM (3MONTHS MAX)REDCUING EVERY WEEK,AND THEY HAD BUPERMORPHINE IN OTHER COUNTRIES FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND EVEN THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH BETTER OPTION,BUT U HAVE TO COME DOWN VERY LOW AND THEY KNOW ITS REALLY FOR HEROIN USERS NOT METHADONE COS METHADONE HAS SEEPED INTO UR BONES,I NEVER WENT TO COUNCELLORS JAIL,REHABS NOTHN ITS LIKE YOU JUST GET TREATED LIKE CRAP.AND IT NEVER FIXES THE NEEDLE FIXATION,,PPL STILL USE WHEN ON METHADONE.ONLY THEY HAVE TO USE MORE,THESE TRIALS ARE A MUST..KIDS ARNT GOING TO LINE UP WANTING TO DO THIS,,THATS JUST OUTRAGEOUS,LET US HAVE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE PLEASE...

Anonymous said...

iv been on methadone for 10 long years its hell 1000% worse off going on this just wish we had a heroin program i bet id not be on it for this long METHADONE is HELL DONT GO ON IT EVER or you 2 will be sick like you never have be4 being on this crap.....you just cant get off because your so dam sick not like heroin

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding yourself if you really believe your comment "Although there is clear evidence that Heroin Assisted Treatment is the most successful strategy for treating long term heroin addicts". I hate to burst your bubble of denial but there is only one successful treatment for herion addiction and that is "complete abstinence from all drugs as taught in Narcotics Anonymous" I know many of you will say it doesn't work because you've tried it but the 12 steps of NA work just fine if you WANT it. It's not the program of NA that doesn't work it's those that don't give in and surrender to the disease of addiction. NA works just fine if you let it. Hope you find recovery yourself one day and learn what it is truely like to live a drug free life not just a heroin free life. Total abstinence is the key to freedom. I have enjoyed freedom from active addiction for 25 years....one day a time and so can you if you want it.

Anonymous said...

METHADONE IS ONLY FOR LONG TERM USERS WHO WANT TO TAKE THE HANGING OUT OF USING YOU DONT HANG OUT FOR GEAR AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD NORMALLY THATS IF YOUR STILL USING AND ANOTHER THING IS PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIA HEAR HOW YOU CAN USE PURE IN EUROPE AND ITS SO GOOD LET ME TELL YOU I SPENT 5 YEARS IN VIETNAM AND PURE BECOMES THE SAME AS THE GEAR YOUR USE TO IN AUS YOU JUST GET A WORSE HABIT AND WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO FEEL NORMAL GEAR TRUST ME THE PURSCRIBED HERION WILL BE LIKE THAT BUYER CAUGH MEDICINE PICTURE ON THIS WEBSITE LIKE 0.01 PURITY THE REST WATER THEY DONT TELL YOU THE PART THAT WHEN HERION IS FREE USERS LOOK FOR ANOTHER DRUG LIKE ICE

Terry Wright said...

Anonymous said: I hate to burst your bubble of denial but there is only one successful treatment for herion addiction and that is "complete abstinence from all drugs as taught in Narcotics Anonymous".

Pffft.

What about that inconvenient fact called evidence?

Anonymous said...

I have ALWAYS been for a heroin trial. Mayube then I can kick methadone! I am stable at 55. And think methadone is ok. But Id much rather have a quick hit of heroin once a day. Easier to taper!

Johnfrancis Woods said...

Been on this shit nearly 35yrs (on/off),worst decision/mistake I ever made. Why substitute harry for something 10 or 20 times more toxic,close to impossible to withdraw from if you spend any significant time on it. eg 12-18 months/or more. The program needs a total policy review,this ain't working guys.I would desperately love to be through with this garbage,because if I'd known then what I do now,I wouldn't be postin'. If you want to have no life at all,get on 'done.Spontaneous travel is out of the question(always plan a month in advance at least). Also,in my own case I went from seeing my 30+yrs long prescription supplier every 6 months,to seeing a GP every 2 weeks. This GP is just that,a GP. Now,I'm 63 and am a longtime 'done addict.On my dose(150mg)it could take 5 to 7 yrs to reduce safely and sensibly.I was on 180mg,and dropping that 30mg took over 9 months.I know everyone is different,so I'm only speaking for myself.Time served counts for nought on the program.I recall back in the early seventies@the Brisbane St Clinic talking to a group of uni students(medicine&Social Sciences for the most part)about my sitrep.I remember asking why .au didn't have a heroin maintainence program.The common reply was "it's not politically possible at the moment".40yrs later it smells much the same.
With all the new tech available why don't they just issue us with a drivers license like identity,mag tape all the info needed to dose correctly and allow us to pick up where-ever
there is a dosing clinic or pharmacy.I don't expect there will be any change in the law re-heroin any time soon,so I'm more focused on seeing a more pragmatic,flexible and people orientated methadone program.The current model in NSW has IMHO reached its due-date.
There should be a substantial increase in the number of doctors willing to prescribe,not only would this ease the workload on current prescribers,it would also allow people(patients)to not be stigmatized by having large numbers of people seeing the same doctor. If addiction is a mental illness(and it is,because this is not a life that healthy people
choose)then I think more doctors should be encouraged to participate.
Also,from my own perspective and experience
more doctors with fewer patients could change The Methadone Industry into Community Methadone Programs.

Pipsta said...

Hi guys, like john I've been on 'done' for a long time. My personal experience is: cold turkey on gear =5-7 days & feeling almost normal in 2 weeks. Cold turkey on done:= around three months of wall climbing sleepless agony. It's no surprise howard, bolt & ackerman dont support this issue, I remember back when aids was rampant and the Daily Telegraph whined & opposed the handing out of free syringes. As long as the suits who know nothing about the issue are making populist policy we wont achieve anything, we need leaders who are brave and bold and that profile doesnt really fit anyone in government at the moment. The powers that be know that if they legalised drugs, there would only be a small portion of people (comparable to the population) taking them, just as people did after prohibition, not everyone ran out & became an alcoholic as they feared. But what would happen is you would have a lot less police, lawyers etc. Some of their infrastructure would colapse, as they're addicted to doing things the same way, in this respect history will always deemed to repeat. Anne p.