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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142098 Find in a Library
Journal: Criminology Australia  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(October/November 1992)  Pages:16-19
Author(s): G Bammer
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Research is currently underway in Canberra, Australia, to determine if there should be a trial to give heroin and other opioids to dependent drug users in a controlled manner, as one way of dealing with illegal drug use.
Abstract: The trial is being considered because concern about drug abuse has been exacerbated by fear about the spread of AIDS. The Select Committee on HIV, Illegal Drugs and Prostitution approved feasibility research based on four stages. The first stage involved research conducted between May and July 1991 and resulted in a report and recommendations on the feasibility of giving heroin and other opioids to dependent drug users. A trial was found to be feasible in principle, and a model for its conduct was proposed. The second stage involved a seminar in November 1991 to inform key policymakers about stage one findings. Three principles guided stage two: the research should have intrinsic value, regardless of whether a trial was actually conducted; the research should incorporate all relevant disciplines; and the stage two process should involve key interest groups (illicit drug users, service providers, police, policymakers, and the community). Stages three and four, yet to be completed, involve a small pilot study and the trial itself. Research is underway to estimate the number of heroin users in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), determine residency criteria, examine overseas experience with the prescription of injectable drugs, survey heroin-dependent users in the ACT to assess their drug-using behavior and attitudes, survey ex-drug users to identify factors important in stopping heroin use, survey crime victims, and analyze the ACT drug market. Political, legal, and economic issues associated with conducting the trial are discussed. 2 tables and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Drug treatment programs
Index Term(s): AIDS/HIV transmission; Australia; Crime in foreign countries; Drug abuse; Drug research; Heroin
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