Cocaine

Cocaine Use Up

The proportion of Australians that used cocaine in the previous 12 months increased significantly from 1 per cent in 2004 to 1.6 per cent in 2007.

This represents an additional 111,000 Australians using cocaine.

The proportion of the Australian population that had ever used cocaine increased significantly from 4.7 per cent in 2004 to 5.9 per cent in 2007.

Cocaine users fall into two groups being either employed, well educated and socially integrated or the larger group of lower socio economic status which usually injects cocaine.

Cocaine users in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria reported that cocaine was easy to obtain.

As a result of the increasing demand for cocaine and its importation there was a 71 per cent increase in cocaine detections at Australian borders between 2006/7 and 2007/8.

Long term effects of cocaine use include death, insomnia, depression, anxiety, psychosis, heart attacks and strokes.

(Source: Australian Crime Commission, Illicit Drug Report 2007/8, released June 2009)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Demand is very high for cocaine in Australia so increased usage from even higher demand would cause even more damage to users.

Australia needs to reduce cocaine usage by adopting world's best practice of placing identified cocaine users into programs to get them free of cocaine.

Australia must reduce demand for cocaine by getting our users off drugs by court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.

High cocaine demand has consequences

A recent opinion article in the Australian newspaper links Australia's high demand for cocaine to drug killings in other countries like Mexico.

(Source: The Weekend Australian, 22 August 2009)

Australians that used cocaine in the previous 12 months increased by 111,000 from 1 per cent in 2004 to 1.6 per cent in 2007.

The proportion of the Australian population that had ever used cocaine increased significantly from 4.7 per cent in 2004 to 5.9 per cent in 2007.

(Source: Australian Crime Commission, Illicit Drug Report 2007/8)

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims that the violence in Mexico and Central America are a result of criminal cartels fighting over the cocaine market.

(Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2009)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Demand is very high for cocaine in Australia so increased usage from even higher demand will fund international criminal syndicates and their drug turf wars.

When Australians use cocaine, the money they pay flows overseas to producers and international drug criminals.

So the Australian money is responsible for the violence and killings that are perpetrated by these international crime syndicates.

Australia needs to reduce cocaine usage by adopting world's best practice of placing identified users into programs to get them free of cocaine use.

Drug Use And Schizophrenia

The bi annual International Congress on Schizophrenia Research will co sponsor a drug abuse research track at its conference in Colorado Springs USA in April 2011.

This conference gathers scientists representing a broad range of disciplines involved with discovery in schizophrenia.

The scientists exchange data, techniques and ideas.

(Source: Addiction Science Clinical Practice, August 2010)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This is a significant development of the link between schizophrenia and illicit drug use.

Recent scientific studies both in Australia and overseas have established this link.

Cannabis and amphetamines are linked to schizophrenia by the research to date.

There needs to be a great deal more research done on the link between illicit drug use and schizophrenia and this conference is an important admission of the harm of illicit drug use.

The inclusion of drug addiction agencies sponsoring this conference are important admissions as well.

Cannabis is the most widely used drug in Australia so authorities should take heed of the potential for increased levels of schizophrenia.

Early intervention drug detoxification and rehabilitation should now be given top priority to reduce the use of cannabis and amphetamines.

This early intervention rehabilitation should be backed by court diversion and supervision to assist users to quit before health consequences like schizophrenia.

Cocaine Use Record

The number of cocaine arrests in 2008/9 is the highest of the last decade.

The source of most cocaine arriving in Australia is Colombia.

The number of places of embarkation of cocaine to Australia has doubled in the last decade.

Cocaine shipments to Australia are larger in weight mainly arriving by sea cargo.

The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey records that the proportion of the Australian population that had recently used cocaine is at its highest level since 1993.

(Source: Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2008/9 released 8 June 2010)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Australia has international obligations to reduce the demand for illicit drugs like cocaine.

Cocaine demand is high in Australia so we are a target for international criminals that seek to profit from this strong demand.

In order to take pressure off border protection agencies, Australian states and territories need to divert apprehended cocaine users into detoxification and rehabilitation.

Investment in rehabilitation programs that are backed by court diversion programs that help users to quit will assist in starving these international criminals of Australian funds.

As well cocaine users will benefit from improved physical and mental health.

Cocaine Organised Crime

The latest report from the Australian Crime Commission discloses that organized criminals are behind the cocaine supply to Australia.

In Australia cocaine use and arrest rates are at historically high levels.

Cocaine is increasingly available throughout Australia.

The harm from cocaine use is significant to our community.

The cocaine market is likely to increase in the short to medium term in Australia.

The international criminals behind the trafficking of cocaine to Australia are profitable, powerful, sophisticated and supported by state of the art technology and advisors.

The cocaine supply routes via West Africa to Australia remain a problem.

(Source: Organized Crime in Australia {Unclassified report} from Australian Crime Commission released 15 April 2011)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This report highlights the increasing risk to Australia from our high demand for cocaine.

Cocaine use in Australia can NEVER be treated as a health issue as the increasing impact involves great personal, social, legal, border protection and law enforcement costs.

Drug rehabilitation programs need to be substantially increased to reduce the demand for cocaine to cut off the funds to organized crime.

Without a major reduction in cocaine use in Australia from compulsory diversion of users into detoxification and rehabilitation the cocaine problem and its costs will increase.

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THE DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS

More detoxification & rehabilitation that gets illicit drug users drug free.
Court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.
Less illicit drug users, drug pushers and drug related crimes.

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