Anti-drug laws were always meant to be a vehicle to protect Community, family and our most important asset, children, from the harms caused by permission models that ‘grown ups’ believe they have the right to exercise around the use of psychotropic toxins.
These protective laws have not been used in any real punitive context for years.
It’s time we tasked these protective laws again in their most proactive framework – As the ‘Judicial Educator’.
The law used (not in a punitive context) but as with Problem Solving Courts, to facilitate not only exit from drug use, but entrance into productive, safe, health and community benefiting narratives, that are drug free. You don’t have to change laws, but you can task that legislation to facilitate rehabilitation and recovery, as is being done more and more to great success.
The pro-drug lobbies completely fallacious meme of ‘war on drugs has failed’ only has traction for the uniformed. There has been now ‘war on drugs’ in this nation since 1985. However, the ever growing ‘war FOR drugs’ continues to look to remove genuine tools that can bring best-practice drug use exiting outcomes, by mislabelling and propagandizing.
The Judicial educator is the perfect bookend for the other bookend of health and education. Together these will see, not further ‘permission’ for drug use and the ensuing uptake that always precipitates, but rather, as with Tobacco, a community with One Voice, Once Message and One Focus – the cessation of humanity, dignity, agency and family devastating drug use. That should be the agenda of all drug use reduction vehicles. The excising of any vehicle that can assist with that proactive and productive end, is not only non-sense, it is only adding to the harms that drug use does to our communities.
Once psychotropic toxins are an intrenched part of the behavioural mechanisms of an individual, whether it be short-term intoxication, or long-term dependency, the risk to health, safety and well-being of that individual and more concerningly, those around them requires more than a ‘doctor’ for change. Secure welfare engaged for rehabilitation continues to prove the safest and healthiest vehicle to assist that change.
We seem to care more for Tobacco users, than illicit drug users – Don’t the latter deserve the same passionate enabling to exit drug use, with no voice of permission or approval in the marketplace?
Rather there must be a thorough enabling, equipping and empowering of drug users to exit drug use, even more importantly before the inevitable dependency takes hold.
Any permission model – decriminalisation, legalisation or depenalization – does not add to that capacity of drug users to move out of drug use. However, it has and will continue to do so, if the only proactively coercive vehicle – The Law – is removed, further normalizing drug use.
Enhancing the Criminal Court Response to Substance Misuse: an Evidence and Practice Briefing (Drug Court Effectiveness)
Records broken at Australian-first drug treatment prison
Australia’s first Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Prison for women has celebrated two years of operation with a rate of return to prison of less than one per cent so far.
This is virtually unprecedented for any prison in Australia with a national average of 46 per cent.
Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison was introduced by the McGowan Government as part of its comprehensive Methamphetamine Action Plan to try to reduce addiction-driven offending.
More than 100 women have graduated from the six-month intensive therapeutic program with just one woman returning to jail.
Some other prisoners have breached parole conditions but overall the Wandoo program is making a significant change in the women’s lives.
The facility was recently praised by the independent Inspector of Custodial Services as being like no other prison in Western Australia, and the transformation of the facility into a treatment prison was ‘a remarkable achievement’.
Wandoo was a privately run facility before it was returned to public hands in May 2018.
To the credit of the Department of Justice and program provider Cyrenian House, the prison was transformed in just a few months and started accepting prisoners who wanted to transform their lives.
The prison has remained drug-free in the entire two years of its operation, which is unheard of for any prison.
Wandoo runs a six-month community-based, therapeutic program, which involves participants facing up to their own truths about their drug addiction and addressing psychological and emotional issues.
As stated by Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan: “When we started Wandoo as part of the McGowan Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan, I had high hopes for what could be achieved. “But the results after just two years are simply remarkable.
“At the recent two-year anniversary celebration we heard from former Wandoo prisoner Tory who said she had been in and out of jail since she was 19 and never expected it to change.
“But after completing the Wandoo program and facing some really tough truths, she has turned her life around and has been living a fully productive life on the outside for the last year.
“She has a job and savings, but just as importantly a fantastic sense of achievement and faith in herself to keep doing the right thing.
Removing memories associated with morphine use from the brains of mice enables Stanford researchers to prevent relapse and could point to a new approach for treating the opioid epidemic…Both the reward of the drug “high” and the alleviation of agonizing withdrawal symptoms can serve as powerful memory cues that trigger drug cravings and lead to relapse. As a result, Chen said his lab treats drug addiction as a memory problem…The scientists call this silencing of the PVT pathway “erasure” because the drug-associated memory is effectively erased from the brain.