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Drug Use and Australian Society

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Table of Contents

PART ONE: Foundations of Drug Use in Australian Society1: Setting the sceneIntroduction Classification of psychoactive drugsThe extent and nature of psychoactive drug use in AustraliaWhy do people use psychoactive drugs?What are the harms associated with psychoactive drugs?Dependence: one potential harmTerminology: labels matterTheories of drug use and dependenceDrug-related harm in specific populationsControls to prevent or reduce drug-related harms2: Historical perspectives of drug use and ramifications for the futureIntroductionThe globalisation of psychoactive drug useThe history of alcohol use in AustraliaOther psychoactive drug use in AustraliaThe Illicit use of stimulant drugs 1980-20103: Frameworks for understanding drug use and societal responsesIntroductionDealing with problematic use: three framesShifting attitudes towards alcohol, tobacco and other drugsGoverning images and action models: within frameworks, and across themThe rise of specialist AOD treatment systemsThe disruptive potential of new ideas and trendsLooking beyond the frames: is there an optimal response, and what might it be?4: Epidemiology: analysing patterns of drug use and harmsIntroductionSources of data about alcohol and other drug use and harmsThe prevalence of drug use in AustraliaThe epidemiology of drug-related harmUnderstanding the social position of alcohol and other drug useOther considerations5: Policy models and influences on policy processesIntroductionWhat do we mean by `policy'?Measuring drug policy successTypes of policy approachesInternational variation in drug policy approachesReconciling licit and illicit drug policies?Role of evidence in drug policyOther important considerations for understanding and studying drug policy PART TWO: Drug Policy in Action6: Primary prevention: preventing uptake of drugsIntroductionWhat is primary prevention?Prevention as represented in the Australian approach to alcohol and other drugsContext and theoretical foundations for preventionPrevention interventionsChallenges for primary preventionFuture directions for prevention7: Harm reduction: reducing the harms from drug useIntroductionTypes of harm reduction interventions for illicit drugsTypes of harm reduction interventions for alcoholTypes of harm reduction interventions for tobaccoIndicators of harm reductionAustralian harm reduction - successes and failuresHarm reduction: the politics of drug policy, ongoing criminalisation of drug use8: Drug treatment: psychological and medical interventionsIntroductionBrief interventionsLow intensity interventionsIntensive psychological treatmentsPrimarily behavioural approachesCombined cognitive and behavioural approachesResidential rehabilitation and therapeutic communitiesPharmacotherapy and medical interventionsCase managementSetting the groundwork for treatmentScreening, assessment, diagnosis and formulationReadiness to changeUsing a stepped care approach to treatmentTreatment of co-occurring mental health disordersThe need for supervision9: Drug laws and regulationsIntroductionWhat do we mean when we say that drugs are `legal' and `licit' or `illegal' and `illicit'?Why do we have laws that criminalise the use of some psychoactive substances but not others?How do governments control drugs?Implementing drug lawsUnderstanding statistics on drug law enforcementCriminal penalties and behaviour change: the importance of drug law enforcementThe drug law reform movementAlternatives to total prohibitionPolicy processes in developing and reviewing drug lawsCurrent issues that could be informed by further research10: Drug law enforcement: reducing the supply of drugsIntroductionOverview of different levels of drug law enforcement interventions Trans-border drug law enforcementMid-level or intra-border drug law enforcementWhat is (and is not) effective drug law enforcementFuture challenges11: Drugs and the internetIntroductionOverview of internet technologiesIntersecting internet and drugsDrug market innovations driven by internet technologiesPolicy responses

About the Author

Professor Alison Ritter is a leading drug policy researcher and Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (2012 to 2016) leading a collaborative, multi-disciplinary program of research on drug policy. Trevor King has worked in the drug and alcohol sector since 1980. Over this time he has held senior positions in the government and non-government sectors. Professor Margaret Hamilton has spent thirty five years in alcohol & other drug sector working in clinical work, education, research, policy development and advice. She is currently serving a third term as an Executive member of the Australian National Council on Drugs.

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