We’ve previously touched on how the most recent summer festival season was one of the deadliest on record, with four young punters dying from drug-related causes in as many months, bringing the total death toll for 2015 to seven.
The staggering number of deaths and overdoses has led to a renewed dialogue about the nature of drug prohibition in Australia. Namely, is our zero tolerance approach to drugs worth the young lives that it leaves vulnerable?
“We’re in the 21st Century. If the Government thinks that people are going to stop taking drugs, they’re kidding themselves,” are the words one anonymous drug user gave ABC’s Four Corners as part of a new report on Australia’s party-drug scene, filmed over the recent summer festival season.
Dying To Dance, reported by Gold Walkley award-winning reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna, is set to air tonight (8.30pm EDT Monday, 15th February), and will primarily explore ecstasy and MDMA use in the country renowned for being the world’s biggest consumers of the drugs.
In addition to interviewing drug users, Meldrum-Hanna spoke to drug law reform experts as well as a former senior police officer who advocates changing the country’s drug laws to ensure young people don’t die when experimenting with drugs.
“We should be doing everything we can to ensure that if kids do experiment in this way when they’re young, they’re going to survive the experience,” the former senior copper told Four Corners (watch a promo for the report via ABC here or below).
The report comes amid new research that says the number of ecstasy users appearing at NSW hospitals has almost doubled in the past six years. As ABC News reports, ecstasy-related admissions to NSW emergency departments rose from 413 in 2010 to 814 in 2015.
Meanwhile, ABC News also reports that a NSW Labor MP recently called for the ALP to adopt an anti-sniffer dogs stance, telling the 850 delegates at the party’s annual state conference that the dogs are ineffective and lead to overdoses and deaths.
— Caro Meldrum-Hanna (@caromeldrum) February 11, 2016