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Medical News & Perspectives
May 19, 1999

Drug Doings Down Under

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JAMA. 1999;281(19):1782-1783. doi:10.1001/jama.281.19.1782-JMN0519-3-1

Sydney—Weeks of acrimonious debate about heroin in Australia have culminated in a large injection of funds into drug treatment, diversionary programs to keep users out of prison, and maintenance of the country's internationally applauded harm minimization program.

Over the past few months, several factors have come together to put intravenous drug use on the front page of newspapers almost constantly. Low heroin prices, increasing numbers of young users, and a rise in heroin-related mortality, which now exceeds road trauma as a cause of death in young people, formed the background to the politicians' positions.

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