Pubdate: Sat, 24 Feb 2001
Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 News Limited
Contact:  2 Holt Street, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Fax: (02) 9288-2300
Author: Evan Thomas
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


Piers Akerman may have missed something in his analysis of the effects of 
the heroin shortage.

To quote Assistant Commissioner Clive Small: "Most heroin dependents are 
polydrug users.'' Consequently their immediate response is to seek another 
drug, such as alcohol, speed, an amphetamine or benzodiazepine, the latter 
often obtained by doctor-shopping. The side or indirect consequences of 
using these drugs can be more anti-social than the consequences of using 

The US provides case histories of authorities' drug campaigns having 
unintended effects. In the 1970s, successful crackdowns on heroin opened 
the way for the introduction of cocaine and crack cocaine. In Vietnam, a 
crackdown on cannabis use caused soldiers to switch to heroin; both were 
available but heroin was more easily concealed. These examples are all 

Piers Akerman's depiction of dependent users' parents as indulgent is a 
gratuitous and despicable use of his position as a columnist.

Evan Thomas,

West Pennant Hills
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