The issue of illicit drug use has been a worldwide problem for many years. Different countries are seeking appropriate policies to deal with the problem. For example, the Australian government’s attitude toward illicit drug use is based on a harm minimisation policy, which is a form of drug prevention acknowledging that although abstinence is the most effective way to avoid drug related harm, in certain individual circumstances it is not always possible. While in some other European countries, such as Belgium, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden have zero tolerance law for drugs, where emphasize the prohibition, deterrence and abstinence in relation to drugs. Although these two approaches are both aiming to reduce drug-related harm, controversies and debates on which approach is a more effective way to treat illicit drug use has never ceased. However, according to Australian drug strategy, the benefits of a harm minimization policy surpass a zero tolerance policy on supply control, demand reduction and harm reduction.
Harm minimization focuses on the harms caused by drug use rather than making value judgments about drug use. Two obvious and successful harm minimization programs are needle exchange programs and methadone programs, both of which are concrete methods to reduce the harm to those who are dependent for drugs.
Needle exchange programs is an effective recipe to treat these drug related people in a harm minimizing way compared with zero tolerance policies. Needle exchange programs, initiated in response to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, is an effective approach to reduce the number of people who are HIV/AIDS infected by injections. Due to the high cost of syringes purchase, a lot of drug-takers can not afford them. In this way, they reuse syringes from time to time which lead to the widespread of fatal diseases.
Methadone program is another effective treatment to deal with illicit drug use. Most states in Australia have methadone...