The intersection of drugs and the internet is not a new thing. People have been sharing their thoughts about drugs – the fun aspects, adverse effects, harm reduction messages – for many years. The offering of substances for sale online is also not new. There are many websites that list pharmaceutical drugs for sale without a prescription. What is more recent is the advent of secure and encrypted online (‘darknet’) marketplaces that are only accessible via anonymising software such as The Onion Router (TOR). Amanda Roxburgh gives an overview of the rise and fall of the darknet's largest marketplaces over time.
Opioids make the largest contribution to illicit drug-related death, and overdose is the leading cause. One important issue in terms of response is the time between the last use of heroin and death. Is there time to intervene, or are such deaths so rapid as to make intervention impossible? Professor Shane Darke says there is time to save lives.
In both Australia and England, there have been challenges to established ways of treating people who have problems with drugs. Treatment, it has been claimed, does not do enough to help people ‘recover’ from drug dependence. In both countries, people who run the treatment system have had to respond to this challenge. In England, this has involved ‘absorption’.
Online drug marketplaces on the "dark web" have begun to resemble traditional organised crime, and Australian drug dealers are the most prevalent users of this system per capita than any other nationality, writes SMH reporter Phoebe Moloney.
This feature article on neuroscientist Marc Lewis and his new book discusses his theory that callenges the modern-day concensus on drug dependence as a brain disease, arguing that in "in reality it is a complex cultural, social, psychological and biological phenomenon" as NDARC Professor Alison Ritter describes.
Australians are completely in the dark when it comes to the scale of ice use in the country, according to a recent survey by NCPIC, writes Professor Jan Copeland in the Newcastle Herald.
NSW Labor MP Stephen Jones discusses the public health benefits of marriage equality as found by recent DPMP research.
New, tamper-resistant formulations of prescription opioids such as the recent reformulation of OxyContin investigated in the NOMAD study led by NDARC's Professor Louisa Degenhardt could tackle many opioid misuse problems, writes Elie Dolgin in Nature.
A new NDARC study found that the introduction of an alcopop tax has significantly reduced alcohol-related harm among young Australians, writes Carleen Frost.