Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry:
Illicit drug demand is at a critical juncture particularly at a time where the Australian criminal drug manufacturing and distribution networks are well established, sophisticated and tremendously successful operations embedded within interrelated global systems.
But the abundant supply of illicit drugs always looks for greater penetration both in existing and expansion into new markets. Essentially, these syndicates are now pursuing the facilitation of greater drug demand. Therefore, this must also become the crucial area for positive public action in the form of clear, relevant and well targeted prevention initiatives, with a particular emphasis on preventing and/or delaying the age of drug use initiation. Toward that aim, specific issues are addressed alongside recommended action points.
This is an enormous challenge especially as the public and specifically youth perceptions of the nature and effects of illicit drugs is increasingly being shaped through media and entertainment culture, presenting drug use as normal, experimental and victimless behaviour often being falsely portrayed as less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.