TF Archives

Australian Drug Users 'As Normal As Normal Can Be'

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, June 26, 2004
A new study of 380 Melbourne clubbers published this week by the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) has revealed that typical recreational drug users are upstanding, otherwise law-abiding, members of society, few of whom experience any adverse effects from their drug use.

"They're just average, normal kids who happen to use party drugs", ADF chief Dr Cameron Duff told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"If you take away the drug use, you're talking about utterly typical young people. They're as normal as normal can be."

The Herald described the Foundation's findings as 'a clear indication of the normalisation of recreational drugs' reflecting the picture in the UK where over two years ago The Face magazine reached the same conclusion about cocaine.

"You're as likely to find the new classless drug of the masses in halls of residence in Manchester as in the toilets of a members-only bar in London, anywhere with a clean, flat surface," the now defunct magazine declared.

Also in the UK that year, leading British neuroscientist Professor Colin Blakemore, a professor of physiology at Oxford University, discussed the implications of widespread drug use, and called for full legalisation of all drugs to help reduce harm.

"The medical dangers of most illegal drugs have been exaggerated to some extent and the strategies of the past have tended to try to scare people out of drugs," Professor Blakemore told the Telegraph.

"The more drug use is growing, the more suspicious young people have become of these scare stories. I'm not saying there are any benefits of taking drugs, but the vast majority of people who dabble with illegal drugs come through the experience without being substantially damaged. They go on to complete their education and keep down jobs," he pointed out.