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Policy and Advocacy

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Drug Testing

Drug Testing

This page looks at different types of drug tests, how they are carried out and some of the things that might affect their results. On this page we cover:

Matters of Substance article

Synthetic solutions: the global response to ‘legal’ highs

In country after country a vast array of new psychoactive substances, rapidly spread via online sources, is causing havoc for law and policy makers. Attempts to arrest their harms almost routinely fail, and many are now looking to the example of recent New Zealand legislation. Max Daly asks whether we have got it right, or does regulation just lead to further problems?

The proliferation of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and legal highs has changed the drug world forever and thrown a spanner into the Drug War machinery.

Matters of Substance article

Growing alternatives

The United Nations has been encouraging development of alternative crops in poorer drug-producing countries for more than a decade and a half as a way to reduce global supply. Results have been very much mixed, unfortunately, and Russell Brown looks at why.

By the hit, by the gram, by the kilo, reads the website of one local coffee company. It’s an old joke: cast the daily, socially sanctioned fix of caffeine in the spicy language of illicit drugs. But it has a real-life resonance in the fitful, difficult business of drug supply control.

Matters of Substance article

It’s not about the drugs

A new report has reignited the call for an even hand in the policing of drugs, citing figures that show the glare of police scrutiny is disproportionately focused on non-whites. Keri Welham looks at race and drug arrests.

Niamh Eastwood is a pale-skinned blonde woman who has lived in middle-class mcommunities in the

United Kingdom for the past 17 years. In all that time, she’s never been searched for drugs under the UK’s ‘stop and search’ laws.

Matters of Substance article

What’s going on in the smoke filled rooms?

Around the world, tobacco giants are making it known that plain packaging legislation will meet with forceful litigation in international courts and forums. What advice exists for advocates in a field where public health is often perceived as the poor cousin compared to trade? David Slack reports.

Matters of Substance article

Sounding the drug war retreat

There are clear signs that the global consensus on drugs is becoming increasingly fractured, writes Ann Fordham, who says the last 18 months have seen several exciting watershed moments on the long road towards a rational and less damaging approach to the control of drugs.

Today, at last, we can talk of real, actual legal reforms that are outside the prohibitionist paradigm that has been dominant for so long.

Matters of Substance article

Decriminalisation of kratom in Thailand

Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves have long been used medicinally and recreationally and, more recently, as part of treatment for opiate addiction. The Thai Government is currently considering its legalisation but, according to Pascal Tanguay, each day they delay only increases drug harm.

Matters of Substance article

Should New Zealand have supervised injection sites?

Supervised injection sites are legally sanctioned, medically supervised facilities designed to reduce harm from injecting drug use. There are now 90 or more worldwide, the majority in Europe, with two in Canada and one in Australia. Overwhelmingly, the evidence shows they have reduced harm from intravenous drug use in these places, so is it time to consider their introduction in New Zealand?