Health

An investigation into the influx of Indigenous 'visitors' to Darwin's Long Grass from remote NT communities - Phase 2

Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin’s Long Grass

Plain English summary and implications for police prepared by Roger Nicholas.

Psycho-stimulant use, health and criminal activity among injecting heroin users

Plain English summary and implications for police prepared by Roger Nicholas.

Law enforcement and khat: An analysis of current issues

"Khat" refers to the leaves of the Catha edulis tree. While khat has been chewed for centuries by people in countries in the Horn of Africa region for its stimulant properties, in recent years its use in Australia has increased as more people from the region, particularly Somalia, have settled here. Drawing on focus groups conducted with over one hundred Somali and Ethiopian people in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and on interviews with police service / force employees in those states, we examine current issues associated with the use and regulation of the plant and problems for law enforcement.

An investigation into the influx of Indigenous 'visitors' to Darwin's Long Grass from remote NT communities - Phase 2

Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin’s Long Grass

This study asked the question, What do Aboriginal people staying in Darwin's Long Grass require to attain an acceptable level of health and life quality and to be law abiding citizens? The views and experiences of 550 participants were explored through three stages of fieldwork.

Policing, volatile substance misuse, and Indigenous Australians

Volatile substance misuse is the inhalation of substances containing hydrocarbons to induce a state of intoxication, and there a number of acute and chronic health and social problems with which it can be associated. Police have an important role to play in the minimisation of both volatile substance misuse and related harm. This research project, commissioned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund, was to enhance the understanding of the law enforcement sector concerning the extent and nature of petrol sniffing and other inhalant misuse by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples predominantly in rural and remote, but also urban communities. A qualitative case study approach was taken to the project and 160 interviews were conducted with a total of 195 people including: police officers; Indigenous police liaison officers or community constables; representatives of Indigenous community-controlled organisations; Indigenous community members; representatives of non-Indigenous non-government organisations; and representatives of government agencies.

Psycho-stimulant use, health and criminal activity among injecting heroin users

This research sought to inform three questions of relevance to illicit drug policy: what effect does the perceived price, purity and availability of heroin have on (a) heroin use and (b) heroin expenditure; what effect does the perceived risk of scoring, perceived hassle associated with scoring and amount of contact with police have on (a) heroin use and (b) heroin expenditure; and what differences are there in terms of adverse health and behavioural outcomes between IDUs who use heroin only and IDUs who use a combination of heroin and psycho-stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine? To address these questions a sample of 296 Sydney IDUs were surveyed. For this sample of IDUs, most of the law enforcement-related variables exerted no significant effect on heroin use and expenditure. Neither the cost of heroin, nor its purity, nor the perceived risk and hassle associated with purchasing heroin were related to either drug expenditure or use. There was a significant relationship between the amount of contact with police and heroin expenditure but it was in the opposite direction to that which would be expected if police contact directly reduces heroin expenditure. IDUs who had more contact with police spent more on heroin each week than IDUs who had relatively infrequent contact with police. The only law enforcement-related variable that appeared to be related to heroin use and expenditure in the manner expected was time to score. IDUs who took longer to score spent significantly less on the drug, and used significantly less of it.