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Drug Use Rife in Australia

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, 2 November 2007
An official report on Australia's growing army of ecstasy users has revealed that many are highly educated, high achievers who use the drug everywhere from clubs and at home to cafes, restaurants and even at work.

The study - Containing Ecstasy - noted dramatic increases in the numbers using E and suggested one factor behind the growth was 'a general perception among ecstasy users that ecstasy use does not necessarily lead to severe health and social problems'.

"The regular use of ecstasy is perceived to be as acceptable as cannabis and more acceptable than the regular use of other illegal drugs. It is rarely associated with a 'drug problem' by the general
community," they said.

"Representations of ecstasy consumers are increasingly found in mainstream culture, and sub-cultural codes and signifiers of use are frequently used by the advertising industry to sell products to the general community," the report added.

Meanwhile in Canada, the Victoria Times-Colonist attacked Ontario authorities for hypocritically promoting alcohol consumption (specifically government produced whisky) and media for simultaneously demonizing illegal drugs.

"Canadians have an exaggerated view of the harms associated with illegal drug use but consistently underestimate the serious negative impact of alcohol on society," concluded a report released earlier this year by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, said Victoria Times-Colonist writer Dan Gardner (from the Ottawa Post).

"News and entertainment media are filled with stories about people who suffer as a result of taking an illicit drug, but they almost never have stories of people who take an illicit drug without bad consequences following -- even though the latter event is vastly more common than the former. The opposite is true of alcohol," he added.