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Policy response for Illicit Drugs (Coursework Sample)

Dear writer, you are to compete 900 words following the instructions below, APA Subject: Law & Justice Policy Assessment Task: Policy Analysis - Illicit Drugs (Key focus will be to focus on a specific policy response within a specific illicit drug problem. For example, heroin overdoses in North Richmond, Melbourne, Australia or any other particular problem in ONLY Australia) Word limit: 900 words Font: Cambria heading/body APA reference & in text reference (Do not reference in the list if it’s not in text referenced) Google Scholar, academic journal articles In this task you will analyse a policy response to the ‘problem’. You will need to identify the current laws and any existing policies that relate to the ‘problem’ you identified. You will then need to choose ONE of those policies (it Needs to be a specific problem in Australia - illicit drugs - and specific policy response in Australia, so you can pick any policy related to illicit drugs) and critically analyse its effectiveness as a response to the chosen ‘problem’. To successfully undertake this analysis you will need to expand on your earlier research into the ‘problem’ by: • Identifying relevant stakeholders (including interest groups) and describing their views and beliefs about the ‘problem’ • Assessing how those views and beliefs relate to evidence about the ‘problem’. Your analysis will include: • A description of what access to resources each stakeholder has • Consideration of how this access to resources shapes how the ‘problem’ is currently being represented and how it is addressed in the chosen policy • Critical assessment of how well the chosen policy addresses the ‘problem’ it is supposed to address, based on available evidence about the ‘problem’. Structure Guide on to set it out! Please follow it! Recommended NOTE: Key focus is to focus on a specific policy response to a specific illicit drug problem they both have to be specific. Illicit drugs is a problem. Needs to be a specific problem in Australia and specific policy response in Australia source..
Policy Analysis - Illicit Drugs Name Institutional Affiliation Policy Analysis - Illicit Drugs Introduction Given that the society is infested with illicit drug use, its patterns of harm are continually increasing, which presents a question of the overall purpose of effective drug policy. In Australia, drug use has always been a problem of crime, addiction and social problems orchestrating various law enforcement responses and rehabilitative programs (Stoové, Treloar, Maher, Tyrrell, & Wallace, 2015). The Federal Customs Act covers the importation of illicit drugs whereas each state has laws governing the possession, manufacture, cultivation, distribution and use of such drugs (Ritter, Lancaster, Grech, & Reuter, 2011). Since Australia is anything but drug-free, zero tolerance and harm minimisation have emanated to reduce supply, demand, and harm through ongoing law enforcement, information delivery and treatment programmes. Notably, harm minimisation policy has become commonplace in Australia for its consideration of the consequences of drugs, such as heroin, on the health, financial, and social life of the user. Stakeholders, Views, and Beliefs When it comes to drug policy, the problem of contrasting ideologies of acceptable outcomes is so sophisticated owing to the diversity of views and stakeholders. With the magnitude of the illicit drug use and the federal system of governance in Australia, there are multiple stakeholders and interest groups shaping how the problem can be approached (Hughes, Lodge, & Ritter, 2010). This includes members of the general public, policy-makers, the law enforcement, and special interest groups including the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs SIG and the Public Health Association of Australia SIG. Notwithstanding the role of social and economic factors in shaping the health and risk behaviours of illicit drug users, Heroin has attracted significant media attention due to relapse and overdose cases (Ritter et al., 2011). The media's portrayal of illicit drug use is mostly negative and sensationalist and fosters the ‘tough on drugs’ rhetoric by the National Illicit Drug Strategy. This calls for supply reduction initiatives through border surveillance and law enforcement. Much as the policy-makers of the Liberal party push for more punitive measures for illicit drug use, other policy leaders and health and social service providers support a harm minimisation approach. These stakeholders believe that drug use is a health issue and the removal of criminal sanctions associated with it would encourage individual drug users to access and engage with effective treatment. From this perspective, most Australians have urged Federal, State and Territory Governments to shift the issue of illicit drug use to a social and public health portfolio. Pereira (2013) casts doubts on the effectiveness of the police drug interventions when it comes to reducing activities, like injecting drug use, which causes individual and community harm. On the other hand, harm minimisation initiatives seek to restore a drug user to the community with a new mentality through education and rehabilitation (Costa, 2008). Stakeholder Influence and Resources Government officials (bureaucrats) are substantially influential when it comes to developing and implementing policies. Members of government advisory bodies, practitioners and researchers are also significant in the policy community. The funding and resources set apart for enforcing drug law are substantial. Currently, the government spends over four billion each year to combat illicit drug use, which comes directly from the taxpayers’ wallets (Ritter et al., 2011). Similarly, Non-Government Organizations also have finite pools of resources and struggle to find the right mix of interventions to produce positive clinical outcomes. The expenditure focussed on law enforcement approaches should be redirected into treatment options to reduce illicit drug use. Moreover, the members of the general public who are subjected to endless systems of management and technologies of reform usually have insufficient resources to counter the motivation for drug use upon release. In this regards, such persons often find the idea of turning their life around unsustainable and may subsequently return to prison. Policy Assessment The success of harm minimisation approach centres on the partnership between government and non-government agencies, such as the Inter-Governmental Committee on Drugs and The Public Health Association of Australia. Such partnerships exist in areas associated with treatment and services, education, social welfare, justice, consumer policy, road safety and employment (Ritter et al., 2011). Through these, evidence-based information concerning illicit drug use is conveyed to the media and strategies to minimise substance abuse is balanced across the three pillars of harm minimisation. According to Gotsis, Angus, & Roth (2016), all policies that demonise and criminalise people who depend on drugs should make way for strategies that reduce harm, demand and supply. Similarly, Stoové et al. (2015) assert that policies that are based on decriminalisation, regulation and education have proven effective in other countries, such as Portugal. Therefore, harm minimisation reduces drug use, overdose fatalities as well as incarceration rates. Given that illicit substance use overlaps occasional use and dependent use across a continuum, its different types and patterns cause a range of harms, which require a multifaceted response. The harm minimisation policy entails well-defined and defensible goals through which drug policy can be systematically assessed (Ritter et al., 2011). Besides, it ...
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