26 August 2022
In response to international and local changes, Public Health will be taking the lead on future messaging around illegal drug use.
While many Islanders don’t take drugs, those that do can be at risk of experiencing adverse reactions. Local insight suggests these reactions are typically due to unsafe behaviours such as taking a too high a dose, taking too often or taking with other substances. The mental state of the person taking the drug and the physical environment they are in can also contribute to this.
Public health advises Islanders that the easiest way to stay safe is to not take drugs. However, if people do choose to use them, they should do so in the safest ways possible causing minimal harm to themselves and those around them.
Through a health-based approach, Islanders will be provided with information and guidance covering drug specific risks, how these can be reduced, and the signs and symptoms of when someone needs immediate medical assistance.
This change in the Government’s approach will address substance use and associated health and social harms as the main priority. This includes health issues such as preventing problematic use, reducing deaths, and diseases as well as addressing wider social issues such as stigma, healthcare access, unemployment, housing, and inequalities
Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “Substance use has changed and therefore our approach to it must change. We have seen in other jurisdictions that the ‘drugs are bad’ messages are not effective and that this new informed approach works. We are not condoning the use of illegal substances, what we would like to do is inform Islanders and help people stay safe.
“There will always be people using drugs despite knowing the dangers. We want to educate Islanders on practical elements that may make drug taking behaviours less harmful. Taking any substance is dangerous, so it is important that Islanders are fully informed of how to stay safe, look out for others, and seek help if needed.”
Islanders can contact the Alcohol and Drugs Service on 445000 for advice and support. Young Islanders can find more information on the Youth Enquiry Service.