Burns lodges police complaint over ACON drug booklet

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Sydney activist GARY BURNS has lodged an official complaint with NSW Police over a ‘how to take illegal drugs’ booklet produced by ACON (formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW).

As reported by News Ltd newspapers this morning, the taxpayer-funded ACON booklet “Routes of Administration” is available for anyone to download at ACON’s website.

It gives specific and detailed information on techniques for taking drugs by numerous means including injecting, snorting and shafting (insertion of drugs into the anus).

Mr Burns today sent a written complaint to NSW Police, asking the constabulary to investigate ACON for breaching the NSW Criminal Code.

“I have today written to NSW Police Commissioner ANDREW SCIPIONE asking him to assign detectives to investigate ACON over their how to take drugs booklet,” said Mr Burns.

“It is my belief that this booklet encourages people to undertake illegal acts and is therefore itself illegal.

“As a concerned community member, I want to see ACON investigated to see if the organisation has broken any laws. I believe it has because ACON is aiding and abetting illegal drug use.”

Mr Burns said that while he supported harm minimisation methods, “Routes of Administration” went beyond that and actually encouraged people to break the law.

“ACON are trying to present this as harm minimisation when it’s not,” he said.

“Harm minimisation would involve giving this information to known drug users as part of a drug counselling programme, under supervision and with ongoing contact.

“That’s not what this is. This booklet is available for anyone to download from ACON’s website or can be picked up from ACON’s foyer, no questions asked.

“There is nothing to stop 13, 14, 15-year-old kids from picking it up or downloading it, trying the suggestions in the booklet and killing themselves.

“This is a very serious matter because if some kid tries the methods suggested by ACON, they might not be coming home for dinner.

“There won’t any need for you as a parent to set a place at the dinner table if your kid has overdosed on drugs and is laying stone motherless cold in a body bag in the morgue.

“Charges should be laid over this, and I think it would also be prudent to send the drug detection dogs around to ACON and give the place a thorough comb-over,” Burns concluded.

Burns’ call for police intervention follows several weeks of high-profile scandals for ACON, including the revelation in Fairfax newspapers last week that ACON spends only $819,872 of its $12,638,998 million budget (6.4 per cent) on its raison d’être – programs and services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community.

ENDS

RELATED LINKS:

Finely chop powder, alternate nostrils says taxpayer-funded guide (News Ltd article):
www.news.com.au/national/finely-chop-powder-alternate-nostrils-says-taxpayer-funded-user-guide-to-drugs/story-e6frfkvr-1225992974162

Row over HIV health cash (Fairfax):
www.smh.com.au/nsw/row-over-hiv-health-cash-20110115-19rvu.html

ACON’s “Routes of Administration” drug booklet:
www.acon.org.au/alcohol-and-other-drugs/using-drugs/Routes-of-Administration

ACON’s 2009/10 Financial Report:
http://www.acon.org.au/about-acon

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Gary Burns
(02) 9363 0372
0407 910 309
http://twitter.com/#!/garyburnsblog
http://garyburnsdiscriminationactivist.wordpress.com

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Complaint lodged against drug guide

January 23, 2011 – 6:09PM

AAP

A Sydney activist says he has lodged a complaint with NSW police over a booklet – produced by a group which receives funding from the NSW government – which shows the safest ways to take illegal drugs.

The booklet gives information on how to take drugs, including a section on snorting which advises people to “alternate nostrils” and to “rinse the nostrils out after snorting”.

It also advises those injecting to “rotate injecting sites from arm to arm and up and down the same arm” and to have a hot shower to “increase the size of the veins to make injecting easier”.

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The booklet, Routes of Administration, is produced by ACON – the former AIDS Council of NSW – and is available for anyone to download at ACON’s website.

Sydney activist Gary Burns said on Sunday he had written to NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione asking him to assign detectives to investigate ACON over its how-to-take-drugs booklet.

“As a concerned community member, I want to see ACON investigated to see if the organisation has broken any laws,” Mr Burns told AAP.

He said ACON was “aiding and abetting illegal drug use” and he was concerned that there was nothing to stop younger teenagers from downloading the booklet and “killing themselves”.

“I can’t even follow a recipe to make a sponge cake without stuffing it up,” he said.

“How can any Tom, Dick or Jack download these directions and follow them to take illicit drugs in a step-by-step guide without killing themselves?

“What I’m saying is: people make mistakes.”

NSW police said they could not confirm whether a complaint had been received.

The Sunday Telegraph has reported that ACON receives 75 per cent of its $12 million budget from the state government through NSW Health.

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