By Melissa Davey for The Guardian. Major police seizures of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and ice do not seem to have an impact on the number of people who end up in hospital emergency departments, according to a study led by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The findings indicate drug seizures, rather than eliminating a meaningful amount of drugs from the streets represent just the tip-of-the-iceberg, according to the paper published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.
Researchers examined the monthly number of emergency department presentations for heroin, cocaine and amphetamine-type substances, and the monthly number of arrests and seizures for those same drugs in NSW over the decade to 2011.
“If emergency department presentations are accepted as a guide to drug-related harm, increases in heroin, cocaine and amphetamine-type seizure quantity or frequency have little if any short-term impact on the harms associated with [those] drugs,” the study found.