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Criminology Sociology: Drug Use Among Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

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According to the Danila Dilba Medical Service, Indigenous Australians are more likely to use and to inject illicit substances than non-Indigenous counterparts. In fact, in Indigenous communities, injecting drugs exist among young people. The community recognizes that there are several factors which cause the implications of illicit drug use. Examples include family breakdown, unemployment, leisure boredom, lack of positive role models and peer group issues. Australians felt the need to explore the relationships among the contributory factors on the use of prohibited drugs by Indigenous Australians as well as its associations to the existing threat of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Many indigenous people who are drug users inject the harmful substance by sharing needles and syringes with all other injecting equipment. Like among other drug users, they are not exerting effort to access the health care services due to the shame of being afraid of the stigma associated with prohibited drug use. Blagg’ s cited a meta-analysis of the literature ( Blagg 2000: 4-5) which identified different “ causes” of family violence among Indigenous communities, including: the marginalisation and dispossession; disruption of community kinship systems as well as Aboriginal law; entrenched poverty; loss of land and traditional culture; effects of institutionalisation as well as removal policies; “ redundancy” of the traditional Aboriginal male status and role; racism; aggressive assertion of male rights beyond women and children and finally, alcohol and drug abuse.

One of the common illicit drugs used by some indigenous is cannabis; the supply of this plant is facilitated via drug distribution networks. In few areas, these are run by the indigenous people who have positions of influence or power in a given area.

The growth in demand for the drugs in remote areas seems to have attracted the curiosity or interest of profiteers coming from outside of those communities, then, accelerating the flow of money from far or remote communities to urban areas.

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