Tasmanians with Substance: Declaration
“We are Tasmanians with Substance: a collective of people with lived and living experience of using alcohol and other drugs in lutruwita/Tasmania.
Every Tasmanian is entitled to fundamental human rights and should be treated fairly with dignity and respect, but in today’s Tasmania we know that these rights are often denied to people who use alcohol and other drugs. We affirm that many people in Tasmania use drugs and are happy and healthy. Those who seek support for their use of alcohol and other drugs have a health condition which deserves to be treated like any other health condition.
We advocate for the adoption of drug policies that are modern, evidence-based, prioritise health, and are grounded in harm reduction and human rights. Stigma around drug use is the source of significant damage to the health and well-being of people who use drugs, and we call for changes to policies which currently cause harm.
Thousands of Tasmanians who use alcohol and other drugs experience unfair treatment and discrimination from healthcare providers, police, alcohol and other drug professionals, prison officers, pharmacists, community service providers and others including family and friends. The damage caused is immeasurable. To address this our collective offers the following declaration:
People who use alcohol and other drugs in Tasmania have the right to:
Equity, inclusion, dignity and respect and to live free from discrimination and stigma
Bodily autonomy and personal choice
Access timely, contemporary, evidence-based drug treatment and culturally appropriate support services that are non-judgmental and responsive to our unique health needs
Obtain safe, new injecting equipment and other health affirming treatment and lifesaving resources without fear of criminalisation or persecution
Access and freedom to choose effective, affordable medications
Participate in the development and implementation of drug policies and programs that directly impact our lives
Lead meaningful decision-making processes that accurately represent the diversity of our perspectives
We recognise that the implementation of these rights is not only essential to our well-being, but also to the well-being of the wider Tasmanian community. We call on policymakers, health professionals, friends, family and the public to support these rights and to work towards the establishment of policies and programs that uphold the dignity and human rights of all people who use alcohol and other drugs.”
Written by Kerrie Dare, Emily Ebdon, Lily Foster and Jo Murphy
Please contact Greg Taylor for more information on this project.
Director, Lived ExperienceGreg is highly experienced in the visual arts and community development sectors. He helped establish the Spinifex Hill Studio in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and has worked around the country as a freelance producer.Read more✖
Greg brings his artistic sensibility to his role, quietly radiating intelligence and creativity. He is witty and sharp, but has a steady and reliable nature that the team greatly appreciates. Greg’s skills and experience in working with a broad range of people means he is insightful and sensitive, and can adapt to the various daily experiences his role presents in an authentic way. Integrity is important to him, and this shows in his honesty and kind critiques of others when necessary – leading to strong and trusting relationships. Greg would love to see a legitimate platform for people who have lived experience to be heard, and for this to lead to positive change in our society. He also hopes for a future where uncertainty in our community leaders isn’t seen as a weakness, and curiosity is valued over immediate decision-making. Career highlights:
- Writing the business case for the independent lived experience organisation for the alcohol and other drug sector in Tasmania for the ATDC
- Being the founding studio manager of Spinifex Hill Studio in the Pilbara region of Western Australia