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Friday, 16 October 1970

Mr CHIPP - The honourable member asks an interesting question. When talking with them myself, young drug addicts have put to me that stricter control should be placed on the sale of hypodermic needles and that they should be made available only on prescription. However, there are a great number of people in the medical profession who would oppose this. They believe that this stems from an artificial premise, that if you simply prevent a child from getting a hypodermic syringe that child will no longer take drugs. But such is the compulsion of a drug addict to administer a drug intravenously that the problem goes far deeper than simply cutting off the mechanics of administering the drug.

We have had evidence - I have seen it myself - of children who have an addiction to or a compulsion to take hard drugs - to mainline - and who when they cannot get a syringe use a most extraordinarily unhygienic and terrible implement to open up their arms and arteries to administer the drug. Whilst I acknowledge that the question has merit, there is by no means unanimity among members of the medical profession as to whether this is the best way to combat the problem.

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