When attempts to do good go wrong: heroin and ice now cheaper than tobacco in Australia

When attempts to do good go wrong: heroin and ice now cheaper than tobacco in Australia, by Ian Royall.

MELBOURNE’S heroin scourge is spiralling out of control as the killer narcotic’s cheap price fuels an open-air drug market on the streets.

Plentiful heroin as cheap as just $17 a hit is leading to a crisis not seen since the 1990s, and has sparked renewed calls for safe injecting rooms. … Discarded needles — often uncapped — and other drug litter such as bloodied tissues line suburban streets, home to both young families and older, long-term residents. …

A hit of the drug is now cheaper than a six-pack of beer or a packet of cigarettes.

Last year, 190 people died from heroin overdoses statewide, the most since the ’90s.

Last year, Australia officially become the world’s most expensive country to buy cigarettes. The average cost of a 50g pack of RYO loose-leaf tobacco is about $62. In some places, meth use is taking over: “Australians are proportionally using more methamphetamine, including ice, than almost any other country.”