In June 1981, the Australian Government implemented the world’s first Harm Minimisation policy.
“Harm minimisation aims to address alcohol and other drug issues by reducing the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs on individuals and society. Harm minimisation considers the health, social and economic consequences of AOD use on both the individual and the community as a whole.” Source
The resultant social impact on the community has been significant with very considerable costs saved in lives with the containment of the spread of the HIV Virus, the design and application of innovative pharmaceutical and MedTech supply chain programs and new levels of community engagement. Source
The New South Wales based Needle and Syringe Program was first implemented under Australian Government Harm Minimisation Policy with the potentially emerging epidemic of HIV AIDS. It was originally announced in 1985.
The resulting combination of legislation, government funding, system and product design and emergency program implementation was a radical and swift initiative/response to block the potential cross community spread of the HIV virus which had started spreading at an alarming rate in the community mentioned above in Sydney at that time.