Equal and opposite reactions. A smart man that Newton. He might have been dealing with motion but his third law regularly has a broader application. As has been found in South Australia where the reaction to concentrating on limiting binge drinking has been a boom in the use of cheap illegal drugs bought at a fraction of the cost of night club alcohol.

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia director of drug monitoring Jason White was quoted this morning saying that the exploitation by dealers of the gap between the price of alcohol and illegal drugs was concerning.

“The relative cost of alcohol at some venues compared to the cost of an ecstasy tablet means that some people regard the ecstasy as a better way to spend their money,” he said.

While ecstasy is the most common and cheapest drug used at nightclubs, club owners say partygoers are also using other pills, cocaine and LSD — some made in backyard drug labs and rife with dangerous chemicals.

Alcohol abuse is still the major story. The Adelaide Advertiser might have featured illegal drug use this morning but stories of alcohol abuse have become the major subject for stories in most Australian newspapers. Just have a look through the list of what is featured in our Crikey Breakfast Wrap each morning.

Perhaps only the debate about emissions trading schemes is given more column centimetres than stories about the evil drink. It is as if a new wave of prohibition is about to be unleashed and this at a time when the official statistics show that alcohol consumption per head is well down from its high point of 20 years ago.

Exposure for proper journalists. There’s one good thing about the West Australian not posting its own version of most stories on its web site. It gives the rest of us the opportunity to read reports filed by the newsagency AAP. And what a refreshing change they generally make. There’s none of the tortured attempt to find a provocative angle but just straight forward reporting of the who did what when where and why variety. A most refreshing change for people capable of forming their own opinion as to what things mean.

Kevin 93. A grave blow to Australian national pride has been revealed on the blog Hottest Heads of State. Our man Kevin Rudd has been ranked number 93 on the list of sexiest world leaders, one place lower than the Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Ingraham and just ahead of Romania’s Emil Boc.

Topping the list is Yulia Tymoshenko Prime Minister of Ukraine with Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway, in second place and Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan, in third.

And before all you pedants out there complain that Kevvie is not really our head of state at all I should point out that the judges of this beauty contest just do not care about such distinctions. Alas Governor General Quentin Bryce has been ruled ineligible just when she would have had a real role in boosting national pride.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.