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Using an illegal drug, also known as self-administration

Using an illegal drug, also known as self-administration, is an offence under s.12 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. The police must prove that the substance consumed was a prohibited drug. 

Obviously they cannot analyse the substance if it has been completely consumed, and blood tests can only be taken by a doctor after arrest. So for most convictions they must rely on admissions made by the accused.

It is also an offence to administer drugs to someone else, for example by injecting them (s.13), or to allow someone to administer drugs to you (s.14). Administering drugs also include drink spiking. It is the adding of a prohibited drug to a drink of another without his consent. If you inject someone else with a drug which caused his or her death, you may be additionally liable for manslaughter.

Note that self-induced intoxication with illegal drugs is not a defence to criminal charges.

Prescription Drugs

It is legal to possess and use some drugs, like methadone and benzodiazepines (such as Serapax and Valium), if they have been prescribed by a doctor. It is however an offence to possess or use these drugs without a prescription.

Medicinal cannabis (Marijuana)

It is not a defence to a charge of possession of cannabis (or self-administration or cultivation of cannabis) that the person used the cannabis for a legitimate medicinal reason. However, such motivation can be a relevant issue to be taken into account in sentencing.


It is an offence to inject methadone. Methadone is legally prescribed subject to conditions on quantity and the ‘purpose’ of the prescription. Administration by method other than oral ingestion means the methadone is not lawfully prescribed under s.12(2) and is illegal.

Injecting rooms

The NSW government has permitted the establishment of one licensed medically supervised injecting centre in Kings Cross, Sydney. It is lawful for a person to use or possess a small quantity of a prohibited drug while in the injecting centre.   

Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. Hiring the right criminal lawyers can often make a substantial difference in your case.  Criminal lawyers Liverpool, Criminal lawyers Penrith,   Criminal Lawyers Parramatta

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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