The opposition claims the government's approach to drugs at the Alexander Maconochie Centre are not working.
Victoria already has disciplinary measures in place for prisoners found to have used AOD. These measures primarily target access to visits and other 'privileges' as punishment. Prisoners recording positive drug tests have an opportunity to reduce their punishment if they participate in therapeutic or educational AOD programs. See also yesterday's post on the uncertain future of the ACT prison NSP trial: http://sco.lt/9HOIAD.
EVER wondered if you took a joint or party pill over the weekend whether it would put you at risk of failing a roadside drug test on Monday?
Follow-up to yesterday's post on criticisms of roadside testing in NSW (http://sco.lt/97aJ1t). Good to see some discussion of the difference between saliva and urine testing. Regardless of your attitudes towards drug testing (and it's effects), it's undeniable that there is growing demand for it, particularly in workplaces.
Nick Clegg is launching a campaign to persuade EU leaders to back global reform of drugs laws, warning that the current punitive approach has failed to curb the multibillion trade in illicit substances and has criminalised millions of young people.
Is this more evidence of genuine change in international drug policy?
Health Minister Sussan Ley says Australia's mental health system will soon be overhauled after a review found the current regime was disjointed and must get better at "catching people before they fall".
We can only hope this reflects the Govt's likely response to the recommendations of the National Ice Taskforce. Increasing service accessibility is essential for mental health and AOD treatment.
For obvious enough reasons, the current national concern about drug abuse is centred on crystal methamphetamine, known commonly as 'ice'.
Canberra Times editorial indulges in some hyperbole on methamphetamine (and flakka) before getting on to the issue of opioid related deaths. These figures highlight the importance of getting naloxone into as many people's hands as possible to prevent overdose and save lives. Last week's TGA recommendations on naloxone rescheduling are a big step in the right direction: http://sco.lt/6bQGKP.
Police shut down a dance party at Moore Park in Sydney overnight after a number of partygoers were taken to hospital suffering from suspected drug overdoses.
Incidents like this one demonstrate the ineffectiveness of 'zero tolerance' approaches to illicit drug use. If promoters were encouraged to incorporate evidence based harm reduction measures (such as pill testing), stories like this one would be rarer. 'Zero tolerance' does not stop use and only increases the risks for those concerned.
Nearly 100,000 NSW residents each year will be subjected to roadside drug testing that police admit does not look for drugs that are still active in a person's system and critics say is about mass punishment of drug users, not road safety.
Citing Greens MP David Shoebridge and David McDonald on some of the concerns with our drug-driving regime.
People infected with hepatitis C are choosing not to have treatment at the risk of the virus becoming life-threatening, because they are waiting for the government to subsidise drugs that are more likely to cure them, a study says.
This is a pretty poor headline. It implies irresponsible behaviour by people living with Hep C, when there's no mention of the article of the current prohibitive cost (around $1,000 per tablet) of the new drugs. The great majority of those affected simply cannot afford treatment. It is not a matter of simply waiting for a government handout.
IT IS the horror drug that sends users into wide-eyed rage, leaving them clawing at roads, lunging at cars and engaged in all manner of bizarre and dangerous behaviour.
Following yesterday's initial coverage, this article appears to primarily be a promotion for workplace drug testing services. We can probably expect flakka to be depicted as the next 'drug scourge'. See yesterday's related posts: http://sco.lt/7xDXSz.
Report reveals rate of people treated for addiction rose 63 per cent between 2009 and last year.
These numbers are broadly consistent with national data. It's important to remember that the increase is from a very low base. In the same period, we've seen an increase from 6% of people who use our services seeking assistance with amphetamine-type stimulants in 2009 to around 30% this year. While the harms associated with methamphetamine use are significant, it needs to be re-emphasised that the overall numbers of people affected are still very small, compared to other drugs such as alcohol.
PRODUCTS that combine codeine with other analgesics should not be available over the counter, according to a leading addiction medicine expert who says the drugs pose a significant public health risk.
Western Health's Michael McDonough supports the proposed rescheduling. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Michelle Lynch does not. RACGP's Simon Holliday cites pharmacists' conflict of interest on this issue.
One in nine motorists tested for illicit drugs over the grand final long weekend returned a positive result.
Important to remember that new Vic legislation has established significantly higher penalties for drivers found with both alcohol and illicits in their system. See also yesterday's post on criticisms of NSW roadside drug testing: http://sco.lt/97aJ1t.
From gender inequality to land rights, the factors that fuel the illicit drug market are also development issues.
Drug use (and production) does not happen in isolation. Drug policy needs to be integrated with economic, social, health, education and other areas to address the multiple factors that contribute to the associated harms.
Crystal methamphetamine, more commonly known as ‘ice’, has featured prominently in news headlines in recent times. Stories of violent attacks on innocent bystanders and ice-induced psychosis are reported be occurring with alarming frequency. Crosslight attempts to sort fact from fiction.
This article focuses on our work developing targetted treatment responses to methamphetamine dependence and the story of Sarah, one of our Consumer Consultants. A huge thanks to Sarah for sharing her story and her experience of our services. If you're in Aus, we'll be discussing our work on this week's episode of Insight on SBS: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/tvepisode/ice-breaker.
An ACT government and unions working group is developing a needles and syringes strategy for Canberra's prison.
The working group, 'could take a year to conclude its work'. Who knows when, if ever, this groundbreaking initiative will commence. The ongoing lack of action continues to place prisoners, their families and the wider community at risk. People who inject while in prison currently run a very high risk of contracting Hep C and other blood borne viruses. Access to effective Hep C treatment is already a significant issue (http://sco.lt/70J8YD). When prisoners are released, their viral load represents a potential risk to public health.
A new Dallas-style buyers club to help thousands of hepatitis C sufferers get life-saving drugs at a fraction of the cost being charged by a pharmaceutical giant has been inundated with inquiries in its first week.
Highlighting the exorbitant cost of the new treatments as a barrier to treatment access. This is better coverage of the issue that yesterday's example from Fairfax: http://sco.lt/7d1Ebx.
TWO of NSW's leading community organisations that cater to people living with HIV have welcomed the NSW Government's implementation of the removal of the co-payment of HIV medication. Announced as a
Good to see the NSW Govt removing potential access barriers to treatment. Co-payments to pharmacies for Opioid Replacement Therapies (like methadone and buprenorphine) continue to be a significant issue within the AOD sector, with many people placed under financial stress to be able to receive their medication. We often see people who have been barred from their registered distributor purely because of their inability to pay dispensing fees.
Governments will be allowed to block tobacco companies from suing over anti-smoking measures under a U.S. proposal being debated by Pacific trading partners as part of a free trade deal spanning a dozen countries.
The proposal is a step forward for future public health policy but, if it only targets tobacco, the TPP still poses a threat to policy responses on other damaging products.
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