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Why you shouldn't be drinking to relax (Aus)

Why you shouldn't be drinking to relax (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
REACHING for a glass of wine following a long day is a habit enjoyed by millions.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
Topics being covered in the media that are of interest to us
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What it’s like to be a fly on the wall at a FIFO mining operation (Aus)

What it’s like to be a fly on the wall at a FIFO mining operation (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Queensland parliamentary inquiry into FIFO (fly in fly out) work has begun and already submissions are being made on the impact of and issues facing FIFO workforces.
ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting piece by Xavier Toby, particularly his presentation of the contrasting 'types' of AOD issues for FIFO workers. One is well recognised, those who start, or escalate, AOD use to cope with the stresses of the lifestyle. The other much less so: those who use FIFO as a version of 'doing a geographical' to remove themselves from their regular (high risk) environments as a way of avoiding use. It would be interesting to know how many FIFO workers fit into that category, and how effective this approach is for them. We'd suspect that it would be moving from one high risk environment to another, without the benefits of a support network.

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US prisoners forced to withdraw from methadone less likely to seek community treatment: Lancet study

US prisoners forced to withdraw from methadone less likely to seek community treatment: Lancet study | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A study published today in The Lancet by US researchers and NDARC NHMRC postdoctoral fellow Dr Sarah Larney has provided further evidence for the effectiveness of methadone maintenance treatment in prisons.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds people exiting prison on methadone are seven times more likely to engage with treatment services. Currently 90% of people on pharmacotherapy are forced to discontinue while in prison.

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Why are so many British Columbians overdosing on their meds?

Why are so many British Columbians overdosing on their meds? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Three hundred and forty eight British Columbians died of drug overdoses in 2013, and illicit drug users are not the only victims. One-fifth of those overdose deaths were people taking their painkiller medications as prescribed. In some regions of the province, more are dying of painkiller drug overdose than in motor-vehicle accidents.
ReGenUC's insight:

Jordan Westfall highlights the need for targetted harm reduction interventions for people using prescription opioids to prevent overdose.

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Meth Trafficking Has Exploded Throughout Asia Despite Hardline Laws

Economic growth and increasingly interlinked markets have allowed both methamphetamine and the chemicals used in its production to flow across the Pacific region.
ReGenUC's insight:

Samuel Oakford on the ineffectiveness of drug policies that place too much emphasis on law enforcement. As former Vic Police Commissioner (now head of Australia's National Ice Taskforce) Ken Lay has said: 'we can't arrest our way out of this problem'.

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Reports Document Widespread Abuse in Caribbean Drug Treatment Centers

Reports Document Widespread Abuse in Caribbean Drug Treatment Centers | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Recent studies on drug treatment facilities in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic reveal a litany of abuse carried out in the name of rehabilitation, a practice that violates human rights and is sadly all to common in the region.

ReGenUC's insight:

Sadly, such practice is common, not just in the Caribbean, but in many regions around the world. Shining a light on bad practice is essential to shift attitudes towards AOD treatment (and the people who participate in it) and create political and social support for evidence based treatment models and drug policy.

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SA Government launches campaign to stop violence against health workers

A NEW statewide strategy to prevent violence against health workers will start with a graphic social media video featuring a paramedic being attacked while trying to work on a badly injured patient.
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Dairy factory worker Nicholas Murnane banned from Victorian licensed premises for two years

Dairy factory worker Nicholas Murnane banned from Victorian licensed premises for two years | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nicholas Murnane is not allowed to drink in any pub in Victoria. Or at a restaurant, the Grand Final, the Australian Open Tennis, the races ....
ReGenUC's insight:

We don't usually post crime reporting, but this is the first time we can recall this measure being used.

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Magic mushrooms should be used to treat mental health problems, psychiatrist says (UK)

Magic mushrooms should be used to treat mental health problems, psychiatrist says (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Leading psychiatrist calls for lifting of bars on LSD and magic mushrooms so they can be used in clinical trials to treat common mental health problems
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on use of MDMA to treat anxiety and depression: http://sco.lt/4ve0Wn. 

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Task force flags long-term ice funding (Aus)

FINDING a solution to Australia's problem with the drug ice is likely to put a long-term dent in government coffers, a task force chief says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Encouraging signs from taskforce head Ken Lay. We hope the Federal Govt is listening.

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Alcohol stores linked to neighbourhood violence (NT)

Alcohol stores linked to neighbourhood violence (NT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

TAKEAWAY alcohol stores have been linked to the number of assaults, shootings and stabbings in neighbourhoods with violence rising as the number of alcohol outlets increase.

ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the FARE Australia & Monash Uni study. See related story: http://sco.lt/72WUrp. 

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UCLA researchers identify a potentially effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction (USA)

UCLA researchers identify a potentially effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The first study in the United States of Naltrexone's effect on methamphetamine users has found that this medication, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of alcoholism, is potentially a very promising treatment for methamphetamine addiction, UCLA researchers report.
ReGenUC's insight:

While the search for an effective pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence continues, our own experience has shown that behavioural approaches can support significant change: http://www.regen.org.au/images/reports/ReGen_Methamphetamine_Treatment_Model_Briefing_Paper_DC1.pdf 

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While Russia grapples with HIV epidemic, Moscow’s addicts share their filthy needles

While Russia grapples with HIV epidemic, Moscow’s addicts share their filthy needles | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Infection rates are set to hit three million, but drug use and unsafe sex - the main causes - are rife
ReGenUC's insight:

Without substantial harm reduction initiatives, preventing the spread of HIV (and other blood borne viruses) will never be achieved.  The lack of access to sterile injecting equipment significantly increases the risk to communities.

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Australian to be released after serving time for work with internet drug site Silk Road (USA)

Australian to be released after serving time for work with internet drug site Silk Road (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE nightmare is over for former Brisbane resident Peter Nash who is a free man after a New York judge sentenced him to time already served for his work with underground internet bazaar Silk Road.
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Violence down as lockout law bites (NSW)

Violence down as lockout law bites (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THERE has been a whopping 39 per cent fall in the number of violent incidents at venues on the government’s “violent venues” list in the wake of the introduction of lockout laws — the lowest number of incidents since the list system was introduced in 2008.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence for the effectiveness of lockouts in reducing alcohol related violence.

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Ban on legal highs would technically cover alcohol, cigarettes and coffee (UK)

Ban on legal highs would technically cover alcohol, cigarettes and coffee (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New bill proposes banning all psychoactive substances then expressly permitting use of government-approved drugs
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the difficulty of coming up with an effective legislative response to synthetics.  We've seen the limitations of 'catch up' legislation in Australia, where bills are amended to include new substances as (or, practically, well after) they emerge. As this article points out, a blanket ban approach will always include other drug types and result in vague legislation that is difficult to enforce. See also Addaction's response: http://www.addaction.org.uk/news.asp?itemid=3798&itemTitle=Addaction+statement+on+Psychoactive+Substances+Bill&section=80&sectionTitle=News&postComment=NO. 

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You see a pregnant woman smoking. What do you do? (Aus)

There are few things that are truly shocking any more — but I witnessed one of them this week when I saw a heavily pregnant woman smoking in the street.
ReGenUC's insight:

What's interesting about this article is Jonathon Moran's wrestling with his own assumptions. AOD use during pregnancy is a complex issue so it's good to see examples of people grappling with the complexities, not simply reaching into the bin of usual stereotypes. If only more people would do the same.

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Youth mental health service Headspace 'facing funding crisis' (Aus)

Youth mental health service Headspace 'facing funding crisis' (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Young people will be turned away from clinics of popular youth mental health service Headspace because funding has been frozen, experts warn.
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Police Minister moves to block legal challenges by drunk, drugged drivers (Vic)

Police Minister moves to block legal challenges by drunk, drugged drivers (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police Minister Wade Noonan has moved to block more than 1100 alcohol or drug affected drivers from mounting legal challenges to their penalties, after it was revealed that hundreds of police officers had performed the tests without authorisation.
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Children risking lives in dangerous 'paracetamol challenge' craze (UK)

Children risking lives in dangerous 'paracetamol challenge' craze (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

hildren are risking their lives by taking part in a dangerous new social media craze called the paracetamol challenge, police have warned. The trend involves youngsters being dared to take "excessive amounts" of the painkiller on Facebook and Instagram.


ReGenUC's insight:
There are clear risks (including overdose) associated with overuse of paracetamol. Hopefully, this fad will run its course quickly and no one will be seriously hurt in the process. Here are the Royal Children's Hospital guidelines on managing paracetamol overdoses: http://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/guideline_index/Paracetamol_Poisoning/ 
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Marijuana prices: Map shows average pot prices in each US state

Marijuana prices: Map shows average pot prices in each US state | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Where can you buy the cheapest marijuana in the US? Not surprisingly, the cheapest pot in the US can be found in the states where it is legal to use it recreationally.
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DEA approves first drug trial of ecstasy to treat anxiety and depression (USA)

DEA approves first drug trial of ecstasy to treat anxiety and depression (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MDMA was outlawed by the United States in 1985. Since then it has gone underground, ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Part of the growing movement to utilise the therapeutic potential of various illicit drugs. See today's related post on magic mushrooms.

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Illicit use of prescription drugs a bigger problem than ice in rural areas (NSW)

Illicit use of prescription drugs a bigger problem than ice in rural areas (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A social work researcher says more people are dying in rural areas from fentanyl overdoses than in the city.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see more examples of evidence cutting through the hyperbole about methamphetamine use in regional/rural areas. Methamphetamine harms are real, and need to be addressed. They also need to be seen in perspective. Thanks to Lyndon Community for informing public debate.

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More ambulance callouts in areas near big bottle shops: study

More ambulance callouts in areas near big bottle shops: study | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

 (Vic)A study has found there are more injuries in neighbourhoods surrounding liquor chain stores.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing FARE Australia & Monash Uni study on alcohol related violence.

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Ana's death by Russian roulette should make us think again about drugs (Ireland)

Ana's death by Russian roulette should make us think again about drugs (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The war on drugs is being lost, one incarcerated or dead young person at a time. Ana Hick was the latest victim, last Sunday. Ana's 19th birthday was a funeral. She was dead because she did what millions of kids before her did, and what millions more will do. She played Russian roulette with pills she bought from a criminal on the street. And she died because our drugs laws do not protect our children, or take into account human nature.

ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece by Brendan O'Connor on the need for greater focus on harm reduction to prevent overdoses and save lives.

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How the Police's war on drugs is jeopardising safety in Scottish clubs

How the Police's war on drugs is jeopardising safety in Scottish clubs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT is a decision which prompted an outcry by writers, musicians, poets and DJs and has caused thousands to sign a petition in protest.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder that drug policy interventions (particularly those focussing on controlling supply) can often have unintended consequences, and of the need for an ongoing focus on harm reduction.

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