Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Protect your unborn child ... or else (NSW)

Protect your unborn child ... or else (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PREGNANT women who endanger their unborn child through drug or alcohol abuse could be forced to change their behaviour or have their baby taken away.
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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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Drug overdose suspected after man's body found on back seat of car (NSW)

Drug overdose suspected after man's body found on back seat of car (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police investigating if man took a lethal dose of heroin after his body was discovered in back seat of a car.
ReGenUC's insight:

A tragic reminder of the need to keep a regular check on people after they have consumed opioids. They might not be sleeping, they could be dying. If this (apparent) overdose had happened in a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, this man would still be alive today.

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Drug court – giving families a chance to break the cycle of opioid use (USA)

Drug court – giving families a chance to break the cycle of opioid use (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Photographer Fred R Conrad visited a Virginia drug court last year and saw how individuals and families had been given a second chance – so when he went back this summer he had a question: did they take it?

ReGenUC's insight:

Depending on how they're implemented, Drug Courts can be a highly effective (and far less damaging) alternative to prison. The article features the stories of some of the people who attend and work at this one.

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Building bridges to Utah drug users through syringe exchanges ‘shows someone really cares’

Building bridges to Utah drug users through syringe exchanges ‘shows someone really cares’ | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One Voice Recovery, the organization Rezac founded, seeks to build bridges with intravenous drug users in hopes they will eventually seek treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice piece on local uptake of harm reduction measures by a treatment organisation, and recognition that such basic, evidence based initiatives are still considered 'controversial' in the US. See today's related post on the closure of another NSP in Indiana due to 'moral concerns': http://sco.lt/53F9iT.

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Link between Adolescent Pot Smoking and Psychosis Strengthens (Germany)

Link between Adolescent Pot Smoking and Psychosis Strengthens (Germany) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Research presented at a Berlin psychiatric conference shows teenage cannabis use hastens onset of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals
ReGenUC's insight:

More research findings on the link between cannabis use and mental health concerns amongst young people.

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Welsh government plans minimum pricing for alcohol sales

Welsh government plans minimum pricing for alcohol sales | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rebecca Evans to introduce bill to Welsh assembly that will ‘make it an offence for retailers to sell strong alcohol at low prices’
ReGenUC's insight:

More progress towards minimum pricing in the UK.

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Peru approves medical cannabis

Peru approves medical cannabis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The vote in congress makes Peru the sixth country to legalise cannabis in Latin America.
ReGenUC's insight:

The legislation covers the production, import and commercial sale of cannabis oil.

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How 'supper club' gave a space to parents who lost their children to drugs (Vic)

How 'supper club' gave a space to parents who lost their children to drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Carnegie club is providing a lifeline to people who have lost someone to addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

A great piece by Jenny Valentish (featuring our dear friend Marg Quon) on the grief and stigma experienced by family members who have lost a loved one to overdose, and the need to change public perceptions about drug dependence. 

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This Is How Aboriginal Women Have Been Tackling The Effects Of Drinking During Pregnancy

This Is How Aboriginal Women Have Been Tackling The Effects Of Drinking During Pregnancy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two decades ago a group of Aboriginal women from Rockhampton in Central Queensland realised the harm that drinking during pregnancy was having on the next generation.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece on local community responses to FASD, the challenges faced in implementing change and the need to reassess funding models.

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World Medical Association says laws on cannabis research should be reviewed

World Medical Association says laws on cannabis research should be reviewed | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The World Medical Association (WMA) has called for laws governing research-grade cannabis to be reviewed to allow more research on using cannabis for medicinal purposes.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on proposed changes to access to medicinal cannabis by terminally ill Australians: http://sco.lt/7S23ft

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Interview: Professor Simon Lenton (Aus) - video

Interview: Professor Simon Lenton (Aus) - video | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Emma Alberici speaks to Professor Simon Lenton, Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, about the drug being used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
ReGenUC's insight:

Recent Lateline interview highlights the importance of peer distribution of naloxone, the need for regulatory changes to overcome current barriers and the challenges posed by the emergence of fentanyl. You can also listen to this podcast of Marianne Jauncey (from Sydney's MSIC) discussing the same topic: https://podtail.com/podcast/australian-prescriber-podcast/episode-5-community-use-of-naloxone-for-opioi/

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Medicinal cannabis bill passes Senate (Aus)

Medicinal cannabis bill passes Senate (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MEDICAL cannabis could soon be easier to get for terminally-ill Australians after passing a first hurdle in Parliament today.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Greens bill will allow easier access for terminally ill patients. It now goes to the lower house, where the Turnbull Govt has pledged to oppose it: http://sco.lt/6FJypV

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Vivitrol, monthly shot for opioid addiction, works as well as daily medication (Norway)

Vivitrol, monthly shot for opioid addiction, works as well as daily medication (Norway) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study finds a monthly shot to treat opioid addiction was as effective in maintaining short-term abstinence as a more commonly prescribed daily treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's worth noting that Vivitrol has been pretty controversial since it's introduction, and that (as noted in this article) it has been aggressively marketed by its manufacturer as a new 'cure' for opioid dependence. It will be interesting to see the findings of the larger US study, when it's released later this year.

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Growing Support for a Supervised Injection Facility in Melbourne

Growing Support for a Supervised Injection Facility in Melbourne | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of heroin-related deaths in Australia has risen to levels not witnessed since the 1990s, prompting calls for a supervised injection facility (SIF) to be int
ReGenUC's insight:

International coverage of the #RichmondMSIC campaign.

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Blindsided Trump officials scrambling to develop opioid plan (USA)

Blindsided Trump officials scrambling to develop opioid plan (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's unclear when Trump's promised emergency declaration will be formally announced or how it will be carried out.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is not how to make drug policy. It will be interesting to see if this latest announcement of Presidential plans to announce a state of emergency will result in an actual policy response. Meanwhile, another Indiana NSP has been defunded for 'moral reasons': http://sco.lt/53F9iT

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Indiana has an HIV crisis—yet it just closed another needle exchange

Indiana has an HIV crisis—yet it just closed another needle exchange | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

An Indiana county shut down its needle exchange program on Tuesday because of moral objections, raising the risk of increasing its number of HIV and Hepatitis C infections.

ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of ideological opposition to evidence based harm reduction measures in the US. See today's related post from Utah: http://sco.lt/6HTHHt.

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'Baking Soda Bombs' Emerge As Latest Drug Test Trend In South Dakota

'Baking Soda Bombs' Emerge As Latest Drug Test Trend In South Dakota | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The unproven, dangerous concoction is being used in South Dakota, where one officer says "meth is king."
ReGenUC's insight:

While it appears unlikely that this method would mask the consumption of methamphetamine, it is an indicator of the potential for drug testing regimes to increase potential harm. Don't try this at home.

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To vape or not to vape? Probably: Not to vape (USA)

Researchers lead new study showing that e-cigarettes trigger unique and potentially damaging immune responses in human airways

ReGenUC's insight:

Considering the implications of the UNC study.

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HK methadone clinics seen as exemplary

HK methadone clinics seen as exemplary | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The success of Hong Kong's methadone treatment program has been held up as a bright spot in Asia, where aggressive drug policies continue to prevail in places such as the Philippines an
ReGenUC's insight:

Use of ID cards allows people to access any clinic, without prior arrangement. Such a scheme could be a big step forward for Aus pharmacotherapy.

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New Zealand to hold cannabis referendum within three years

New Zealand to hold cannabis referendum within three years | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Its surprise new prime minister-elect gives some policy clues as she limbers up to rule in coalition.
ReGenUC's insight:

The PM elect pledges a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis use.

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Dan Murphy’s store could be allowed in Darwin if NT Government adopts alcohol reform recommendations

Dan Murphy’s store could be allowed in Darwin if NT Government adopts alcohol reform recommendations | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE NT Government would introduce a floor price on cheap grog, cap the number of take away liquor outlets and lift its controversial Dan Murphy’s ban under the most significant alcohol reforms in recent history.
ReGenUC's insight:

...'But if cabinet accepts review’s recommendations, it could put it on a collision course with the powerful alcohol lobby.' You can see more on the recommendations here: http://www.news.com.au/national/northern-territory/sweeping-booze-changes-for-nt/news-story/b9d055a8b602ec601ea66b4d772ca171

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Gov to oppose bill improving medicinal cannabis access for terminally ill (Aus)

The Turnbull Government says it won't back a bill to improve access to imported medicinal cannabis for the terminally ill, despite overwhelming support from Labor, the Greens and the crossbench in the Senate..

ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of the World Medical Association's call for changes to laws on cannabis research: http://sco.lt/5VkXJ3

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Weekly Dose: from laughing parties to whipped cream, nitrous oxide's on the rise as a recreational drug (Aus)

"Nangs" are cheap, legal and easy to get - but like most drugs, they are also highly dangerous.
ReGenUC's insight:

While there has been a recent upsurge in media interest in nitrous use (and has focussed on extreme examples of harm: http://sco.lt/6pOUvB), Julaine Allan provides a more considered perspective. See also today's related piece on the nangs coverage citing Stephen Bright and Ash Blackwell: http://sco.lt/57TpgX. 

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Nangs scare campaign a gasbag: experts on nitrous oxide (Aus)

Nangs scare campaign a gasbag: experts on nitrous oxide (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
No drug is good for you. But is inhaling nitrous oxide really worth a scare campaign? Experts weigh in on the dangers of nangs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Stephen Bright and SSDP's Ash Blackwell on the recent surge in media focus on nitrous oxide use.

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Drug, drink-driving down in Victoria

Fewer Victorian motorists have been caught while affected by alcohol or illegal drugs in the past financial year despite an increase in testing, police data shows.
ReGenUC's insight:

More testing but fewer positive results. That's a good public safety outcome.

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Life-Saving Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Laws Pass Parliament (Vic)

Life-Saving Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Laws Pass Parliament (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Andrews Labor Government’s state-of-the-art real-time prescription monitoring system will roll-out across Victoria in 2018, as new laws passed the Victorian Parliament today.

ReGenUC's insight:

Govt media release on the passing of the 'Safe Script' scheme. While this measure does have the potential to reduce harm associated with prescription drug use, we'll need to carefully monitor for unintended impacts e.g. people shifting to illicit drug use as licit supply becomes more restricted. Such impacts have been a significant factor in the escalation of America's opioid crisis, as people turned from prescription drugs to heroin.

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