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Ormeau couple arrested for allegedly distributing deadly drug 'bath salts' (Qld)

Ormeau couple arrested for allegedly distributing deadly drug 'bath salts' (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE alleged distributors of a deadly drug linked to Australia's first "bath salts" death have been arrested after raids on about 20 businesses and homes in southeast Queensland.
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Sydney lockout laws: independent review to be led by Ian Callinan

Sydney lockout laws: independent review to be led by Ian Callinan | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The state government has announced an independent review of its controversial "lockout" laws that will be "genuine and transparent".
ReGenUC's insight:

Are Sydney's lockouts destined for a similar fate to the equally unpopular MSIC? It was kept in 'trial' phase for over 10 years and subject to unprecedented reviews (which consistently demonstrated its effectiveness) before finally being given secure funding and political commitment. See today's related post on the evidence supporting the Qld lockouts: http://sco.lt/7va59V. 

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Criminologist: How to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence (Qld)

Criminologist: How to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Palaszczuk government has proposed new measures to reduce the physical, social and economic harm caused by alcohol misuse. The government are right ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Professor Jane Ransley looks at the evidence and supports restrictions on late night trading.

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Early lockout laws the solution to violence, surgeon says (Qld)

Early lockout laws the solution to violence, surgeon says (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A surgeon believes reducing licensing hours for nightclubs as proposed in a review by the Queensland Government will guarantee a reduction in alcohol-related violence in the state.
ReGenUC's insight:

John Crozier on the evidence for lockouts and their impact on alcohol related violence.

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Tasmanian couple's pain persists as medicinal cannabis law reform changes don't go far enough

Tasmanian couple's pain persists as medicinal cannabis law reform changes don't go far enough | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TASMANIAN medicinal cannabis user Andrew Irving has hit out at the Turnbull Governments proposed reforms to the products use.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the challenges associated with managing pain with opioids: http://sco.lt/8LUnuz. 

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Sydney's lockout laws: The for and against arguments

Sydney's lockout laws: The for and against arguments | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In the past 24 hours, Premier Mike Baird has celebrated the drop in assaults and hospital admissions brought about by NSW Government lockout laws, while ...
ReGenUC's insight:

These are not comprehensive arguments (on either side), but two people's opinions. Interesting to note the 'for' opinion refers to the need for diversification of the night time economy away from an alcohol-focussed monoculture. This is an issue that hasn't had much attention in the public debate so far. See today's related post on the fate of the proposed Qld lockouts: http://sco.lt/4sln3B. 

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Cannabis laws just the first step (Aus)

Cannabis laws just the first step (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Ben Oakley was a triathlon-fit teenager when he was struck down with a rare illness that left him wheelchair bound.

ReGenUC's insight:

Following this week's changes to medical cannabis legislation, it remains to be see what future changes will emerge within Australian drug policy. See today's related post by Gino Vumbaca: http://sco.lt/9IghZR. 

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How Legal Prescription Heroin Saved Me (Canada)

How Legal Prescription Heroin Saved Me (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One participant of a groundbreaking Vancouver health experiment tells his story.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice example of the potential impacts of prescription heroin (also known as Heroin Assisted Therapy), which has been shown to provide an effective response for the small proportion of people for whom other forms of treatment are ineffective. Interestingly, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle recently said that he would support the establishment of HAT in the city, but not a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.

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We can’t go back to before lockouts: Fulde (NSW)

Frontline staff from one of Sydney's main emergency departments say lockout laws have been an outstanding success in reducing violence, backing NSW Premier Mike Baird's vow they should stay.

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Doctors fight for Sydney lockout laws

Doctors fight for Sydney lockout laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The parents of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly have returned to the Sydney hospital where their 18-year-old son died to join emergency staff arguing to keep and even expand the state's controversial lockout laws.

ReGenUC's insight:

Doctors suggest opponents of the lockouts would change their mind if they had to confront the direct impacts of alcohol related violence.

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Lockout legislation rests on KAP's support (Qld)

Lockout legislation rests on KAP's support (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
North Queensland is shaping up as the key battleground in the Palaszczuk government's fight to get the support it needs to pass its alcohol fuelled violence ...
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Gap report 'must focus on ice problem' (SA)

Generations of Aboriginal families are being hurt by ice addiction and the federal Closing the Gap strategy will fail unless it deals with the impact the drug is having across Australia, a peak drug advisory group has warned.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing ADAC's Scott Wilson on the impacts of methamphetamine use on Aboriginal communities. You can see the Closing the Gap report here: http://sco.lt/6cQkID.

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One thing Melbourne can teach Sydney

One thing Melbourne can teach Sydney | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MELBOURNE was one of the first cities in Australia to adopt the controversial lockout laws that have seen Sydney labelled a nanny state, but they were so unpopular the Victorian Government quietly dropped them months later.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Peter Miller and FARE's Michael Thorn on just how poorly the 2008 Melbourne lockouts were implemented. A salient lesson in how not to do it.

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Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament (Aus)

Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers.
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New Laws Tighten Net On Drug Dealers And Protect Kids (Vic)

Ice dealers who peddle drugs to children in or near schools will spend up to 25 years in prison under new laws to clamp down on drug suppliers and dealers.

ReGenUC's insight:

Media release from acting Police Minister Robin Scott on increased penalties for supply, trafficking and cultivation.

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When pain persists (Aus)

When pain persists (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Lesley Brydon knows more about Australias health system than anyone should.
ReGenUC's insight:

Sean Parnell looks at some of the challenges in pain management, our over use of opioids and proposed restrictions on codeine access in Australia. See coverage of the Lancet article here: http://sco.lt/5bl9u5.

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Vic medical cannabis one step closer

There's a long way to go yet but Victorians are a step closer to getting access to medicinal cannabis. 

ReGenUC's insight:

The Govt's legislation passes the lower house.

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Getting Tough On Crime Needs A Softer Approach (Aus)

Getting Tough On Crime Needs A Softer Approach (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The current political and community discussion on prisons appears to be quite logical. Too many prisoners means building more prisons. The problem is that it doesn't solve the problem and doesn't improve community safety. In fact it achieves very little of what people think it will achieve.
ReGenUC's insight:

Harm Reduction Australia's Gino Vumbaca calls for justice reinvestment, drug law reform and investment in treatment services.

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ACT government lost opportunity to reap economic harvest from medical marijuana

ACT government lost opportunity to reap economic harvest from medical marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

 This week, the Turnbull government tabled legislation that will allow farmers to grow cannabis for medical use, and allow businesses to manufacture cannabidiol – a potentially effective painkiller – from those plants. If passed, the draft laws will ensure these suppliers meet strict licensing requirements and minimise the risk of the plants being used or sold unlawfully. In effect, the legislation will establish a regulated national market for a drug that has shown some promise in relieving chronic pain, and might also help suppress epileptic seizures and psychotic episodes.

ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Canberra Times editorial.

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Does forced drug treatment actually work? (Canada)

Why can’t we just make people go to addiction treatment? This is a question some may be asking in light of recent overdose deaths and other drug-related problems in Victoria. Is forcing people to get help an effective response to the problems caused by addiction? It turns out the evidence is murky—and the research may not even be asking the right questions.

ReGenUC's insight:

Karen Urbanoski reviews the evidence and calls for a greater focus on the social determinants of health and systemic policy change. 

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Level of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - more than triples in 20 years (USA)

Level of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - more than triples in 20 years (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana increased from 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study of seized products provides more evidence of recent rises in THC levels and drop in CBD content.

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Call to make cannabis legal for everyone (Aus)

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm has called on the government to go further than just legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes.

ReGenUC's insight:

Senator Leyonhjelm makes the argument that legalisation would be simpler and cheaper to implement than a regulatory regime for medical cannabis.

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Drink drive limit could be cut by third, ministers say (UK)

Drink drive limit could be cut by third, ministers say (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Andrew Jones, a transport minister, says that the drink drive limit could be
lowered in England and Wales is there is 'robust evidence' that it has
improved road safety in Scotland
ReGenUC's insight:

Proposal to reduce the current limit of .08 to .05, which Australia did a long time ago.

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The absorption of recovery in English drug policy

The absorption of recovery in English drug policy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In both Australia and England, there have been challenges to established ways of treating people who have problems with drugs. Treatment, it has been claimed, does not do enough to help people ‘recover’ from drug dependence. In both countries, people who run the treatment system have had to respond to this challenge. In England, this has involved ‘absorption’. 
ReGenUC's insight:

Alex Stevens highlights some of the concerns with the UK approach, including increased risk of death for people being persuaded to come off pharmacotherapies before they are ready. FYI, our updated Recovery Oriented Practice position statement is here: http://www.regen.org.au/advocacy. 

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Government won't postpone lockout laws debate (Qld)

Government won't postpone lockout laws debate (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Queensland Premier has ruled out postponing debate on the state's proposed alcohol-fuelled violence legislation in the face of resistance from the cross ...
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's post where NSW Premier Mike Baird strongly supported the Syndey lockouts from recent criticism: http://sco.lt/8vnrP7.

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Ban all smoking in food and drink venues (Vic)

Ban all smoking in food and drink venues (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Premier Daniel Andrews is dawdling with the last steps necessary for reforms on a crucial aspect of public health.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Age editorial calls on the Vic Govt to bring smoking legislation in line with other states.

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