A CONTROVERSIAL new episode of Insight tonight claims that “everyone is on drugs” in the Victorian regional centre of Shepparton.
As we've said previously, it's important to remember that anecdotal accounts of patterns of AOD harms within communities are useful, but should not be relied upon as conclusive proof. It's worth noting that other participants contradicted observations that 'everyone' in Shepparton is using illicit drugs. That said, it is clear that regional and rural communities are experiencing significant harms associated with methamphetamine use and that they need more support and better access to treatment services.
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.
Infection rates are set to hit three million, but drug use and unsafe sex - the main causes - are rife
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.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU's Health and Food Safety Commissioner, said that the executive has no intention of submitting a new strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm in Europe, suggesting that the issue will be tackled as part of a broad range of "risk factors" affecting chronic diseases.
The comedian said his habit hurt his career, but not his health.
It's good to see Stephen Fry challenging common preconceptions about drug use. Our current national scare campaign on methamphetamines is a reminder of the risk to public health of simplistic and hyperbolic messaging about the dangers associated with drug use. If we are to respond effectively to the potential harms, we need to have a realistic discussion about the reasons why people use, how it can affect their lives and what can be done to reduce the harm to them, their families and the wider community. For the record, there are physical harms that can result from cocaine use. Permanent damage to the septum (and the need for subsequent reconstructive surgery) is a common issue with people who are cocaine dependent.
A social work researcher says more people are dying in rural areas from fentanyl overdoses than in the city.
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.
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.
Nice piece by Brendan O'Connor on the need for greater focus on harm reduction to prevent overdoses and save lives.
WEED, ganja, pot, hooch, the chronic, the sticky icky, sweet mary-jane, hippie lettuce, bud, skunk, the herb, wacky tobaccy, buddha, the devil’s weed.
It's probably unrealistic to expect a detailed analysis of cannabis policy from this show, but the article does at least identify a couple of issues: 1. the potential for intoxication from passive smoking in confined spaces, and 2. don't use plastic smoking implements. See our cannabis fact sheet for more harm reduction info: http://www.regen.org.au/resources/drug-factsheets.
Department of Health research suggests the use of ice may be declining, but anecdotal reports make worrying reading.
We've published the following letter in response to this piece on Saturday:
Ice dependence not a death sentence
John Silvester concludes ‘Street knowledge needed in war against ice’ (23/05/15) with a quote from a father of a young man who had become dependent on methamphetamine: ‘The best thing you can do is think that he is already dead’.
The belief that there is nothing that can be done for people who are methamphetamine dependent is understandable, but misguided. There are effective treatment options available and there is much that family members, friends and service providers can do to reduce the immediate impacts of someone’s methamphetamine use and support longer term recovery.
Dependence on methamphetamine, alcohol or any other drug is not a death sentence. Its impacts on individuals, families and the wider community are significant, but recovery does happen. This is a message that is conspicuously absent from the Federal Government’s current tv campaign. We need to challenge messages of despair and encourage those directly affected that there is cause for hope, that change is possible.
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