Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Number of synthetic drugs keeps rising: EU

EUROPEAN Union authorities have identified a record number of new synthetic substances known as "legal highs", most of them manufactured in China and India and then sold over the internet, the EU drug agency says.
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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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Illegal drug market is booming, says UN watchdog

Illegal drug market is booming, says UN watchdog | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Report says production of heroin and cocaine is increasing as campaigners call for better measures to tackle cartels
ReGenUC's insight:

Release's Niamh Eastwood makes the obvious point that the 2017 findings provide yet more evidence of the ineffectiveness of prohibitionist policy models at preventing illicit drug production, trafficking and use. You can see the 2017 World Drug Report here: http://sco.lt/6dpbt3

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Girls out-drinking boys to passing out (WA)

Girls out-drinking boys to passing out (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PARAMEDICS and health researchers are alarmed by the number of under-age teenage girls in Perth getting so drunk they need urgent medical help.
ReGenUC's insight:

While overall patterns of alcohol consumption amongst young people continue to decline, we are seeing an increasing concentration of harm amongst a small group who are drinking at excessive levels. This group have previously been referred to as 'super binge drinkers'. The other broad pattern in alcohol data is that women's consumption is nearing that of men, increasing the level of short and long term related harm.

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Harsh Reception For Supervised Drug Injection In Boston

Harsh Reception For Supervised Drug Injection In Boston | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Supporters urged council members to back opening a supervised injection facility in Boston. But, the proposal received pushback with some councilors arguing that SIFs enable people to do illicit drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

A useful reminder of the level of ideological opposition to evidence based harm reduction measures (and a refusal to listen to the evidence) that impedes meaningful drug policy reform, not just in the States, but around the world. If you think Councillor Baker's comments are shocking, see this reporting of recent Casey council grandstanding on MSICs: http://sco.lt/7rzzyD

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Turin bans late night alcohol sales after stampede that injured 1,500

Turin bans late night alcohol sales after stampede that injured 1,500 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Turin mayor Chiara Appendino on Thursday introduced a measure clamping down on the sale of takeaway alcoholic drinks in the evening, after a stampede in one of the city's main squares on Saturday night left over 1,500 people injured.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of Young Liberal opposition to the NSW lockout laws: http://sco.lt/6Tc3Cj.

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More pensioners caught drink-driving because they 'think they can still drive safely', AA warns (UK)

More pensioners caught drink-driving because they 'think they can still drive safely', AA warns (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More elderly people are getting caught for drink-driving because they believe they can still drive safely when drunk.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ministry of Justice data also shows reduced rates of drink driving amongst young people.

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Anti-Mafia official urges legal cannabis (Italy)

Cannabis should be legalised across Europe to allow law-enforcement authorities to concentrate on more serious crimes than the trafficking of soft drugs, Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mr Roberti says drug trafficking is 'core business' for mafia organisations and calls for legalisation 'in a European framework'.

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Sue Paton: Why addiction practitioners must be registered (NZ)

Sue Paton: Why addiction practitioners must be registered (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
OPINION: People with drug and alcohol addictions are already highly vulnerable. The last thing they need is inadequate treatment by unqualified people.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post from the US about the unethical and exploitative practice within an unregulated for-profit treatment system: http://sco.lt/75vshN.

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Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster (Aus)

Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Their health effects are as yet uncertain but lifting controls on e-cigarettes would open the way for them be sold alongside groceries.
ReGenUC's insight:

Simon Chapman argues for strict regulation of e-cigarettes. See today's related post on US data indicating that e-cigarette use by occasional smokers increases health risks: http://sco.lt/7rxROj

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Montreal's supervised injection sites open, a first in Eastern Canada

Montreal's supervised injection sites open, a first in Eastern Canada | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After months of preparation and years of lobbying in hopes of preventing drug overdoses, Montreal's safe-injection sites are opening their doors to the public for the first time today.
ReGenUC's insight:

That's two centres and a mobile unit, with another centre due to open in the coming months.

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New data shows low risk nicotine product snus is 95 percent safer than smoking (EU)

New data analysis presented today at the annual Global Forum on Nicotone (GFN) meeting demonstrates the potential of the low risk tobacco product snus in reducing the impact of tobacco related disease and death in Europe. The latest evidence, presented by Peter Lee, epidemiologist and medical statistician, indicates that snus is at least 95 percent safer than smoking.

ReGenUC's insight:

The Swedish experience shows that snus has significant harm reduction potential, but the marketing of the product is banned in the rest of Europe. See today's related e-cigarette coverage: http://sco.lt/7rxROj

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Young people in Ireland are drinking less alcohol than their parents and this could be the reason why

Young people in Ireland are drinking less alcohol than their parents and this could be the reason why | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ireland is being hit by a wave of sobriety. The latest figures from the World Health Organisation show that our reputation for heavy drinking is now little more than a quaint historical
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the broad pattern of reduced alcohol consumption by young people, but worth noting the increase in drinking at home.

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Number of women in hospital for heroin and prescription opioids spikes 75% in one decade (USA)

Number of women in hospital for heroin and prescription opioids spikes 75% in one decade (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The number of women admitted to the hospital for using heroin or prescription pain relievers has jumped 75 per cent in 10 years, according to a new data analysis from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). 

ReGenUC's insight:

Rise linked to prescribing patterns. Rates of women's admissions reach parity with men.

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XXXX and the Maroons: rugby league’s second sponsorship split (Aus)

Queensland’s record-breaking Maroons are set to start a new slate in 2018, following last week’s unexpected – albeit partial – split from Lion’s XXXX.  It is the second recent alcohol sponsorship shake-up, and a significant one too.

ReGenUC's insight:

Product branding to be removed from both State of Origin teams' playing jerseys but alcohol industry to remain closely associated with NRL.

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Just One Positive Drug Test Will Put People On Income Management (Aus)

Just One Positive Drug Test Will Put People On Income Management (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcohol, tobacco and pornography purchases restricted for 24 months.
ReGenUC's insight:

There isn't much new detail here about the Govt's proposed measures, but it's interesting to note (again) that alcohol is not included in the testing regime, but targetted by the penalties for a positive test to cannabis, methamphetamine or ecstasy. Here's our response to the drug testing proposal: http://sco.lt/5LlsrR

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Young Liberals launch fresh assault on NSW government over 'nanny state' lockout laws

Young Liberals launch fresh assault on NSW government over 'nanny state' lockout laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The influential youth wing of the Liberal Party has launched a fresh assault on the federal government over NSW's lockout laws, sensing an opportunity in premier Gladys Berejiklian to have the "nanny state" provisions overturned.

ReGenUC's insight:

Another indicator that the lockouts have been perceived (at least in NSW) as an imposition on young people, by middle aged politicians. Mr Dore doesn't appear to have much of a grasp of the detail of the policy (or its effects), but he is certainly channelling some of the community (and alcohol industry) opposition to the lockouts.

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Don Winslow: President Trump's War on Drugs Is Catastrophic

Don Winslow: President Trump's War on Drugs Is Catastrophic | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After five decades of this war, drugs are cheaper, more plentiful and more potent than ever, writes Don Winslow, author of The Cartel
ReGenUC's insight:

'Trump and Sessions think the War on Drugs has been a very good thing. They are either woefully or willfully ignorant of the facts.' Don Winslow outlines some of the likely outcomes of emerging White House drug policy.

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Florida Introduces Draconian Sentencing Laws in Attempt to Curb Fentanyl Crisis

New legislation in the US state of Florida will impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for people found possessing fentanyl, while people who sell it to those who l
ReGenUC's insight:

Anyone with a basic level of familiarity with the history of mandatory minimum sentencing, or drug policy could see that this will not reduce overdose risk. It will only succeed in increasing the prison population with people who should be in treatment.

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Don’t count on China in fentanyl crisis – cutting demand is key: UN

Don’t count on China in fentanyl crisis – cutting demand is key: UN | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Choking off supply from opioid heavyweight China could be futile, World Drug Report warns
ReGenUC's insight:

UNODC makes the point that, where there is demand, there will always be supply. Fentanyl is relatively easy to synthesise and other suppliers are likely to emerge if Chinese production drops.

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Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses (USA)

Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

It was the kind of afternoon that cold-weary tourists revel in as they sip mojitos near the beach — a dazzling sun, a sky so blue it verged on Photoshopped and weather fit for flip-flops. But the young visitor from Arkansas, curled up into a ball near the sidewalk, had a better reason to be grateful. He was alive.

ReGenUC's insight:

“The state of Florida licenses haircutters, yet we don’t license any of the people involved in the supervision of young adults suffering from substance abuse disorder, far away from home, without means,” said Cary Glickstein, the mayor of Delray Beach. “These desperate patients and family members are getting exploited and abused.” 

The US treatment system is very different to ours in Australia. It's dominated by private services and access is often determined by people's level of health insurance. However, similar issues exist here with the lack of regulation of such services and the exposure of desperate families to unethical and exploitative practice (see our article on this: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/781-decline-of-mainstream-media-a-boon-for-for-profit-drug-services-a-bust-for-informed-debate-11-08-16). See also today's related post, with similar calls for regulation coming from NZ: http://sco.lt/9ME7jl.

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Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers (Aus)

Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Senate will vote on the change, following Labor's notice to move a disallowance motion.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a less-discussed aspect of the Turnbull Govt's punitive welfare reforms, but has the potential to harm far more people than the proposed drug testing pilot. Good to see leading health and welfare groups speaking out about these ill-informed and vindictive measures. Hopefully, they won't make it through the senate.

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Corruption watchdog warns of 'extraordinary' level of drug thefts from WA hospitals

Corruption watchdog warns of 'extraordinary' level of drug thefts from WA hospitals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The CCC's report acknowledges that both hospitals are developing new procedures to better secure their Schedule 8 drugs, but the watchdog said until these are i
ReGenUC's insight:

Obviously, this is not just a problem for WA hospitals. Easy access to drugs is a significant risk factor for health workers seeking to deal with a variety of workplace stresses.

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B.C. woman says drug users hold solution to growing overdose crisis (Canada)

B.C. woman says drug users hold solution to growing overdose crisis (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drug users are the solution to addressing overdose deaths and providing services to people before they die alone, says a woman who attended a meeting of health professionals in Vancouver trying to develop new strategies to deal with a growing crisis in B.C.
ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder of the importance of including people who use drugs in the development of responses to drug related harm. It also highlights the role MSICs play in reducing stigma and increasing the accessibility of treatment and support services.

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China announces scheduling controls of new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances

China’s National Narcotics Control Commission today announced scheduling controls against four new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances – U-47700, MT-45, PMMA, and 4,4’ DMAR. The scheduling controls will take effect on July 1, 2017.

ReGenUC's insight:

China has been a major producer of illicit fentanyl and NPS. It will be interesting to see if this decision reduces their availability in global markets, or whether other producers move to fill the gap. A third option is that Chinese producers will simply shift to new classes of NPS to avoid the new controls.

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Occasional smokers who vape smoke more cigarettes (USA)

Tobacco companies have been selling electronic cigarettes as a way to wean smokers off paper cigarettes, but a new study suggests the strategy could backfire.

ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post where Simon Chapman argues for strict regulation of e-cigarettes in Aus: http://sco.lt/86duKX

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'We're on to something good': Doctors learn how to prescribe medicinal cannabis (Vic)

'We're on to something good': Doctors learn how to prescribe medicinal cannabis (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Brisbane cancer survivor says medicinal cannabis helped heal a large ulcerating tumour eating into his neck as doctors prepare to meet in Melbourne to learn more about prescribing the newly available drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of this week's training course in Melbourne.

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