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.
TV ad criticised for similarity to 2007 version, with health academic arguing ‘running the same campaign over and over again ... doesn’t work’
No indication of what evidence the Govt has for the 'success' of the previous campaign. Generally the main impacts of this sort of campaign are to alienate those engaged in the target behaviour, terrify those who aren't and make the Govt appear to be 'doing something'. None of those count as success in our estimation. Here's what we said on this issue yesterday: http://sco.lt/7aXiNd. See also the original story identifying the repetition: http://sco.lt/6Hh72n.
The Federal Coalition last week announced it was launching a new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it would assist the National Ice Taskforce, announced last month by the Prime Minister. See its key points in [...]
Our response to the Federal Govt's response to methamphetamine use in Aus. FYI, we think they can do better.
A great piece by German Lopez on the power of sensationalist media coverage to distort community perceptions of drug related harm (particularly in relation to emerging drug types) and create public pressure for non-evidence based drug policy.
Among people who use medical cannabis for chronic pain, those who also take prescription pain medications are not at increased risk for serious alcohol and other drug involvement, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Potential dependence is a clear risk for people using any medication for pain management. It's important to avoid focussing too much on the type of drug, rather than the dependence itself, it's impacts and how to manage (or overcome) them.
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.
Confidential federal government research suggests a decline in the use of the drug ice, in contrast to recent warnings of an "ice epidemic" by senior politicians and police.
Great to see this on the front page of the Age, and further coverage questioning the current fear-based tv campaign (http://sco.lt/7BbjI9). Perhaps the evidence (as opposed to the 'epidemic' rhetoric) is finally starting to gain some traction in the public debate.
Plenty of people are on the gear at the office. Does this give them an unfair advantage?
The role of workplace pressures in driving alcohol and other drug use is well recognised. The finance industry (together with construction, transport and sex work) is recognised for its high prevalence of methamphetamine use. This article raises some questions but some serious issues are ignored. There's no mention of emerging dependence as having any impact on workers' productivity and competence to perform their jobs safely, let alone the impacts on their personal wellbeing. As anyone with an awareness of the impacts of stimulant use (or basic physics) knows: what goes up, must come down. One question not asked here is what responsibilities employers have for their employee's wellbeing in creating workplace cultures where AOD use is expected?
A hard-hitting new advertising campaign video warning of the dangers of the drug ice is a scene-for-scene remake of a 2007 ad.
Now we know why this ad seemed so familiar. Our concern about the current tv campaign is more with the content of the messages, rather than their repetitiveness. As we've said previously, this sort of purely fear-driven campaign will achieve very little in terms of behaviour change and will only serve to further stigmatise many people (individuals and family members) who are already vulnerable and in need of support. We'll be publishing an article on this subject shortly on the Croakey health blog.
ICE is now one of the main drivers of organised crime in Australia.
While illicit drug markets are so profitable, it is inevitable that criminal organisations will be involved. Removing their motivation to be involved in drug production and trafficking is one argument for drug law reform.
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