Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Low-THC cannabis 'safe for consumption', says FSANZ (Aus)

THE food standards authority has given the green light to an application by a deregistered doctor for cannabis to be approved for use as a food in Australia.
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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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Qld lockouts scrapped, changes to stop bars 'abusing' late-night permits

Qld lockouts scrapped, changes to stop bars 'abusing' late-night permits | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The 1am lockout has been scrapped and mandatory ID scanners will be introduced in Safe Night Precincts by mid-2017.
ReGenUC's insight:

New measures include reducing the number of exemptions to trading restrictions that venues can receive for 'special events'. The high number of exemptions granted under the previous scheme have been recognised as undermining its effectiveness in reducing alcohol related violence. See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/8bQue1.

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Drug Prohibition Is Killing Young Australians

Drug Prohibition Is Killing Young Australians | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
We need to make it as safe as possible for when our kids experiment.
ReGenUC's insight:

Greg Chipp highlights some of the reasons for supporting drug law reform.

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Stop smoking services may boost mental health of people with depression (UK)

Stop smoking services may boost mental health of people with depression (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Smokers with depression who successfully quit smoking using stop smoking services may see an improvement in their mental health, according to new research.
ReGenUC's insight:

Smoking has long been linked to mental health, adding to the complexity of factors affecting people's wellbeing. It's good to see more evidence for the broader benefits of smoking cessation.

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Health Minister concerned clean drug proposal lacks public support (Canada)

Health Minister concerned clean drug proposal lacks public support (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Terry Lake said he'll study a proposal for give addicts clean heroin and morphine, but won't proceed until there's more public support.
ReGenUC's insight:

Some rare candour about the policy process from a serving politician, recognising the political risks for those implementing unpopular (but effective) policy measures. Of course, politicians also have a role to play in advocating for such measures and building public support for evidence based policy.

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Doctors prescribed me pain meds but couldn’t help me get off them

Doctors prescribed me pain meds but couldn’t help me get off them | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
He needed opioids after a massive foot injury, but then he became dependent.
ReGenUC's insight:

Extended piece by Travis N Rieder on his own experience with prescription opioids and the need for US doctors to have more training in effective (and safe) treatment of pain.

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Shedding light on the dark web

Shedding light on the dark web | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The drug trade is moving from the street to online cryptomarkets. Forced to compete on price and quality, sellers are upping their game
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting some of the reasons that many people prefer to purchase their drugs online.

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New NSW premier to 'govern for everyone'

New NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has taken control of the state with three issues at the top of her to-do list - housing affordability, local infrastructure and the economy.
ReGenUC's insight:

Premier Berejiklian says any change to Sydney's lockouts is unlikely.

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The real killer in our nightclubs: dumb drug laws (Aus)

The real killer in our nightclubs: dumb drug laws (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Brandon Cook shares an insider's understanding of why our drug laws are wrong.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece by Brandon Cook, highlighting the real world impacts of our current drug policies and the role they play in increasing potential harm. See our recent post providing information about the 'bad batch': https://www.facebook.com/ReGenUC/posts/945094178955439.

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Lockout laws softened but mandatory scanning system to identify previous offenders (Qld)

Lockout laws softened but mandatory scanning system to identify previous offenders (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PUBS and clubs will dodge a 1am lockout but face a new mandatory scanning and banning identification system aimed at blocking drunken thugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

More detail on the measures being considered by the Qld Govt. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/8bQue1.

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Future of lockout laws in hands of Cabinet (Qld)

Future of lockout laws in hands of Cabinet (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
State Cabinet will meet on Monday to consider the future of the 1am lockout amid reports the contentious measure will be dumped or delayed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder that drug policy is always a contested space, subject to change (good and bad). In spite of the evidence for the effectiveness of supply control measures such as lockouts and other trading restrictions in reducing alcohol related violence in public, they appear to be under serious threat in Qld and face an uncertain future under a new Premier in NSW. See today's related post that provides more detail on the measures considered by the Qld Govt: http://sco.lt/7L1Dxh.

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Preparing for the fentanyl threat in Toronto - video

As the number of fentanyl overdose deaths climbs across the country, Toronto civic leaders are working to develop a strategy to deal with a potential opioi
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice TV interview with Zoe Dodd from the South Riverdale Community Health Centre. We need such engaged and informed discussions on our screens in Australia.

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Greg Kasarik, an LSD user pushing for Victorian government regulation of drug

Greg Kasarik, an LSD user pushing for Victorian government regulation of drug | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Greg Kasarik is a drug user who is probably too honest for his own good.
ReGenUC's insight:

On Mr Kasarik's efforts to use the justice system to promote drug law reform.

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Two-Thirds Of Cops Support Some Form Of Marijuana Legalization (USA)

Two-Thirds Of Cops Support Some Form Of Marijuana Legalization (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new survey suggests the law enforcement community doesn't agree with the government's policy of prohibition.
ReGenUC's insight:

Pew Research Center survey finds support amongst police officers finds 1/3 support full legalisation, 1/3 support medicinal only and 1/3 oppose cannabis law reform.

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Sydney's last drinks and lockout laws are working

Sydney's last drinks and lockout laws are working | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A softening of Sydney's lockout laws risks a return to the horrendous rates of violence that plagued Kings Cross in the early hours.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Last Drinks Coalition urges the new NSW Premier to retain Sydney's lockouts. Premier Berejiklian has said that changes are unlikely: http://sco.lt/6r9RQH. See today's related coverage of changes to Qld measures: http://sco.lt/7xqdwv.

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Gardaí need ‘balance’ to drug centre (Ireland)

Gardaí need ‘balance’ to drug centre (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Gardaí need to develop a “balanced” and “consistent” approach to policing the planned supervised drug injecting centre, a former top Australian police commander has said.

ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of former commander Paroz's advice to Irish authorities about how to successfully implement new MSIC's in Dublin. See coverage of Mr Paroz's recent comments on the Sydney centre's impacts on overdose rates and public health: http://www.thejournal.ie/injecting-centre-dublin-sydney-3194514-Jan2017/.

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Hong Kong Lacking Secular Drug Rehabilitation Services

Hong Kong Lacking Secular Drug Rehabilitation Services | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The dominance of Christian-based drug rehabilitation services in Hong Kong has created significant barriers for those seeking treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

A good piece on the role religious requirements can play in reducing the accessibility and effectiveness of treatment services. Note: ReGen is incorporated within the Uniting Church in Australia, but does not include religious content within our services and recognises the significant impact of mistreatment by faith-based providers on the lives of many of the people who use our services.

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The war on drugs

The war on drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Prohibition laws—which criminalise the production, supply, possession, and use of some drugs for non-medical purposes—cost at least $100bn annually but have failed to curb either supply or demand, reduce addiction, or minimise harm. The war on drugs has failed and The BMJ says it's time for doctors "to lead calls for pragmatic reform informed by science and ethics."

ReGenUC's insight:

As well as the editorial, this page also provides links to a range of other recent BMJ articles on drug policy.

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Four in 10 British mothers drink in pregnancy - one of worst rates in Europe 

Four in 10 British mothers drink in pregnancy - one of worst rates in Europe  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Four in 10 women British women drink during pregnancy with many young professionals binge-drinking in the first few months because they do not realise they are expecting, experts have warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

UK data shows that drinking during pregnancy is not associated with disadvantage and highlights the need for increased awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption in the first trimester.

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Study calls for closure of compulsory drug centres (Cambodia)

Study calls for closure of compulsory drug centres (Cambodia) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An article to be published in medical journal the Lancet next month concludes that compulsory drug detention centres, such as those used by the Cambodian government, don’t work and recommends for their closure. The study, made available online this week, compares relapse rates for users of opioid substances (ie, heroin) at voluntary treatment centres and compulsory treatment centres in Malaysia, where, much like Cambodia, they exist in tandem.
ReGenUC's insight:

You can see the full text of the Lancet article here: http://sco.lt/5MAcfR.

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It’s time to get serious about opening more Drug Consumption Rooms (Aus)

It’s time to get serious about opening more Drug Consumption Rooms (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Rose Brennan recently argued in the Daily Telegraph that support is growing in NSW for the establishment of additional Drug Consumption Rooms. She made it clear that this soaring support is not just coming from ‘the usual suspects’.  Brennan attributed the increase in support to the ever-expanding growth in the drug market and the rise in drug-related problems. This article was remarkable in several respects.

ReGenUC's insight:

Alex Wodak responds to last week's article and makes the urgent case for the establishment of new consumption rooms in Australia. FYI, AOD Media Watch is a collaborative project we're supporting to help improve the quality of AOD reporting in Australia. We'll be launching the project at next month's VAADA conference: http://conference.vaada.org.au/.

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Union denies Vic ambos drugs claim

Victorian ambos sometimes use painkiller Fentanyl to deal with job stress - but the paramedics union denies 10 Geelong staff were sacked or disciplined due to the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Paramedics are one of a (very) long list of professions with increased risk of problematic AOD use as a coping strategy for work related stress. As has been repeatedly seen with other health professionals, ready access to opioids is another risk factor. It's another reminder to employers of the importance of protecting workers' wellbeing and supporting early access to treatment and support services.

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Summer accidents and alcohol-related injuries (NSW)

Summer accidents and alcohol-related injuries (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
EVERY weekend we see people coming into our emergency department, often from overindulging in alcohol and suffering from injuries which could have been avoided.
ReGenUC's insight:

Dr Gordian Fulde's regular summary of AOD-related presentations at St Vincents' ED in Sydney.

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Step aside, politicians, and let somebody who knows what they're doing take charge (VIC)

Step aside, politicians, and let somebody who knows what they're doing take charge (VIC) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After a spate of overdoses from a 'toxic' batch of ecstasy on Chapel street last weekend, and one death from an unidentified substance at a New Year's rave
ReGenUC's insight:
A great piece by Sarah Gill highlighting the illogicality of much public drug policy, highlighting the importance of policies based on evidence, not moral judgements and the need for ongoing advocacy to increase public (& political) support for change.
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Want to reduce drug use? Listen to women drug users 

Want to reduce drug use? Listen to women drug users  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Catalina was in prison for a drug conviction in Guaviare, Colombia. She had been detained for possessing some coca paste­ – an amount barely sufficient to economically support herself and her two young children for a few weeks. She didn’t kno
ReGenUC's insight:

Kasia Malinowska highlights the impacts of global drug policies on women and the importance of Consumer Participation to improving policy and reducing the impacts of AOD use within our communities. See today's related post on NJ Gov Chris Christie listening to those directly affected by his states drug policies: http://sco.lt/5N7B9V

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Alcohol Industry Slams Call For Blanket Advertising Ban (Aus)

Alcohol Industry Slams Call For Blanket Advertising Ban (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
B&T's professional view of any potential ban on alcohol ads is that it wouldn't matter as we're all addicted anyway.
ReGenUC's insight:

Surprising no-one. See this week's coverage of the Australian and international research: http://sco.lt/6EozZJ

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