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Communities key to tackling alcohol: govt (NSW)

Communities key to tackling alcohol: govt (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A community-based project cut drunkenness and related problems in rural communities by up to one-third, a NSW project has found.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Kicking the drug scourge (Aus)

Kicking the drug scourge (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Herald Sun’s exclusive photographs of Gold Coast Suns player Harley Bennell lining up five lines of white powder in a hotel room has prompted AFL boss Gillon McLachlan to admit drugs are an issue confronting all AFL clubs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Herald Sun editorial typefies the general coverage of this story: stating player welfare as the primary concern while driving a fervid 'name & shame' campaign. The assumption underpinning the ongoing insistence by media outlets for change in the AFL's drug policy is that only a 'zero tolerance' approach will be effective, in spite of the overwhelming research evidence to the contrary. While blanket coverage of the 'scandal' may help sell papers, it does nothing to improve player welfare and, for those directly affected, is likely to do harm. See Emma Quayle's piece for an example of better coverage: http://sco.lt/7Y85qL.

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Understanding is the key in dealing with Harley Bennell (Vic)

Understanding is the key in dealing with Harley Bennell (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Harley Bennell needs support from people who understand him, not people who are looking to lecture him.
ReGenUC's insight:

Emma Quayle's piece is a much better example of responsible media coverage of AOD use by AFL players than today's Herald Sun editorial (and most of the coverage on this story): http://sco.lt/8gk5Uv.

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Powedered alcohol likely to be banned before reaching Qld shores

Powedered alcohol likely to be banned before reaching Qld shores | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Just add water and shake. Or stir. Mixing powdered alcohol doesn't seem to be the problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related post on the Victorian ban on this product group: http://sco.lt/53LXDl. 

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Peer urges import ban on powdered alcohol (UK)

Peer urges import ban on powdered alcohol (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ministers are urged by a Labour MP to ban imports of powdered alcohol as part of a crackdown on so-called legal highs.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on proposed Qld legislation: http://sco.lt/5sJa4H

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10 hospitalised in past year after using synthetic cannabis (NT)

10 hospitalised in past year after using synthetic cannabis (NT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TEN people have presented at Royal Darwin Hospital’s emergency department in the past year after smoking synthetic marijuana, including a teenager who is believed to have stopped breathing before being revived by his father.
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Khat ban: One year on (UK)

Khat ban: One year on (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
On the 24th of June 2014, the United Kingdom, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, passed a law to legally ban the use and importation of stimulant Khat (Miraa), naming it as a Class C drug. Khat is ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Experiences within the UK Somali community indicate mixed results for the Khat ban and highlight the need for greater support for those affected.  As we know with other drugs and other jurisdictions, simply banning a substance will not, on its own, solve the problems associated with its use and can create a new set of problems.

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Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus)

Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The work Christmas party may become an alcohol-free zone after a landmark Fair Work Commission decision.
ReGenUC's insight:

While employees do have a responsibility to behave appropriately at work events, providing 'unlimited drinks' is not responsible behaviour by employers.

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Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up

Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Joints lit up at midnight on the streets of Portland as marijuana became legal in the fourth western US state.
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More than 150 cities join the global call for drug policy reform

More than 150 cities join the global call for drug policy reform | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The actions varied in size and design: from small gatherings of supporters in countries as diverse as Guinea and Kazakhstan, to larger protests in France and the USA, and a range of music events, dance displays, flash mobs and sport tournaments.
ReGenUC's insight:

IDPC's Jamie Bridge summarises the global activities for last week's "Support. Don't punish' campaign.

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Drug users mailing syringes to avoid stigma and discrimination (Aus)

Drug users mailing syringes to avoid stigma and discrimination (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia's first study into the reasons why injecting drug users are sharing syringes has found stigma and discrimination are barriers to accessing clean equipment.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Kirby Institute study highlights some of the barriers to effective harm reduction in Australia (particularly in rural and regional areas), the impact of stigma on service access and the innovative responses by people who inject drugs to support their peers, reduce harm and protect public health. See Carla Treloar's post on peer distribution: http://sco.lt/4sYGJN. 

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Peer distribution of injecting equipment (Aus)

I bet, if we asked the average Jo Blow on the street, they could not fathom the illegality of peer distribution. It is illegal in all states and territories for someone (unless they are authorised ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Great blog post from Carla Treloar on the legal barriers to effective harm reduction, with link to Kari Lancaster, Kate Seear & Carla's paper. See today's related post on the impact of stigma on access to harm reduction services and innovative responses by people who inject drugs: http://sco.lt/8dOHqr. 

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Victorian road death culprits speed, alcohol, males in late teens: report

The drug ice was a factor in only 4 per cent of culpable driving cases despite a growing prevalence in the community, with two-thirds of killer drivers speeding or alcohol-affected, a new study has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tammy Mills cites SAC data.

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Medical marijuana arrives next week in Minnesota – but smoking it is banned

Medical marijuana arrives next week in Minnesota – but smoking it is banned | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Under new rules that set the state apart from others, patients will have to stick with pills and oils, and the drug will only be sold in eight locations
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Heroin heroine: Saving lives in Sydney's public housing

Heroin heroine: Saving lives in Sydney's public housing | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sara Adey lives in housing commission and has saved the lives of seven heroin users thanks to a Narcan kit she has been trained to use.
ReGenUC's insight:

A terrific example of the role that naloxone training and distribution can have in saving lives. What also shines through here is Ms Adey's refusal to resort to the usual stereotypes about people who inject drugs. The extent to which she has become a recognised resource within her community is a clear indicator of the need for wider availability of naloxone and ongoing advocacy to challenge the stigma around overdose.

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Australian Hotels Association wants lower excise rate for wine and spirits consumed in pubs and bars

Australian Hotels Association wants lower excise rate for wine and spirits consumed in pubs and bars | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TAX on wine and spirits sold at pubs should be cut because they provide a safer drinking environment, the hotels lobby says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Wow. That's quite the audacious argument from the AHA.

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The Adelaide councillors who want to ban alcohol before official meetings

The Adelaide councillors who want to ban alcohol before official meetings | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TEA Tree Gully Council may consider banning alcohol consumption before official gatherings after claims its deputy mayor appeared intoxicated at Tuesday night’s meeting.
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A Bolivian town banned alcohol for a month to stop sexual abuse

A Bolivian town banned alcohol for a month to stop sexual abuse | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After three minors were raped in less than one week, the residents of a small town of cocoa farmers in Bolivia decided to take the law into their own hands.
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Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT)

Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An unimpaired motorcyclist has been suspended and fined for drug-driving after tests found traces of cannabis in his system from four days earlier.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David McDonald on the need for a review of Australian drug driving laws. The distinction between current impairment and detectable presence of drugs (particularly cannabis, which is typically detectable for a month after consumption) is a common cause for criticism of the current regime.

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Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced

Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Abbott government does not believe there needs to be a federal ban of powdered alcohol, despite pleas from Victoria.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Victorian bans are in place from July 1st. In the absence of a uniform policy approach to this product, it will be interesting to see if interstate/international online sales become an issue.

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Tamper-resistant opioids will not solve opioid addiction problem, study suggests (Canada)

Governments in Canada and the United States are promoting tamper-resistant drugs, which are more difficult to crush, snort or inject, to prevent addiction and other harms. Opioid users may tamper with prescribed tablets, capsules or patches for a faster "high." However, a research group argues, tamper-resistant formulations of drugs will not solve the problems of opioid addiction and overdose.
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More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT)

More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Early engagement with women who take drugs and drink during pregnancy and access to support and treatment that also addresses mental health problems, domestic violence and homelessness are vital.
ReGenUC's insight:

This report draws attention to the need to remove access barriers (such as those highlighted in yesterday's post: http://sco.lt/4zn281) for women who are pregnant or who have young children to relevant services. In related news construction of the 'Mother & Baby' unit at our residential withdrawal service in Ivanhoe is due to commence soon, with the unit opening in mid-2016.

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Be bold on tackling ice, learn from 90s heroin crisis (Aus)

Be bold on tackling ice, learn from 90s heroin crisis (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The national taskforce set up to target the problem of ice or crystal methamphetamine is wrapping up community consultations this week and is preparing its interim report for the Federal Government. The Noffs Foundation is urging the taskforce to be bold in its approach, saying a lot can be learned from the heroin crisis of the 1990s and calling for a similar response, with regulation of the crystal meth and ice using rooms.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Matt Noffs on the need for harm reduction measures, such as a methamphetamine consumption room.

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Prisoners riot at Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall (Vic)

Prisoners riot at Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prison staff armed with shotguns are preparing to enter the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall, after a riot broke out at the jail 20 kilometres west of Melbourne.
ReGenUC's insight:

No confirmation yet of the cause, but today's developments have ocurred in the context of increased tensions since last week's smoking ban was implemented.

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Female drug users shun treatment for fear of losing children: U.N.

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Female drug users worldwide are far less likely than their male counterparts to undergo treatment due to discrimination against mothers and pregnant women and the cost of childcare, transport and treatment, t
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a significant barrier to treatment and support, with obvious consequences for the women and children affected. The stigmatisation (and growing criminalisation) of mothers who use AOD is a huge issue and one that needs to be addressed by policy makers, service providers and the wider community. The recent 'Support. Don't punish' campaign provides a clear voice for change.

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Ivy dance party closed down after alleged drug overdoses (NSW)

Ivy dance party closed down after alleged drug overdoses (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police say they shut down a dance party at The Ivy nightclub in Sydney's CBD on Sunday night after three people were treated for alleged drug overdoses at the venue.
ReGenUC's insight:

This could be a case of people who haven't taken MDMA in a while being caught out by the changes in what is being sold as ecstasy.

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