Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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VAADA: Prison expansion a rudderless policy (Vic)

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) today calls on the Victorian Government to expand the drug courts state-wide and increase alcohol and other drug treatment in and out of prisons to reduce the demand related pressure on the prison system outlined by the Victorian Auditor-General.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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X-Ray Shows Broken Needles In Heroin User's Neck (USA)

X-Ray Shows Broken Needles In Heroin User's Neck (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One Reddit user shared images of how heroin needles can become embedded into long-term drug abusers, a trait that can be seen in about 20 percent of those who use drugs intravenously.
ReGenUC's insight:

You can make up your own mind about the veracity of this story. This has 'clickbait' written all over it: recycling old images from Reddit. Whether or not it's true, the story does provide a useful reminder about the importance of vein care and increasing the accessibility of regular medical care for people who inject drugs.

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Injectable therapy blocks opioid euphoria, withdrawal symptoms in trial (USA)

Injectable therapy blocks opioid euphoria, withdrawal symptoms in trial (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study led by investigators in the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) has demonstrated a weekly injectable formulation of buprenorphine, CAM2038, suppresses symptoms of withdrawal in patient
ReGenUC's insight:

Evidence for the effectiveness of injectable buprenorphine in AOD treatment.

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Hepatitis C ‘giant’ still growing (UK)

In 1993 what was at the time Britain’s magazine for the drug misuse sector alerted readers to an invisible “sleeping giant” – hepatitis C. Foreseeing that injectors “are unlikely to mount the same political lobby for funding hepatitis C prevention and treatment that the gay and heterosexual community have mounted for HIV,” the authors warned that nevertheless government should prioritise these programmes to avoid a “longer term cost that is considerably greater, both in terms of finance and human suffering. It may be wise to let sleeping dogs lie, but not sleeping giants.”

ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the advent of new treatments, a review of progress in preventing and treating Hep C infections in the UK shows that there is still much work to do.  

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Town considering to let overdose “victims” die after 3rd strike (USA)

Town considering to let overdose “victims” die after 3rd strike (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Middletown, Ohio officials are tired of overdoses in their town, and they have a way to stop this from continuing. But city officials are concerned this "proposal" may hurt them in the end. The proposal is a 3-strike policy. On the 3rd 911 call of a known "overdoser", the 911 dispatcher will simply hang-up. WLWT-TV…
ReGenUC's insight:

That's 'three strikes and you're dead'. This sort of ignorant argument shows absolutely no understanding of human behaviour and a considerable ethics deficit. Wonder if they've considered the litigation they'd face from grieving families whose loved ones their emergency services refuse to assist? See Monday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6BcMSX.

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Aussie drinking habits revealed in alcohol consumption report

BEER drinkers are most brand loyal, our taste for wine improves with age, and Baby Boomers are the biggest boozers, a report has found. Nine in 10 adults surveyed for the Australian Consumer Drinking Habits study said they drank some amount of alcohol.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's worth noting that, 'Most people who took part were aged 40-69', but the findings are broadly consistent with established findings: increased risk amongst older people, overall reductions in consumption, but concentrated harm amongst those drinking at high levels. Thanks to VAADA for making the content of this article available.

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A nationwide study of the extent and factors associated with fentanyl use in Australia 

The availability of controlled-released formulations of fentanyl and advanced delivery methods has seen substantial increases in the use of fentanyl worldwide since the 1990s.
ReGenUC's insight:

NDARC study examines data on fentanyl sold through Aus pharmacies, highlighting particular risks associated with age, disadvantage and living in remote areas. Of course, the study does not include fentanyl appearing in illicit drug markets, which is probably the main cause for future concern.

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Medical cannabis workshop: 'incredibly cumbersome' to get drugs to patients (Aus)

Medical cannabis workshop: 'incredibly cumbersome' to get drugs to patients (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
David Caldicott, a senior medical lecturer, tells seminar about cannabis’s effectiveness in treating pain and vomiting from chemotherapy
ReGenUC's insight:

David Caldicott cites  'lack of clarity among both doctors and patients due to confusing government frameworks'.

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Global Opium Production On Rise And Cocaine Market Thriving

Global Opium Production On Rise And Cocaine Market Thriving | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
By Phil Harris Global opium production increased by one-third in 2016 compared with the previous year, primarily due to higher opium poppy yields in Afghanistan, and coca bush cultivation increased…
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new UNODC data. See today's related post about growth in heroin use in Iran a major transit point for Afghan heroin: http://sco.lt/59Lbo9.

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Iran's drug problem: Addicts 'more than double' in six years

Iran's drug problem: Addicts 'more than double' in six years | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of people suffering addiction to narcotics in Iran has surged, local media report.
ReGenUC's insight:

The article also suggests the actual figure could be significantly higher, with people being reticent to disclose due to social stigma.

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NHS doctors turning to substance abuse amid rising levels of stress and burnout (UK)

NHS doctors turning to substance abuse amid rising levels of stress and burnout (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of GPs seeking specialist help for substance abuse and mental health problems is “increasing day on day”, the medical director of a new NHS support service for doctors has warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

AOD use is a common coping strategy for dealing with workplace stress. Ready access to pharmaceutical quality drugs is a particular risk factor for doctors.

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Why I lied about how my dad died (Aus)

Why I lied about how my dad died (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It was the kindest lie I've ever told. Like most lies, I now somewhat regret it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Gary Nunn reflects on the lasting impact of AOD stigma on individuals and families.

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First responders risk fentanyl exposure (USA)

Two investigators recently discovered the effects of the deadly drug fentanyl first-hand after arriving at the scene of a drug bust in the US.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the public health risks associated with the increased presence of fentanyl in illicit drug markets. We haven't yet reached this level of risk in Australia, but it appears to be a question of when, rather than if, we see a spike in fentanyl-related overdose deaths.

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The opioid curse: Lives lost as patients addicted to painkillers prescribed dozens of drugs (Aus)

By the time Heather Fotiades died, she was obese, barely able to move from the couch and in extreme pain.

ReGenUC's insight:

Personal accounts of the impacts of over-prescribing of opioids for pain management.

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Activists out in force for fifth Support Don’t Punish day of action

Activists out in force for fifth Support Don’t Punish day of action | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Thousands of people once again took to the streets to call for an end to the war on drugs as part of the Support Don’t Punish campaign’s ‘global day of action’. Events in more than 200 cities worldwide included debates, workshops, concerts, parades, sporting tournaments and displays of street art. The day of action took …
ReGenUC's insight:

You can see photos from the global day of action here: http://supportdontpunish.org/photoproject/. Our contribution is here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ReGenUC/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1054070591391130

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Drinking makes you older at the cellular level (USA)

The more alcohol that people drink, the more their cells appear to age. Researchers found that alcoholic patients had shortened telomere lengths, placing them at greater risk for age-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia..
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Japanese research presented at the 40th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism.

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One dead and four critically ill after taking potent form of MDMA (UK)

One dead and four critically ill after taking potent form of MDMA (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Greater Manchester police say 11 people were taken to hospital after apparently taking a drug known as ‘pink champagne’
ReGenUC's insight:

While the cause of death is yet to be officially determined, The Loop's Fiona Measham says she expects it to be related to a high dose of MDMA.

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Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks (USA)

Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has had enough of the growing movement to drug test poor people who need government assistance. So on Tuesday, she’s introducing a bill that she says will make things fairer…
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice response to the growth in expensive, ineffective and stigmatising drug testing of people who receive welfare payments. It would be interesting to see how such proposals are received if they target other recipients of govt benefits.

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'War On Drugs': Is there a better way? - audio (Aus)

'War On Drugs': Is there a better way? - audio (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's time to stop being “tough on drugs” and start being “smart about drugs” says former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mick Palmer continues his advocacy for evidence based drug policy reform.

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Medical cannabis users to be banned from driving (SA)

Medical cannabis users to be banned from driving (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
USERS of medicinal cannabis will not be allowed to drive with the drug in their system, even if it is made legal in South Australia, Police Minister Peter Malinauskas has confirmed.
ReGenUC's insight:

There isn't any detail here of why Minister Malinauskas would seek to ban people who hadn't consumed THC in their medicinal cannabis products from driving. The article also highlights AOD sector capacity limitations in SA.

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Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana

Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The biggest challenge for Justin Trudeau’s forthcoming legal recreational marijuana market is a shortage of pot, the finance minister of Canada’s most-populous province says.

ReGenUC's insight:

Given the 'active and aggressive' expansion of local cannabis companies, it's unlikely that supply will be the main problem for long.

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New Zealand newspaper names and shames every single drunk driver in town on its front page

New Zealand newspaper names and shames every single drunk driver in town on its front page | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A newspaper in a busy New Zealand resort town has decided to take a stand against drunken driving by filling its front page with the names, ages and alcohol readings for about 100 people convicted of the offence this year.  Queenstown’s breathtaking scenery, adventure sports and skiing have made it a must-see destination for millions of tourists visiting New Zealand, but its vibrant nightlife has also contributed to what some describe as an epidemic of drunken driving. 
ReGenUC's insight:

It's obviously not in the same category as today's related post (where a former MP calls for the execution of 'Chinese meth dealers': http://sco.lt/8or6Yr), but it's on the same spectrum.

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Life after opioid addiction: three survivors tell how they got clean (USA)

Life after opioid addiction: three survivors tell how they got clean (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Each overcame her addiction in different ways, but their paths highlight issues with how the disease is treated
ReGenUC's insight:

It's very American in the language used and the way it frames the issues, but the article provides a useful example of challenging the notion that there's only one way to do recovery. It also highlights issues about the accessibility and appropriateness of treatment in the US.

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Former NZ MP's shock idea to end ice scourge: 'Execute meth dealers'

Former NZ MP's shock idea to end ice scourge: 'Execute meth dealers' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A FORMER New Zealand MP believes the key to ending the country’s ice epidemic is by executing Chinese meth dealers.
ReGenUC's insight:

Hyperbole and uninformed opinion about how to respond to methamphetemine related harm is common in public debate, but this takes populism to a new low. Adding racism to human rights abuses does not improve an argument. Good to see both major parties dismissing this sort of rubbish.

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One year on: Has the Punisher fixed the crime? (Philippines)

One year on: Has the Punisher fixed the crime? (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

LAUNCHED a year ago, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs has resulted in thousands of deaths, yet the street price of crystal methamphetamine in Manila has fallen and surveys show Filipinos are as anxious as ever about crime.

ReGenUC's insight:

To anyone with even a basic familiarity with drug policy, it was obvious from the outset that President Duterte's brutal approach was never going to reduce supply or demand for illicit drugs. What he has achieved is a systemic undermining of human rights in the Philippines (with the death toll from extrajudicial executions and vigilante killings now nearing 8,000) and exacerbated police corruption.

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Zero Tolerance crackdowns and Harm Minimisation have mutually exclusive goals (Vic)

On Saturday 17 of June, the Herald  Sun published what they claim was an exclusive interview with Police Minister Lisa Neville. They “revealed” that ‘Police [were] to get new “stop and search” powers to stamp out drugs at dance festivals’.

ReGenUC's insight:

HRV's Steph Tzanetis responds to last week's coverage of the new police powers. See our comment on related coverage: http://sco.lt/8P68xt 

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