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Rethinking our attitude to drugs (Vic)

Rethinking our attitude to drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Today's guest is Luke O'Connor, an expert in helping those with drug and alcohol problems.

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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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‘Pain relief’ claimed Michael’s life, friend charged over death (Qld)

‘Pain relief’ claimed Michael’s life, friend charged over death (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FOR three days Michael Clayton complained of a sore butt muscle from intensive gym training.
ReGenUC's insight:

Fentanyl is a very powerful opioid and carries a significant overdose risk if not used correctly. There may not have been many related overdoses in Qld, but it has been an issue elsewhere in Australia (http://sco.lt/6owTRJ, http://sco.lt/7lP7gH) and overseas (http://sco.lt/6w16v3http://sco.lt/5k95yD)The last part of this article cites claims fentanyl use is an issue amongst body builders. Seems that there's a need for some targetted harm reduction work within this community.

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Doctors to crack down on prescription drug abuse with new guidelines (Aus)

Doctors to crack down on prescription drug abuse with new guidelines (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DOCTORS have been ordered to crack down on the deadly abuse of prescription drugs by patients and their on-selling by pensioners.
ReGenUC's insight:

The RACGP benzo prescribing guidelines are here: http://sco.lt/5vklMn. 

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Ice the 'drug of choice', Senate inquiry hears (NSW)

Ice the 'drug of choice', Senate inquiry hears (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some young people are choosing to use the drug ice over alcohol at parties because it is cheaper and more readily available, a Senate inquiry has heard.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Alison Ritter on NDARC's anecdotal reports of emerging patterns of methamphetamine use. The substitution of alcohol with ilicits is not a new phenomenon. Venue owners have been faced with declining revenue from alcohol sales for some time due to pre-loading at home and consumption of cheaper illicit drugs in venues.

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Inquiry hears the use of ice in mining on the rise (Aus)

Inquiry hears the use of ice in mining on the rise (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Federal inquiry into ice has heard the use of the drug is on the rise in the mining industry.
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Stress hormone reduces heroin cravings (Switzerland)

Stress hormone reduces heroin cravings (Switzerland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Every addiction is characterized by a strong desire for a certain addictive substance, be it nicotine, alcohol or other drug. Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland recently conducted a study on heroin addiction and demonstrated that the stress hormone cortisol can reduce addictive cravings. The findings from the research have been published in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry.
ReGenUC's insight:

The study targetted people undergoing Heroin-Assisted Treatment (HAT). Eligibility criteria for HAT usually stipulate that no other treatment measure is effective, so achieving positive results with this cohort is a significant outcome.

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UK petition for parliamentary debate to legalise marijuana

UK petition for parliamentary debate to legalise marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE movement to legalise marijuana has been gaining significant momentum and the United Kingdom is set to be the next big battle ground for advocates.
ReGenUC's insight:

The size of the response to the petition means that a debate is likely. The outcome of that debate is still difficult to predict. The article also provides a quick summary of Aus policy movements on cannabis, including the likely recommendation for a medical cannabis regulator.

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Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut (UK)

Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems
ReGenUC's insight:

While forcing people into treatment raises a long list of potential concerns, this proposal also raises a question about what type of treatment people would be obliged to undertake. The UK's policy shift towards a recovery-oriented treatment system, with a clear emphasis on abstinence, is likely to create its own set of problems (and potential harms) for this group.

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Health experts warn Hepatitis C epidemic hitting Australia

Health experts warn Hepatitis C epidemic hitting Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Public health experts warn Australia is in the midst of a Hepatitis C epidemic with almost 250,000 people suffering from the virus.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of harm reduction measures to prevent the transmission of hepatitis and other BBVs.

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Taxpayers cop $50m bill to fight Philip Morris (Aus)

The Productivity Commission’s (PC) recently released Trade and Assistance Review warned that Australian taxpayers were facing a potential reaming from an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) law suite taken against Australia’s plain package cigarette laws by tobacco giant Philip Morris, under an obscure investment agreement with Hong Kong.

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Booze around the world

Booze around the world | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The world may be getting warmer, but it is not getting much wetter. It quaffed 249 billion litres of alcoholic drinks in 2014, a modest increase of 1 billion over...
ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting data showing reducing sales (by volume) in Europe and the US, with increases in China, Brazil and India. See last month's post on beer sales as in indicator of economic growth: http://sco.lt/9ELlar. 

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'Sobriety tag' scheme to be extended for six months (UK)

'Sobriety tag' scheme to be extended for six months (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A pilot scheme in which offenders in south London wear ankle tags that monitor alcohol levels is to be extended for a further six months.
ReGenUC's insight:

Boris Johnson claims '91% success rate' for scheme. No indication yet of any longer term impacts on people's alcohol use and/or offending.

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This surprising factor can make people 4600 percent more prone to addiction (USA)

This surprising factor can make people 4600 percent more prone to addiction (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ReGenUC's insight:
We missed this when it was published a month ago, but it's a great piece by Johann Hari on the cumulative impact of childhood trauma on people's ability to self-manage stress and negative emotions. Developing the internal resources, rather than relying on external influences (like AOD), is a key enabler of people's recovery.
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Medical cannabis trial: First details revealed (NSW)

Medical cannabis trial: First details revealed (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New details of the medical cannibas trial show the innovative way it will appease those who are uncomfortable with the idea of using marijuana.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the Qld medical cannabis trial: http://sco.lt/4ytWVt. 

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Ice rage crisis hits cops (Vic)

Ice rage crisis hits cops (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT has never before been more dangerous to be a frontline police officer.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's a screaming headline for yesterday's Herald Sun editorial, but the content is reasonably restrained and succeeds in avoiding the usual 'epidemic' language and keeping the issue in perspective. Changes proceeds-of-crime legislation may help reduce some of the supply of methamphetamine, but will not address the reasons why people are choosing to use the drug in the first place. The states are starting to implement their own responses with increased funding for treatment and support services. We wait to see what action the Federal Government will take later this year when its national Ice action plan is released. The National Ice Taskforce report isn't yet available, but you can see the key areas it has raised with COAG attendees last week: http://sco.lt/7WH48f. 

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Ice scourge second only to cannabis as the destructive drug soars in popularity in the city (NSW)

Ice scourge second only to cannabis as the destructive drug soars in popularity in the city (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
But crime had gone down as ice addicts are more likely to be employed and able to afford it at a cost of up to $50 a hit — at least at first.
ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting to note this inclusion towards the end of the article: 'But crime had gone down as ice addicts are more likely to be employed and able to afford it at a cost of up to $50 a hit — at least at first.' Our submission to the Senate Joint Committee here: http://www.regen.org.au/advocacy. 

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Hugos Lounge in Kings Cross set to close due to revenue decline (NSW)

Hugos Lounge in Kings Cross set to close due to revenue decline (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One of Sydney's highest-profile nightspots, Hugos Lounge in Kings Cross, is set to close after being placed into voluntary administration on Wednesday.
ReGenUC's insight:

Owner claims 60% drop in revenue since the introduction of Sydney's lockout system in Kings Cross.

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Police target Frankston night spots (Vic)

Police target Frankston night spots (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AN ONGOING police operation targeting Frankston’s entertainment precinct is delivering positive results.
ReGenUC's insight:

Including information about the local forum for licensed venues to work with police to reduce alcohol related violence.

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Three more police forces signal that they will turn blind eye to cannabis use (UK)

Three more police forces signal that they will turn blind eye to cannabis use (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PCC's in Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey follow Durham in suggesting that catching dangerous criminals must take priority
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on a likely parliamentary debate on cannabis legalisation: http://sco.lt/7U0Ocj.

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'Walter White approves of this': Ice sales rife on Melbourne's Craigslist

'Walter White approves of this': Ice sales rife on Melbourne's Craigslist | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Melbourne's Craigslist has become a digital den of iniquity, with ice, weed, LSD, worn underwear and sex being sold on the website.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tammy Mills on some of the challenges of controlling online drug markets and risks for consumers.

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PLAN TO TACKLE DRUG SCOURGE: Tenders open for NGOs to deliver ice treatment services (NSW)

PLAN TO TACKLE DRUG SCOURGE: Tenders open for NGOs to deliver ice treatment services (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Treating ice addicts in their local communities instead of rehabilitation centres hundreds of kilometres from home was the rationale behind a strategy announced by Assistant Health Minister Pru Goward in Dubbo on Tuesday.
ReGenUC's insight:

We'd suggest $1million a year for four years won't significantly increase the capacity of the NSW AOD treatment sector to respond to the needs of people affected by methamphetamine dependence.

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From drunks to pint glasses up bums: The trials of the ED (Aus)

From drunks to pint glasses up bums: The trials of the ED (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As a doctor in a busy emergency department you need to be prepared for all manner of presentations, including pint glasses stuck up bums.
ReGenUC's insight:

Featuring David Caldicott, one of last night's #AusDrug panellists, with reference at the end of the article to the role alcohol (not methamphetamine) plays in violence in Australian hospitals.

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Booze for the lazy or immobile (NSW)

Booze for the lazy or immobile (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's plenty of services springing up to deliver grog to your door. Pronto.
ReGenUC's insight:

On the growing market for home delivery of alcohol. We know that older Australians are increasingly using such services, with corresponding increases in alcohol related harms.

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Best invention ever? The 'cigarette' that lets you inhale caffeine (UK)

Best invention ever? The 'cigarette' that lets you inhale caffeine (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new vapour tool eliminates the need for drinking your morning coffee
ReGenUC's insight:

Will vaping become an enduring route of administration for licit drugs? Time will tell. Best invention ever? We'd suggest not. The evidence for vaping as a harm reduction strategy still seems pretty unclear.

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The unspoken role of ice in Australia’s domestic violence problem

The unspoken role of ice in Australia’s domestic violence problem | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WOMEN in violent relationships are turning to the drug ice to cope with or mentally escape the horror of family violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

The role of AOD use in contributing to family violence is well recognised. Anyone with familiarity with the AOD field knows that, for many people, AOD use is a common coping strategy for people living with trauma. See yesterday's post by Johann Hari on the cumulative impacts of childhood trauma on future drug dependence: http://sco.lt/6oYRfN 

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Queensland's denial of drug treatment to prisoners 'breaches obligations'

Queensland's denial of drug treatment to prisoners 'breaches obligations' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
High-profile drug and alcohol researchers accuse the Queensland Government of failing to provide adequate healthcare to prisoners.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Igor Koutsenok (keynote speaker at last week's Australian Winter School conference) on the dangers of abrupt cessation of ORT.

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