Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Thirst for pre-drinks linked to violent nightlife (Aus)

Thirst for pre-drinks linked to violent nightlife (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A CULTURE of downing alcohol before going out is significantly contributing to violence and harm in pubs and clubs, Australia's largest study into alcohol-related nightlife crime has found.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Drivers turn to drugs (Vic)

Drivers turn to drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Drug-drivers say they are increasing swapping to synthetic substances to avoid police detection, as the number of drug-drivers attending court-imposed education has overtaken drink-drivers at Victoria's major training centres.

ReGenUC's insight:

This article is behind the NewsLtd paywall. It cites our Brandon Jones on the increase in drug driving referrals to our services and our work with VicRoads in piloting a more intensive drug-driver program.

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'The stigma around ice addicts silences their family members' (Aus) - video

'The stigma around ice addicts silences their family members' (Aus) - video | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Mikayla's cousin committed suicide as a result of his ice addiction. But when she tried to talk to people about it she faced a stigma and hostility she never expected.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see affected families speaking out about the impacts of stigma and the role it plays in making it harder for people to seek help.

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Rodrigo Duterte vows to double down on drug war as raid kills 21 (Philippines)

Rodrigo Duterte vows to double down on drug war as raid kills 21 (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In the latest bloodbath, 21 Filipinos were killed on Tuesday night in 16 separate raids.
ReGenUC's insight:

When you're being mentioned in the same sentence as Pol Pot, it should be an indicator (even to a leader like President Duterte) that committing to a long term plan of killing your constituents is not the way to go. Unfortunately, today's related coverage shows further evidence that Indonesian President Widodo is looking to follow his lead: http://sco.lt/7Qsqjx

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Drug related deaths are at their highest level in 25 years – here’s why (UK)

Drug related deaths are at their highest level in 25 years – here’s why (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ReGenUC's insight:

Ian Hamilton and Harry Sumnall cite two key drivers of overdose deaths: fentanyl and UK drug policy.

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Drug death figures show it is time for harm reduction (Scotland)

Drug death figures show it is time for harm reduction (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dr Iain McPhee argues the Scottish Government's drugs strategy isn't working and needs to move away from the UK model
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related post on the need for change in the Scottish Govt's drug policy model if it is to seriously address the growth in overdose fatalities: http://sco.lt/7HnfVp

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Ugly truth about the US medical industry

Ugly truth about the US medical industry | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AMERICA is in the grips of an opioid epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:

Warning: this story contains the sort of gratuitous images of people overdosing that have already proven to be powerful clickbait in US media coverage. The article focuses on the impact of opioid dependence in Ohio, with the state's coroner predicting he will see 10,000 overdoses by the end of the year. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5KEy7l

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Turning opioid epidemic into a crime crackdown would be a disaster for the US

Turning opioid epidemic into a crime crackdown would be a disaster for the US | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In Butler County Ohio, Sheriff Richard K. Jones has found himself to be of remarkable notoriety and a regular on national cable TV.
ReGenUC's insight:

BJ Bethel considers local and national examples of problematic responses to the US opioid crisis and the significant risks they pose to public health and safety. See yesterday's coverage of President Trump's declaration of a national emergency: http://sco.lt/6kIj7B

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Data retention is about policing drug crime, not terrorism (Aus)

Data retention is about policing drug crime, not terrorism (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Data retention was once "vital" for national security, but new figures show metadata is used in drug investigations 10 times as much as in terrorism cases.
ReGenUC's insight:

CNET's Claire Reilly on Attorney General's Dept data showing that illicit drug offences are (by far) the most common reason for police use of metadata.  Terrorism is 17th on the list.

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E-cig ban may be responsible for increased smoking rates (Aus)

E-cig ban may be responsible for increased smoking rates (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Smoking rates in Australia have risen by over 21,000 to 2.4 million between 2013 and 2016. “For the first time ever, there has been no statistically significant reduction in the smoking rate, and an increase in the number of smokers in Australia,” said Colin Mendelsohn, an expert in public health at the University of New South Wales whilst pointing out that for the first time, the smoking rates in Australia have exceeded those in the US. “This is despite plain packaging and the most expensive cigarette prices in the world.” A packet of cigarettes in Australia costs an average of $25.10, while in the UK it would cost $14.80 and $8.50 in the US.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Colin Mendelsohn and Alex Wodak. See also Simon Chapman's comment on last week's coverage of the 'increased smoking rate' claim: http://sco.lt/7QGe0X.

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What Trump's National Opioid Emergency Should Look Like (USA)

What Trump's National Opioid Emergency Should Look Like (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The president should strip away the red tape preventing people from getting methadone or buprenorphine, which are proven to reduce opioid overdose.
ReGenUC's insight:

The always sensible Maia Szalavitz on the evidence based reforms needed if the White House is to seriously address America's opioid crisis. See today's related Bloomberg post on the need for increased access to pharmacotherapy in US prisons: http://sco.lt/7KhmXx

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Scottish government urged to review drugs policy as drug-related fatalities double in a decade

Scottish government urged to review drugs policy as drug-related fatalities double in a decade | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Scottish government must do more to end “the avoidable drug-death carnage”, campaigners have said, as figures released on Tuesday revealed the country has maintained its position as the drug-death capital of Europe. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Scottish overdose deaths reach new record for third successive year, highlighting the urgent need for policy reform. The article cites Transform's Martin Powell on the importance of adopting a decriminalisation policy model to reduce immediate harm.

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Brain study connects cannabis, oxygen changes (USA)

Brain study connects cannabis, oxygen changes (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas reveals that levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that leaves a euphoric feeling, directly correlate to changes in how th
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related post on research into the impacts of cannabis use on the cardiovascular system: http://sco.lt/7qwPCb.

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Laughing gas sales balloon on Dutch party scene

Laughing gas sales balloon on Dutch party scene | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sales of the gas popular among clubbers soar in the Netherlands - but authorities warn it has risks.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nitrous sales up 400% in two years.

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Addiction Experts Beg Government To Scrap Welfare Drug Tests (Aus)

Addiction Experts Beg Government To Scrap Welfare Drug Tests (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Some of Australia's foremost experts on addiction have pleaded for the federal government to scrap its controversial plan to drug test welfare recipients, saying the program's negative impacts far outweigh its benefits and that it will further swamp an already struggling treatment sector.

ReGenUC's insight:

Dr Adrian Reynolds (AOD Clinical Services Director for the Tasmanian Health Service & addiction medicine chapter president for the RACP) and Assoc Prof Yvonne Bonomo (Director of the addiction medicine department at St Vincent's hospital in Melbourne) add to the calls for the Turnbull Govt to cancel its plans for mandatory drug testing of Newstart recipients.

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Northern Territory's new banned drinkers register expected to be tougher than last time

Northern Territory's new banned drinkers register expected to be tougher than last time | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Northern Territory Government's new banned drinkers register will be tougher than when Labor was last in power, with people barred from buying take-away alcohol if convicted of mid-range and low-range drink driving offences.
ReGenUC's insight:

With mining magnate and the Turnbull Govt turning up the heat in the push for the expansion of the cashless welfare card program, it's worth remembering that initiatives like the BDR have been effective in targetting those most likely to engage in alcohol related violence.

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'Payment by results' for drug misuse treatment gets mixed reception (UK)

'Payment by results' for drug misuse treatment gets mixed reception (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A team of University of Manchester academics has published an evaluation of the impact of the Government's pilot Payment By Results scheme for drug misuse treatment – giving it a mixed reception.
ReGenUC's insight:

Evaluation finds PBR reduced rates of successful treatment completion. The results have been published in the new edition of the journal Addiction. 

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Drug dealer deaths rise in Indonesia

Amnesty International says the number of suspected drug dealers killed in police raids in Indonesia have skyrocketed this year in what could be an alarming sign that Indonesian authorities might be trying to emulate the aggressive war on drugs in neighbouring Philippines.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that President Widodo is taking his drug policy lead from Philippines' President Duterte. See today's coverage of Duterte's renewed commitment to a long-term plan of extrajudicial executions: http://sco.lt/7hdBPl

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A study finding a huge increase in alcoholism may have been seriously flawed (USA)

A study finding a huge increase in alcoholism may have been seriously flawed (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
According to several researchers, the survey data behind the study is seriously faulty.
ReGenUC's insight:

See German Lopez's original coverage of the study: http://sco.lt/6dMisz

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Destroy trust to damage the Dark Net

Destroy trust to damage the Dark Net | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It seems odd that a seller of illegal drugs hiding on the Dark Net might be concerned about reputation, but new research suggests that besmirching character i
ReGenUC's insight:

US research highlights the importance of trust in online drug markets. It could be that the use (and customer awareness) of exit scams (building up a market, then absconding with customers' funds) is a factor in the lack of repeat purchases.

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Mother's torment: "I'll be in that place where he died alone, in that gutter. I'll honour him." (Vic) - audio

Mother's torment: "I'll be in that place where he died alone, in that gutter. I'll honour him." (Vic) - audio | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sam O’Donnell died from a heroin overdose almost a year ago. His mother, Loretta Gabriel, says a medically supervised safe-injecting centre could have saved his life. "My heart aches. It's physical," she told Jon Faine. She’s now lobbying the Victorian Government to legislate for the facilities to save others.
ReGenUC's insight:

Podcast of Ms Gabriel's powerful advocacy on Jon Faine's program on the need for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne and the importance of practical, evidence based responses to illicit drug use within our communities. You can't recover if you're dead. The audio runs for 18 minutes.

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Drug-testing welfare recipients won't stop addiction, psychiatrists warn (Aus)

Drug-testing welfare recipients won't stop addiction, psychiatrists warn (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia’s peak body for psychiatrists says Coalition’s plan ‘very simplistic’ and at odds with 50 years of evidence
ReGenUC's insight:

More expert advice for the Turnbull Govt to ignore.  

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All the Dodgy Stuff Found in the Drugs at Boomtown This Year (UK)

All the Dodgy Stuff Found in the Drugs at Boomtown This Year (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Fiona Measham from drugs testing and welfare organisation The Loop told us what turned up in people's drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Our Ginny McKinnon was part of the Loop crew at the Boomtown festival. The Loop findings are consistent with other similar exercises in Europe: most drugs tested were what people thought they were, but potentially dangerous pills were detected (e.g. containing high concentrations of MDMA or including pentylones), allowing the issuing of immediate safety warnings about particular pill types. Fiona Measham also highlights the role pill testing services play in providing opportunities for harm reduction education amongst people who would otherwise never consider speaking to an AOD service provider.

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We need to remove the word 'addict' from our vocabulary (USA)

We need to remove the word 'addict' from our vocabulary (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Language can mean the difference between whether a person seeks and receives adequate treatment for addiction.
- Morgan Zalot, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
ReGenUC's insight:

Morgan Zalot adds to the growing number of articles highlighting the impact of stigmatising language and the need for changes in journalistic practice.

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Adelaide city councillors told substance abuse debts wiped with treatment and community service 

Adelaide city councillors told substance abuse debts wiped with treatment and community service  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PEOPLE fined for abusing drugs and alcohol in the CBD and parkland areas are wiping their debts by participating in treatment programs and doing community service.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not really sure what the story is here. It's not unusual for people to be provided alternative options for repaying fines. This program helps provide people with access to AOD treatment. Councillors praise the program and advocate for its continuation.

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Colombia: Searching for an alternative to coca

Colombia: Searching for an alternative to coca | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Colombia seeks alternative crops for areas where coca has been king.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the challenge for the often remote and ecnonomically vulnerable communities around the world where illicit drug production has been the primary source of income, and for policy makers.

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