Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Top schools plan drug testing (Vic)

Top schools plan drug testing (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Assumption College is set to test students for illegal drugs and alcohol, with several other prominent private schools about to adopt the controversial practice widely used in the US education system.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Age also published a strong editorial about this story (see adjacent posting).

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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International Overdose Awareness Day: A mother's fight to fix the system that 'failed' her son (Vic)

International Overdose Awareness Day: A mother's fight to fix the system that 'failed' her son (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In a brief moment alone between the hugs, tender words and tears, Cherie Short tips her head back and looks up towards the heavens. Ahhh. The sigh slips out.
ReGenUC's insight:

One of thousands of events that will be happening around the world today to remember those lost to overdose, the families left behind and advocate for action to prevent future overdose deaths and injuries. For information on events near you, see the OAD website: http://www.overdoseday.com/.

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The Meth Project: Ex-ice addicts aim to speak in every Aussie school

The Meth Project: Ex-ice addicts aim to speak in every Aussie school | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FORMER ice addicts are visiting schools to tell children aged just seven years old about their experiences with crystal methamphetamine.
ReGenUC's insight:

We can appreciate the good intentions behind this initiative but there is abundant research demonstrating that this sort of approach does not work and can, in fact, increase the likelihood of future use. This is not the way to protect our children.

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Alcohol-fuelled assault twice as likely to happen at home as in a pub – study (Aus)

Alcohol-fuelled assault twice as likely to happen at home as in a pub – study (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Study of alcohol-related injuries treated in Queensland hospitals finds 36% took place in the home compared with 10% in licensed venues and 13% on the street
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of this study (and related Australian research): http://sco.lt/8H207l.

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Businesseses quizzed about employee drug use (Tas)

Businesseses quizzed about employee drug use (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
CONCERNS drug abuse is a growing problem in Tasmanian workplaces has moved the states peak business body to ask its members for the first time about illicit substance and alcohol use.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's important to remember that workplace drug testing is not (on its own) a solution. It may help employers manage immediate risk but does nothing to address the factors driving employees' AOD use. As with schools and other institutions, businesses need practical supports (such as clear links to appropriate treatment and support services) for responding to the often complex needs of their employees.

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Philippines' drug war hits 2000 deaths

The number of drug-related killings in the Philippines since Rodrigo Duterte became president two months ago on a pledge to wipe out the illegal drug trade, has reached around 2000.
ReGenUC's insight:

Executions don't prevent murder. They will not stop illicit drug use. But they will traumatise a generation and sow the seeds of increased future AOD dependence.

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Is Australia really being flooded by new killer drugs?

Is Australia really being flooded by new killer drugs? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There is a potential for significant harm in Australia if we don't have adequate systems in place to monitor our drug markets and respond rapidly when specific dangers are detected.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice response by Stephen Bright and Monica Barratt on the latest round of media hysteria, making a clear call for evidence based (as opposed to fear driven) responses to actual harm. You can see our comments on recent coverage here: http://sco.lt/9KqrMv, http://sco.lt/8jZEjB

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Young foster girl carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died (NSW)

Young foster girl carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A GIRL who was allegedly repeatedly raped at a Sydney foster care facility by two youth workers carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died, an inquest has heard.
ReGenUC's insight:
One example of the personal tragedies behind the overdose statistics and a powerful reminder that, for many, AOD use is a survival strategy, for dealing with the impacts of acute and ongoing trauma.
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Labor, Greens would consider drug law reform after election (ACT)

Labor, Greens would consider drug law reform after election (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Decriminalising drug use was the most obvious point of difference in Monday's debate.
ReGenUC's insight:
Good to see the two parties at least willing to have the debate and to see drug policy featuring as an election issue. Libs leader rules it out altogether. 
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No surprise the young support lock-out laws

No surprise the young support lock-out laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
If you're in my generation, you've probably seen the violence first-hand.
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Jennifer Duke recognises that legislation is a 'blunt tool' for reducing public violence, but it's still the most effective one available.
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How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians?

How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Around 2.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 15 years and over report using speed or amphetamine in the past year. This is similar to the general population.
ReGenUC's insight:
Nicole Lee and Sarah MacLean on the evidence of increasing use (consistent with the rest of the population) and treatment support options.
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Poll shows voters favour extending lockout laws (NSW)

Poll shows voters favour extending lockout laws (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A majority of NSW voters say controversial "lockout" laws should be extended across the state, an exclusive Fairfax poll has found.
ReGenUC's insight:
60% of those polled support statewide expansion of NSW Govt's measures.
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OD threat rises as antidote fails to work first time (USA)

OD threat rises as antidote fails to work first time (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alert: Naloxone isn't working on several recent ODs, which leads health officials to believe that stronger opioids are in heroin.
ReGenUC's insight:
It's important to note that it's the dosage of naloxone given that is the issue, not its effectiveness. The story highlights the overdose risks associated with these powerful synthetic opioids, and the importance of not using alone.
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Microaggressions in Recovery: More than a Concern with Political Correctness (USA)

Microaggressions in Recovery: More than a Concern with Political Correctness (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Members of historically disempowered and stigmatized groups (e.g., women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, religious minorities, etc.) have long been subjected to overt aggression from the dominant cultures in which they are nested.

ReGenUC's insight:

William White highlights the daily micro-aggressions, insults and invalidations experienced by people affected by AOD dependence, including those perpetrated by people within the recovery movement. He's looking for more examples, if you have experiences to share. See the bottom of the article for details.

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Heroin treatment drug naloxone 'saves lives' in WA trial

Heroin treatment drug naloxone 'saves lives' in WA trial | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A trial giving heroin users' family members and friends a drug to prevent overdoses has been hailed a success, and may even reduce overall heroin use, WA researchers say.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of the NDRI evaluation of WASUA's naloxone program. Another great eample of the importance of peer distribution in preventing overdose deaths and injuries. You can see the full report here: http://sco.lt/5pFpSr.

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Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Swedish government has launched an inquiry into why Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy.
ReGenUC's insight:

International evidence indicates that the high death rate (particularly from overdose) is a direct  result of Sweden's 'zero tolerance' policy. The way forward is clear: a greater focus on harm reduction

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Labor, Liberals reluctant on pill testing at Canberra festivals

Labor, Liberals reluctant on pill testing at Canberra festivals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Greens propose pill testing trial, saying it will save lives.
ReGenUC's insight:

A predictable response from the libs, but a little puzzling from Labor, given yesterday's commitment to discussing the merits of decriminalisation: http://sco.lt/7qtZ2n. Monica Barratt (as ever) provides a voice of reason (and research evidence) in response to ideological opposition.

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Vaping as bad for your heart as smoking cigarettes, study finds (UK)

Vaping as bad for your heart as smoking cigarettes, study finds (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Vaping could be as bad for the heart as smoking cigarettes, a new study suggests.
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Drinking alcohol at home is the most dangerous (Aus)

Drinking alcohol at home is the most dangerous (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRINKING alcohol at home is the most dangerous place to enjoy a beverage.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting a range of research that identifies the need for a policy approach that doesn't just address public drinking, but the range of harms associated with alcohol consumed at home. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5y2ZLl.

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Prescription drug threat prompts fresh call for overdose treatment naloxone (Vic)

Prescription drug threat prompts fresh call for overdose treatment naloxone (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

AN urgent campaign to promote the lifesaving qualities of overdose reversal drug naloxone has been called for in the wake of data showing a surge of accidental deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see public attention being drawn to the impacts of the withdrawal of naloxone minijets (the most accessible, affordable option currently available) from the Australian market. This will also be addressed at tomorrow's CREIDU colloqium. For more details (or to register) see the website: https://www.burnet.edu.au/events/200_creidu_colloquium Thanks to VAADA for making the content of this article available from behind the NewsLtd paywall.

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The realities behind the homeless of Hosier Lane (Vic)

The realities behind the homeless of Hosier Lane (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The public backlash against the homeless fails to understand the problem's causes, explains Sam Biondo.
ReGenUC's insight:
Great response by VAADA's Sam Biondo to last week's demonisation (http://sco.lt/8rqppB) of people who are homeless. He rightly challenges our society's propsensity to 'blame the victim', rather than address the structural and social factors driving homelessness (and related issues).
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Mum turns life around from ‘rock bottom’ (Vic)

Mum turns life around from ‘rock bottom’ (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A LIFE skills and resilience course came along at just the right time for Sunbury single mother Michelle Ulm.
ReGenUC's insight:
Nice recovery story featuring the work of our friends at Sunbury Community Health.
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Common prescription drugs behind a wave of Australian overdose deaths

New data obtained by the Herald Sun reveals a surge in deaths among older Australians, with almost eight in 10 accidental overdose deaths now men and women aged 30-59. The figures challenge the traditional image of drug deaths being young people overdosing on illegal drugs in inner city drug hot spots.
ReGenUC's insight:
This shift in the demographics of overdose is likely due to two factors: 1. Our over-reliance on opioid painkillers, particularly amongst older people; & 2. an ageing cohort of people who are long-term users of heroin and other opioids. We need targetted policy and service responses to the needs of both groups. Sally Finn's suggestion is a good one: doctors should be prescribing naloxone for anyone on high doses of opioids. One thing is clear from the data: overdose prevention is a mainstream issue. Thanks to VAADA for bringing the content of this article (and the accompanying editorial) out from behind the NewsLtd paywall.
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Up to 15 Sydney venues affected by change to lockout laws

Up to 15 Sydney venues affected by change to lockout laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sydney city strip clubs and live music venues will be exempt from the state's lockout laws, in a win for opponents of the controversial regulations.
ReGenUC's insight:
Court decision deems restrictions don't apply. NSW Govt to appeal.
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Report claims lockout's impact exaggerated (NSW)

Report claims lockout's impact exaggerated (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The impact of the lockout laws on the health of Kings Cross has been greatly exaggerated, according to a report by an anti-alcohol lobby group whos
ReGenUC's insight:
FARE Australia findings indicate lockouts' impacts on local business have been inflated by opponents to the measures.
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Girl, 5, shot in Philippines drugs war

Girl, 5, shot in Philippines drugs war | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A five-year-old kindergarten girl is the latest victim of Philippines President Duterte's war on drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:
The sad reality is that the death of one five-year-old will probably be a greater cause of public outrage than the killings of nearly 2,000 adults under President Duterte's brutal policies. The stigmatisation of (& subsequent lack of public compassion for) people involved with illicit drugs is a global phenomenon, driven by misconceptions, ignorance and political opportunism. All lives have value, regardless of age or life events. Our challenge is to get people to look beyond the stereotypes to see the people behind them, and realise they they're just like the rest of us.
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