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Doctors should limit sleeping pill prescriptions, health professionals warn (UK)

Doctors should limit sleeping pill prescriptions, health professionals warn (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Doctors have been told they should only issue prescriptions of sleeping pills and tranquillisers in exceptional circumstances after they acknowledged the drugs can be highly addictive.
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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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A letter to … My son, who is a drug addict

I remember the time around your birth vividly. My waters had broken and as there were no signs of contractions, you were induced and arrived the following morning at 3.50am – all 7lb 4oz of you. When I held you for the first time, you were truly the most beautiful and perfect thing I had ever seen. Everything and everyone else looked dirty and jaded but you looked and smelled and felt like perfection. I have loved you unreservedly since that moment.

ReGenUC's insight:

Powerful piece on the very personal impacts of AOD dependence on families.

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Industrial hemp could be big, but for red tape (Tas)

Industrial hemp could be big, but for red tape (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

OUT in the fields and talking with farmers it is glaringly obvious Tasmania is missing out on a huge opportunity from one of the oldest sustainable industries on the planet: industrial hemp.

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Geoff Payne writes: A new evidence based approach to drug policy (UK)

Geoff Payne writes: A new evidence based approach to drug policy (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As Liberal Democrats we have never been afraid to stand up for what we believe in, even if that means standing against the crowd. At conference in Glasgow, the Federal Policy Committee will present its policy paper Doing what Works to Cut Crime, a paper that amongst other issues, revisits and has restarted the debate on drug policy.
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First drink to first drunk: Connection between early age of first drink, heavy drinking (USA)

First drink to first drunk: Connection between early age of first drink, heavy drinking (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An early age of onset of drinking is a risk factor for subsequent heavy drinking and negative outcomes, researchers report. New research looks at both an early age of onset, as well as a quick progression from initial alcohol use to drinking to the point of intoxication, as risk factors. Findings indicate that both are associated with high-school student alcohol use and binge drinking.
ReGenUC's insight:

More research linking early age of initiation into alcohol consumption with subsequent problematic consumption patterns.

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One in five new students admits taking legal highs (UK)

One in five new students admits taking legal highs (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Campaigners are warning Freshers starting university not to be lulled into a false sense of security by assuming that substances are not dangerous because they are not illegal
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Man dies after injecting synthetic 'heroin' (Qld)

A Gold Coast man has died after injecting a crudely created liquid version of the concentrated opiate drug Fentanyl.
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Supermarkets says tougher liquor laws are anti-competitive (NSW)

Supermarkets says tougher liquor laws are anti-competitive (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The big supermarkets and bottle shops have complained the state's tough new liquor laws are unfair.
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Regional communities are being torn about by ice addiction and can’t cope with the problem (Vic)

Regional communities are being torn about by ice addiction and can’t cope with the problem (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
REGIONAL communities across the country are being torn apart by the drug ice and are ill-equipped to deal with the social, health and crime problems it brings.
ReGenUC's insight:

Without having seen the story yet, it's hard to make informed comment about its content.  Accessibility of treatment services in rural and regional areas is certainly an issue, but it's misguided to suggest increasing withdrawal beds will solve the problem.  On it's own, withdrawal provides only a break from use.  Without ongoing work to help people change their behaviour and the factors in their lives that contribute to that behaviour, an investment in withdrawal beds will not provide the 'solution' that local communities are looking for.  If communities are to really get to grips with methampheatmine related harms, we need a better understanding of AOD treatment and the recovery process.  Here's what we've been doing in this area: http://www.regen.org.au/images/Meth_Treatment_-_Building_on_successful_strategies_to_enhance_outcomes_v1.0.pdf 

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IGA supermarket at Bicheno in bid to sell alcohol (Tas)

A SUPERMARKET chain will head to the Liquor Licensing Board today in a bid to become the first in the state to sell alcohol in a landmark case vehemently opposed by the hospitality industry. Tasmanian Independent Retailers has applied to sell alcohol in the IGA store at Bicheno on the East Coast.

ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting that the article is focussed on the potential impact on hotels, not public health.

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Foetal Alcohol Syndrome moving into second and third generations in some indigenous communities (Aus)

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome moving into second and third generations in some indigenous communities (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FOETAL alcohol syndrome in indigenous communities is moving into second and third generations as impaired parents affected by the disorder struggle to raise offspring.
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New helpline for stressed truckies (Aus)

New helpline for stressed truckies (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A confidential helpline for truck drivers scrapes the surface of a problem that sometimes has a fatal ending.
ReGenUC's insight:

Promoting the 1300 DRIVER service.

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"Ice not at epidemic levels", CEO believes (NSW)

"Ice not at epidemic levels", CEO believes (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
LONG-TIME Illawarra drug and alcohol worker Will Temple believes levels of ice use are nowhere near that of heroin in the 1970s, and that alcohol is by far society's biggest problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice to see a bit of perspective in media reporting on this issue.  Pity the major dailies don't follow suit.

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Victorian crystal methamphetmine, ice, epidemic, is is it?

It’s been a topic of particular interest to us out here in the bush because we keep reading reports of how bad our meth problem actually is. There is no doubt that it’s as bad as it is in Melbourne or other metropolitan areas. And yet just 2 per cent of the population use it and of them just 14.5 per cent have a dependency. The inference is that 84 per cent of those who do use it are recreational users. (Men aged 20-35, including tradies, are a high-risk group. A lot smoke it.)

ReGenUC's insight:

Wow, two pieces on the same day!  Do we need to look to regional and rural areas for a less hysterical response to methamphetamines?

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Most of Maroondah assaults occurring near pubs and clubs (Vic)

Most of Maroondah assaults occurring near pubs and clubs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NEW figures show that alcohol is continuing to cause harm in the Maroondah community, as authorities prepare for an increase in licensed venues.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing police and Turning Point ambulance attendance data

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Why Liberals Love the Disease Theory of Addiction (USA)

The disease model is convenient to liberals because it spares them having to say negative things about poor communities.
ReGenUC's insight:

An extended piece by Stanton Peele on broader politics behind the use (and impacts) of the disease model.

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War on synthetic drugs like playing 'whack a mole', expert warns (Aus/NZ)

War on synthetic drugs like playing 'whack a mole', expert warns (Aus/NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia should look at regulating synthetic drugs because banning them is like a game of "whack a mole", with so-called legal highs exposing the weaknesses of prohibition, says the New Zealand Drug Foundation.
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Alcohol responsible for 'nearly 10 per cent' of energy intake in adults (EU)

Alcohol responsible for 'nearly 10 per cent' of energy intake in adults (EU) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Many people try to watch what they eat, count their calories, and try to cut down on excess sugar and fat. What many people forget to look at is the amount of alcohol they drink; and the extra energy intake can add up surprisingly quickly.  

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No way to block drug supply to AMC inmates (ACT)

Surveillance measures and intense supervision are failing to prevent drugs supplies getting to prisoners in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
ReGenUC's insight:

One example of why supply control measures can ever only be a part of (and why harm reduction services are essential in) balanced drug policy.  Citing CAHMA's Sione Crawford ATODA's Carrie Fowlie.

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City drunks banned three times more than Kings Cross drinkers (NSW)

City drunks banned three times more than Kings Cross drinkers (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
59 drunks banned from city bars for a year
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Medical cannabis closer to federal approval (Aus)

The push to legalise medical cannabis is gathering pace, with a bill that would make the drug available to patients with chronic pain set to be introduced into Parliament next month.
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Richard Di Natale set to introduce bill next month.

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ACT Liberals fight prison needle exchange plan

ACT Liberals fight prison needle exchange plan | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Liberals in the ACT have renewed their efforts to prevent the introduction of a needle exchange program in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
ReGenUC's insight:

Harm Reduction again treated as a political football as the ACT Libs seek to wedge the Govt against unions.  Andrew Wall becomes the latest in a very long list of politicians willing to undermine evidence-based policy for the sake of political leverage.

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Easing liquor sales could be a public health ‘disaster’

Easing liquor sales could be a public health ‘disaster’ | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THIS week a review of competition law in Australia has everyone talking about the prospect of cheaper goods and shaking up the power of Coles and Woolworths.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Mike Daube on the Harper Review into competition law recommendations.  Interesting that headline writers rush to gush about the 'Ice epidemic', but feel the need to qualify the apparent scale of problems associated with alcohol in our communities.

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ACT Government should supply medical cannabis: Rattenbury

ACT Government should supply medical cannabis: Rattenbury | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT Government would supply medical marijuana if Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury had his way.
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UnitingCare ReGen: informed conversations on substance abuse (Vic)

UnitingCare ReGen: informed conversations on substance abuse (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

UnitingCare ReGen’s director for education and advocacy, James Beckford-Saunders, addressed Synod members today to discuss the agency’s cutting edge work combating alcohol and other drug problems.

ReGenUC's insight:

Our Director Education & Advocacy building awareness of AOD issues within Uniting Church communities in Vic & Tas.  

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Lifetime Poof Doof bans for clubbers on ice (Vic)

Lifetime Poof Doof bans for clubbers on ice (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Organisers of Melbourne gay dance party Poof Doof say they will ban clubbers on ice for life in a move to combat the "sadness and exhaustion" stemming from the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Venue owners report GHB use has dropped, replaced by methamphetamines.  Good for reducing overdose risk, but obvious other issues there.

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