Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Crack cocaine fears after two die (UK)

Crack cocaine fears after two die (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The deaths of two men may be linked to contaminated crack cocaine, police in London warn.
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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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Law and Order: When the hard line is the weak option (Vic)

Law and Order: When the hard line is the weak option (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The crime rate goes up because drug use continues to climb, yet we cling to a failed model like a drowning man to a sinking lifeboat.
ReGenUC's insight:

John Silvester (the Age's longtime crime and policing commentator) highlights the enduring political appeal of 'tough on drugs' policy measures, in spite of their demonstrated ineffectiveness in reducing drug related harms within our communities. He calls for political leadership to refocus on investing in expanded treatment and harm reduction services (such as a MSIC), rather than simply pouring more resources into prisons and law enforcement. We hope our political leaders are listening.

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ACT government rejects Harm Reduction Australia's pill testing proposal for Groovin The Moo festival

ACT government rejects Harm Reduction Australia's pill testing proposal for Groovin The Moo festival | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT government has rejected a proposal for pill testing after "careful consideration", but hasn't ruled it out in the near future.
ReGenUC's insight:

As well as HRA, the article also cites David Caldicott, ATODA's Carrie Fowlie on the urgent need for drug checking services to prevent overdose deaths.

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New playground a ‘putrid’ drinking spot (Vic)

New playground a ‘putrid’ drinking spot (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
BOORAN Reserve has turned into a putrid adolescent drinking park, neighbours say.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's rare to see media attention being paid to inappropriate disposal of drug paraphenalia that is not about syringes. Discarded glass bottles pose a much greater threat to public safety in playgrounds and other public spaces all over Australia, but do not elicit the same visceral response to a single syringe.

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Nevada Syringe Vending Machines Minimize Possible HIV Outbreak (USA)

Nevada Syringe Vending Machines Minimize Possible HIV Outbreak (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nevada hopes Syringe vending machines will promote clean needle use.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the growing acceptance of harm reduction in the US.

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How Do Former Opioid Addicts Safely Get Pain Relief After Surgery? (USA)

How Do Former Opioid Addicts Safely Get Pain Relief After Surgery? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Max Baker got treatment for his opioid dependency and kicked the habit. He'd been clean for more than a year when a car accident and subsequent surgery returned him to addiction's spiral.
ReGenUC's insight:

Getting access to effective pain management is a major problem for anyone with a (documented) history of opioid dependence. Stigmatising treatment by health providers is the norm and any reporting of pain tends to be regarded as drug seeking behaviour.

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Rodrigo Duterte's 'kill drug addicts' job 'plan' in bizarre (Philippines)

Rodrigo Duterte's 'kill drug addicts' job 'plan' in bizarre (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HE shocked many across the world when he promised to kill 100,000 drug dealers within months of sweeping to power.
ReGenUC's insight:

...not to mention illegal. How can it be that the president is not yet facing criminal charges for his repeated death threats, let alone his alleged direct involvement in extrajudicial killings? See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6gLJZJ

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AFL and the two-can limit: all bets are not quite off (Aus)

AFL and the two-can limit: all bets are not quite off (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In its modern history Australia's peak football body hasn't minded blowing up its rituals.

ReGenUC's insight:

The Age's Andrew Tate on the AFL's dependence on alcohol and gambling advertising revenue.

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Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in Duterte's drug war (Philippines)

Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in Duterte's drug war (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs."
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of the first legal challenge (by widows and mothers of those executed) to abuses carried out by police under President Duterte's brutal policies: http://sco.lt/5YwAPh

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Marijuana use higher in pregnant teens than nonpregnant peers (USA)

Marijuana use higher in pregnant teens than nonpregnant peers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—More than twice as many pregnant 12- to 17-year-olds use marijuana as their nonpregnant peers, and significantly more use the drug than pregnant women in their 20s, according to a letter published online Apri
ReGenUC's insight:

National Survey data suggests women are choosing to use cannabis to help cope with morning sickness in early pregnancy. Obviously, there are risks associated with this practice and implications for pre-natal service providers. 

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'Sick people don't need to be in court' - Senator Aodhán O Riordain backs decriminalising all drugs for personal use (Ireland)

'Sick people don't need to be in court' - Senator Aodhán O Riordain backs decriminalising all drugs for personal use (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Decriminalising drug use will help addicts as "sick people do not need to be in a court room", Senator Aodhán O Riordain said today.

ReGenUC's insight:

More sensible stuff from the former Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy. See yesterday's related post: http://sco.lt/76xF8z.

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Why I Was Wrong About The Psychoactive Substances Act (UK)

Why I Was Wrong About The Psychoactive Substances Act (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Just under a year ago, on May 26th, 2016, the Psychoactive Substances Act finally came into force after months of delays. Protests against the Act had come from all sides, with drug policy reform campaigners adamant that simply banning ‘legal highs’ would drive the trade underground and increase harm, pointing to similar legislation in the Republic of Ireland and Poland as evidence. The police, it was claimed, had voiced their own concerns about the enforceability of the Act, whilst scientists argued that its definition of ‘psychoactive’ made little sense, and would make prosecutions extremely difficult. Editorials and blogs from journalists
ReGenUC's insight:

Deej Sullivan on the scale of negative impacts from the bill, that are much worse than even its critics had feared before its implementation. See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/4mtodF

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Council rejects safe injecting rooms (Vic)

Council rejects safe injecting rooms (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Casey has declared it is “strongly” opposed to any proposed safe injecting rooms in the municipality.

ReGenUC's insight:

Wow. There's so much misinformation here, it's hard to know where to start. In what pretty clearly appears to have been more of an opportunity to make a political statement than have any sort of considered debate of the evidence, it's interesting to note that neither Mayor Aziz, nor the other councillors who supported the motion, recognised the need to consider any evidence outside their own opinions. Here's hoping any future debate about the proposed Richmond MSIC (currently being considered by the Vic Parliament's Legal and Social Issues Committee) is more sensible. If you're interested, you can see our submission to the committee here: http://www.regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/Vic_Parliamentary_Inquiry_Response_MSIC_v1.0.pdf.

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Did you know it costs less to care for someone than punish them? (UK)

Did you know it costs less to care for someone than punish them? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

There’s been a great deal of talk around what the press sometimes calls ‘shooting galleries’, but the preferred term is Safe Injection Facilities (SIF), or even Drug Consumption Room (DCR). In practice, these emplacements are life-saving sites, which are doing more than just helping those who may suffer from dependency to opioids such as heroin.

ReGenUC's insight:

Jason Reed considers the current state of the UK AOD sector and the need for a greater focus on harm reduction, specifically supervised injecting facilities.

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Greens, health professionals hit back at festival pill testing rejection (ACT)

Greens, health professionals hit back at festival pill testing rejection (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A prominent pill testing advocate has hit back at claims their proposal to provide the service at Canberra's upcoming Groovin The Moo music festival was not wel
ReGenUC's insight:

David Caldicott argues that the ACT govt was provided with all the necessary detail to proceed with the festival pilot. Hopefully, it will not require more overdose deaths to generate sufficient political will to implement such measures.

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Banned drinker's register on the cards for the Kimberley

Banned drinker's register on the cards for the Kimberley | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In an unofficial trial of the system, police officers were stationed outside liquor outlets across the Kimberley in order to weed out problem drinkers over th
ReGenUC's insight:

The experience of the NT BDR shows that it can be effective in reducing alcohol related violence. The real test will be how consistently it is applied to non-Aboriginal people.

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Big Tobacco Attacks Sensible F.D.A. Rules on Vaping

Big Tobacco Attacks Sensible F.D.A. Rules on Vaping | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Regulations could restrict the marketing to young people of nicotine products the industry now sells.
ReGenUC's insight:

Opinion piece on industry resistance to regulation of vaping products.

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Tobacco - China’s addiction to an outdated and impoverishing economy

Tobacco - China’s addiction to an outdated and impoverishing economy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Smoking-related diseases are on track to claim more than 200 million lives in China this century, a new joint WHO/UNDP report warns. The majority of these deaths will occur in China’s poorest and most vulnerable communities unless critical steps are taken to reduce China’s dependency on tobacco.

ReGenUC's insight:

WHO release on the impacts of the tobacco industry in China: over one million deaths per year.

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Staged crime scenes in Duterte's drug war (Philippines)

Philippine police are receiving cash for executing suspects, planting evidence at crime scenes and have blamed killings on vigilantes under the guise of President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs", according to two senior officers.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's coverage of this story (http://sco.lt/8GUj5N) and today's on President Duterte's latest demonstration of his apparent disregard for the rule of law (and basic human rights): http://sco.lt/8Y4yo5

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Graphic WA alcohol risk ad hits hard as more choose to drink less

Graphic WA alcohol risk ad hits hard as more choose to drink less | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A graphic WA advertisement depicting alcohol spreading in the bloodstream causing cancer has been named the most powerful for making people cut back on their drinking.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Cancer Council Victoria's Todd Harper on the organisation's plans to screen the add this year. See today's related post on the impact of US point of sale warnings on consumption by pregnant women: http://sco.lt/5JBQh7. Thanks to WA Police's Barry Newell for the link.

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Teaching teens the truth about alcohol (Aus)

High school students are being challenged to think critically about alcohol advertising, as they take part in an innovative new program designed to counter alcohol industry messages.r.

ReGenUC's insight:

On FARE's Game Changer+ education program, citing CHaSR's Sandra Jones on the need to counter alcohol industry marketing tactics.

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Group of Addiction Experts, Insurance Executives Unites to Combat Opioid Abuse (USA)

Amid the nation’s escalating opioid-addiction crisis, some of the country’s top substance-abuse experts and a handful of insurance-company executives are uniting to try to force some standards on the fragmented and erratically regulated field.
ReGenUC's insight:

These damning findings on the quality and consistency of care in the US treatment system highlight the need for treatment services to provide evidence based treatment (like pharmacotherapy). You'll have to sign in to read the full article, but you can see the (5min) video. 

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Signs point to reduced drinking by pregnant women (USA)

The signage varies but the message is working. Drinking by pregnant women is down 11 percent in states requiring point-of-sale warning signs, says a health economist at the University of Oregon.

ReGenUC's insight:

Some encouraging signs on the potential of policy measures to reduce FASD risk.

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Officers rue the return of US 'war on drugs' 

Officers rue the return of US 'war on drugs'  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The US Attorney General says the drug war reduced violent crime. Officers who were the front lines disagree.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the looming disaster of proposed changes to US drug policy.

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Mothers and widows on the warpath against Duterte’s ‘drug war’ (Philippines)

A group of mothers and widows have filed cases against policemen believed to be behind the killings their sons and husbands. The court cases were the first legal challenges to the massive anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte that is sweeping the country since he assumed office in June 2016.

ReGenUC's insight:

The first legal challenge to the human rights abuses carried out under President Duterte's brutal drug policies. Given the President's previous history of targetting his critics, to take this sort of action requires tremendous courage.

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The War On Drugs Has Failed. But What Should Peace Look Like? (Aus)

The War On Drugs Has Failed. But What Should Peace Look Like? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
I'm on a quest to interview some of the world’s greatest minds to imagine what a post-war-on-drugs world might look like in our own country.
ReGenUC's insight:

Chris Raine interviews philosopher AC Grayling on some of the contradictions within current drug policy frameworks and the need for drug law reform.

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