Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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State shoots down Yarra safe injecting room push (Vic)

THE fight for a safe injecting room in Yarra has been dealt a fresh blow after the state government officially ruled them out of its new alcohol and drugs policy.
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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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Spate of deaths from bootleg liquor as Indonesia debates alcohol prohibition

Spate of deaths from bootleg liquor as Indonesia debates alcohol prohibition | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's an excruciating way to die. First comes nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headaches (often mistaken for normal drunkenness), followed by loss of vision
ReGenUC's insight:

Methanol poisoning is a common occurrence in Indonesia. A bill currently before parliament proposes a national ban on the production, distribution and sale of any products with more than 1% alcohol content.

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Opioid prescriptions drop for first time in two decades (USA)

Opioid prescriptions drop for first time in two decades (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—In a sign that the opioid epidemic might be waning, new data show that the number of opioid prescriptions has dropped for the first time in 20 years.
ReGenUC's insight:

New data indicates change in prescribing practice since 2013. It's important to note that this change has not yet resulted in lower overdose fatalities.

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This Is What the Future of Vaping Looks Like (USA)

This Is What the Future of Vaping Looks Like (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's a lot of hand-wringing over what the vaping industry will look like, but we already have some clues.
ReGenUC's insight:

On moves by Big Tobacco to control the future e-cigarette market.

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Critics stick needle into injecting vans (Vic)

Critics stick needle into injecting vans (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

This article was behind the News Ltd paywall in today's Herald Sun.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's a pity the paper doesn't question Drug Free Australia's and Dalgarno's assertions, which ignore the abundant evidence for the effectiveness of harm reduction measures in general, and MSICs in particular. FYI, our position statement (and supporting evidence) on the need to establish a MSIC in Melbourne is here: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action.  See some of last week's coverage here: http://sco.lt/7qnqkL, http://sco.lt/7Bvc13

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Opioids 'little benefit' to back pain (Aus)

Opioid painkillers, even at high doses, provide minimal benefit for people with low back pain, new research suggests. "People have the mistaken belief that opioids are strong pain killers," says Professor Chris Maher from The George Institute. "When you look closely at the evidence from the low back pain trials, a completely different picture emerges." 

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new Uni of Sydney findings.

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Children of Heroin Crisis Find Refuge in Grandparents’ Arms (USA)

Children of Heroin Crisis Find Refuge in Grandparents’ Arms (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Grandparents have long provided safe harbor for grandchildren for a host of reasons, but not since the crack epidemic of the 1990s, analysts say, have so many children appeared to be at risk because of parental drug addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

Grandparents becoming the primary carers for grandchildren is a common occurrence when their parents are unable to care for them due to AOD dependence. This article provides an insight into the impacts on US families.

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The teenagers who poison themselves (UK)

The teenagers who poison themselves (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of young women in the UK who are poisoning themselves is reportedly on the rise. Why do they do it?
ReGenUC's insight:

There's a common (but problematic) argument that problematic AOD use amounts to self harm. This article provides an insight into instances where self-harm is the intended outcome.

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No plain packaging for cigarettes in Ireland - yet

No plain packaging for cigarettes in Ireland - yet | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Plain packaging on tobacco products is not coming into force today as planned

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Wristband that can tell if you've been drinking wins US award

Wristband that can tell if you've been drinking wins US award | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Device helps doctors accurately measure patient’s drinking history, and not just depend on most recent tests
ReGenUC's insight:

There's been a bit of coverage about these devices. Regardless of your position on abstinence monitoring regimes, this is certainly a step up from the bulky ankle bracelets that are used in many correctional contexts.

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The Opioid Epidemic: It’s Time to Place Blame Where It Belongs (USA)

The Opioid Epidemic: It’s Time to Place Blame Where It Belongs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Allow me to place blame for our current opioid crisis and provide a roadmap for further investigation.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ronald Hirsch blames doctors for overprescribing, the pharmaceutical industry for unethical practice and Govt bodies for providing policy frameworks that allowed the 'opioid epidemic' to occur.

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Free blue VB cans are a new low for State of Origin’s partnership with alcohol (Aus)

Free blue VB cans are a new low for State of Origin’s partnership with alcohol (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Since my days proudly representing New South Wales (NSW) in the State of Origin I have become increasingly dismayed as the Blues have become ever more saturated with alcohol sponsorship. Sadly, it has become increasingly difficult to know where the game ends and alcohol advertising begins.

ReGenUC's insight:

Steve Ella calls out the NRL for allowing itself to be so out of step with community expectations on the responsible promotion of alcohol. See today's related Age editorial on the need for change in alcohol promotion in sport: http://sco.lt/63BWU5

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Breathalysers coming to public car parks (Vic)

Breathalysers coming to public car parks (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drivers will be forced to pass a breathalyser test before leaving a public car park under a state government trial starting next year.
ReGenUC's insight:

Vic Govt to introduce Swedish approach.

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We Asked Students What Drugs They Take to Study (Aus)

With exams looming around Australia, we asked college students what they take, how often, and why.
ReGenUC's insight:

Vice provides an insight into the motivations and patterns of use of nootropics (such as Modafinil and Adderall) by uni students.

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Dads' age, alcohol intake can harm a foetus (USA)

Dads' age, alcohol intake can harm a foetus (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WANT to be a dad? Watch what you drink.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the impacts of parents' alcohol intake on the development of their babies. This study links fathers' drinking to FASD.

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Where people drink the most booze and do the most drugs (USA)

Where people drink the most booze and do the most drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's a particular group of states where people are most likely to drink too much alcohol and do too many drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mapping of SAMHSA data on state's consumption.

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The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses (USA)

The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
College students who take stimulants such as Adderall to get an academic edge might be setting themselves up unknowingly to a vicious cycle of substance abuse and addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

This article doesn't use the term 'gateway drug', but it's hovering in the background. The pressures of study can contribute to the misuse of a variety of drug types (including alcohol). See our recent related post on why young people use Modafinil and other 'smart drugs': http://sco.lt/6T1qT3.

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The Rich Go To Rehab, The Poor Go To Jail (Aus)

The Rich Go To Rehab, The Poor Go To Jail (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Treatment is available, if you can afford it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Vernon White on the shortage of publicly funded treatment services in Australia and the booming market for for-profit services. See our recent release on unethical practice by for-profit providers: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/media-releases/717-regen-welcomes-the-ages-focus-on-for-profit-treatment-services-11-03-16

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Ice scourge: regional drug courts touted as possible answer in Warnambool drug fight (Vic)

Ice scourge: regional drug courts touted as possible answer in Warnambool drug fight (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One of south-west Victoria's top policemen says regional drug courts could be the key to breaking the cycle of drug use and incarceration.
ReGenUC's insight:

See also the recent announcement of the expansion of Melbourne's Drug Court: http://sco.lt/8R4LKb

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Legal high ban 'could force dealers onto the dark web' (UK)

Legal high ban 'could force dealers onto the dark web' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dealers of so-called legal highs could move to the "dark web" as a blanket ban on the drugs comes into force later this week, a senior police offic
ReGenUC's insight:

Any new drug policy measure will have unintended effects. The growth in appeal for synthetics has been driven, at least in part, by the legal (and social) sanctions applied to more established drug types. With the new legislation coming into effect in a couple of days, the extent of unintended harms will be remain to be seen. See today's related post on risk of prosecution for possession/dealing: http://sco.lt/5a84xd

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Medical students demand better training for opioid addiction (USA)

Medical students demand better training for opioid addiction (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Harvard students are teaching themselves to treat opioid addiction, as critics say most medical schools need to better prepare doctors for a deadly crisis.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see medical students taking up the challenge to inform themselves about prescribing naloxone, in spite of institutional inertia from medical schools. It's another step towards recognising naloxone prescribing as standard practice for any doctor and another chip removed from the stigmatisation of people who use opioids. If you, or someone you care about, face potential overdose risk from opioid use, we have our own naloxone program that provides people with free access to the medication and training on how to use it. If you would like find out more about the program, speak to your worker or give us a call (1800 700 514).

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Marijuana millionaires cashing in on cannabis legalisation (USA)

Marijuana millionaires cashing in on cannabis legalisation (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Jeremy Moberg has gone from illegal grower to tax-paying multi-million dollar businessman in Washington state. Lucy Rock catches up with him between meetings
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the huge profits to be made in the emerging licit cannabis industry.

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Prosecution for sharing legal highs with friends unlikely under ban (UK)

Prosecution for sharing legal highs with friends unlikely under ban (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police expect high street shops selling new psychoactive substances to close after ban, but trading could head to dark web
ReGenUC's insight:

The new legislation is due to come into effect in a couple of days.

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UK prison buzzing with drone-delivered drug trade

UK prison buzzing with drone-delivered drug trade | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Amazon has been beaten to it. According to the claims of a former con, a commercially viable drone-delivery parcel service is up and running - of all places
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the limitations of supply control measures in even the most controlled environments. Where there is demand for drugs, there will always be supply.

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Little if any heroin left in Vancouver, all fentanyl: drug advocates

Little if any heroin left in Vancouver, all fentanyl: drug advocates | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As government data tracks a spike of fentanyl across Canada, people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside say there is virtually no heroin left on the street after it has been pushed out by the cheaper and more potent fentanyl.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the growth in fentanyl use in Canada and the subsequent increased overdose risk amongst people using opioids.

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Cigarette bans and laws to apply to vaping (VIC)

Cigarette bans and laws to apply to vaping (VIC) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Vaping will be outlawed in Victoria's smoke-free spaces and e-cigarette advertising banned in shops.
ReGenUC's insight:
Govt to introduce new legislation next week to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products.
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