Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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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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How did the Daily Mail get it so wrong? The difference between sensationalist commentary and journalism (Aus)

How did the Daily Mail get it so wrong? The difference between sensationalist commentary and journalism (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Here at AOD Media Watch, we’re used to supporting our friends and colleagues in the media to a better understanding of the issues involved in drugs and drugs policy, and the impact of how these issues are reported affects public views and harms. We hope that our comments are helpful and ensure that the issue receives the honest coverage and debate it deserves.

ReGenUC's insight:

David Caldicott responds to highly inaccurate reporting of last week's safety warning about the 'fake MDMA' capsules. You can see the warning (issued by Dr Caldicott) here: http://sco.lt/5sATD7

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Alleged St Albans siege gunman Nghi Le accused of supplying lethal drug cocktail (Vic)

Alleged St Albans siege gunman Nghi Le accused of supplying lethal drug cocktail (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Five people, including the alleged St Albans siege gunman, who are accused of distributing a drug concoction that led to deaths in Melbourne will remain behin
ReGenUC's insight:

We don't usually post policing stories, but it's worth noting that this operation appears to relate to the production of the Flouroamphetamine and 25C-NBOMe combination that has been responsible for multiple overdose deaths. See last week's safety warning: http://sco.lt/5sATD7

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Bill English claims about Kiwi jobseekers using drugs 'not backed by data'

Bill English claims about Kiwi jobseekers using drugs 'not backed by data' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Bill English says young Kiwis can't get jobs due to drug use, but that's not true, NZ Drug Foundation says.
ReGenUC's insight:

The NZ Prime Minister is just the latest political leader to make such claims. In spite of the fact that drug testing of welfare recipients consistently shows that AOD use is not more of an issue (and is often less of an issue) than for the rest of the population, it remains a politically popular tactic. See our recent opinion piece in response to our own Govt's proposed welfare reforms, where we've provided some of the evidence for the ineffectiveness of such measures: http://sco.lt/8oLcOn

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Council objects to alcohol restrictions after debates (SA)

Council objects to alcohol restrictions after debates (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Almost 100 people gathered to hear the councils decision.
ReGenUC's insight:

See last week's coverage of police proposal to reduce the accessibility of alcohol in the area to reduce associated violence: http://sco.lt/8Qw6HB 

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How Children Are Casualties Of America's Opioid Crisis

How Children Are Casualties Of America's Opioid Crisis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
America is in the midst of a deadly crisis that is killing people by the thousands.
The opioid epidemic in the United States claimed more tha
ReGenUC's insight:

John DeGarmo looks at the impact of increasing removal of children from parents who are drug dependent on the US Foster Care system.

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'Open the doors': the Catholic churches hiding targets of Duterte’s drug war (Philippines)

'Open the doors': the Catholic churches hiding targets of Duterte’s drug war (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Despite the climate of fear in the Philippines, a growing number of churches have opened their network of safe houses to people at risk of being killed
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of local opposition to President Duterte's brutal policies, with the church resurrecting the idea of sanctuary to protect the vulnerable and marginalised. See today's related coverage of the President's returning police to the primary role in implementing his 'war on drugs' (http://sco.lt/4qb4xV) and his plan to target children as young as nine (http://sco.lt/6RZrQP).

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How a Private Eye cartoonist coped with his son's drug addiction (UK)

How a Private Eye cartoonist coped with his son's drug addiction (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There is a lot of guilt the former drug addict has to bear, says Paul Husband. “On a daily basis,” he explains. “The guilt gets embedded, and comes back to you at the most inopportune times. For me, it’s late at night, when I’m trying to sleep.” I ask him for some examples of the guilt. “Oh, you know, the things I stole from my parents in order to score - the videos, the DVDs, the old vinyl albums - and all the lies I told.”
ReGenUC's insight:

This looks like a nice example of respectful telling a story of the impacts of a loved one's AOD dependence on all family members and the loved one's recovery.

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Philippine president to bring police back into war on drugs

Philippine president to bring police back into war on drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he would recall some police to fight his controversial war on drugs, nearly a month after suspending the entire force from all operations in the bloody narcotics crackdown.
ReGenUC's insight:

After having only just finished criticising police as 'corrupt to the core', the president now reinstates them to do 'most' of the work continuing to implement his brutal policies. See today's related post on the President's plan to target children as young as nine in his 'war on drugs': http://sco.lt/6RZrQP.

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It's time we talk about the addiction killing more Australians than heroin and ice combined

It's time we talk about the addiction killing more Australians than heroin and ice combined | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prescription drug overdoses are causing more deaths than the road toll. But we don't hear anything about it. Awareness is key in reducing these numbers.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Hester Wilson and the ADF's Ilka Burnham-King on some of the risks associated with over prescribing and misuse of prescription opioids.

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Why Are Dealers Cutting Fentanyl into Recreational Drugs? (Canada)

Why Are Dealers Cutting Fentanyl into Recreational Drugs? (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Everything from cocaine to heroin is being cut with fentanyl.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the overdose risks associated with the prevalence of fentanyl in Canada. Cheap and relative easy to synthesise, it is reportedly being sold as a wide variety of drugs (not only heroin), leading to a significant increase in overdose fatalities amongst those who do not inject. See also our recent post on increasing US overdose deaths amongst people who use cocaine: http://sco.lt/5Zmq93

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Inmates in Irish prisons will soon have access to e-cigarettes

Inmates in Irish prisons will soon have access to e-cigarettes | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new smoking policy for the prison service is currently being finalised.
ReGenUC's insight:

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this policy as an example of the challenge e-cigarettes pose to smoking bans.

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White House expects US Justice Department to step up crackdown on recreational marijuana

White House expects US Justice Department to step up crackdown on recreational marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The US Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said, offering the Trump administration's strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal. 
ReGenUC's insight:

More signs of turbulence ahead for US drug policy.

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Forget the hangover, under-25s turn to mindful drinking (UK)

Forget the hangover, under-25s turn to mindful drinking (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Non-alcoholic drinks are taking off in pubs and bars as a new fashion for abstinence takes over among young people
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that (in spite of all the usual claims to the contrary) the kids are alright.

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The Punisher wants to extend his drug war to children as young as nine (Philippines)

The Punisher wants to extend his drug war to children as young as nine (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SINCE his election to power last July, The Punisher has led a brutal war against users and dealers of illegal narcotics in the Philippines.
ReGenUC's insight:

The latest outrage from President Duterte. This move is yet another example of the power of stigma to enable human rights abuses targetting people affected by illicit drug use. The fact that President Duterte appears to think that he can start killing children with impunity is a measure of just how little the public cares for those in the firing line. In other chilling news, see today's related coverage of President Duterte's announcement that he is returning the responsibility for implementing 'most' of his drug policies to the Police, who have been largely responsible for the more than 7,000 killings so far: http://sco.lt/4qb4xV. See also coverage of the Catholic Church providing sanctuary to those targetted: http://sco.lt/9EJKAj

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Why we shouldn't be afraid of pill testing (Aus)

There’s always a trade-off between freedom and safety, and how one’s prevalence in society is of great detriment to the other. But there’s one policy that increases both: on-site pill testing centres and programs.

ReGenUC's insight:

Marija Poljic makes the 'pro-freedom' argument in support of drug checking services.

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Liberal hopeful and City of Perth councillor gives free wine to potential voters

Liberal hopeful and City of Perth councillor gives free wine to potential voters | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A City of Perth councillor hoping to leap into state politics is under fire for handing out free bottles of wine while doorknocking in her nominated seat o
ReGenUC's insight:

Not a great look. Ironic too, given much of the campaign has been devoted to both major parties being seen to be tough on drugs (specifically methamphetamine).

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Rail drug testing: Queensland adopts national reforms

Rail drug testing: Queensland adopts national reforms | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
RAIL safety workers will now have to pass drug and alcohol testing after new rail safety laws were passed through State Parliament tonight.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the growth in workplace drug testing.

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Given the choice, patients will reach for cannabis over prescribed opioids (Canada)

Given the choice, patients will reach for cannabis over prescribed opioids (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Chronic pain sufferers and those taking mental health meds would rather turn to cannabis instead of their prescribed opioid medication, according to new research by the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria.
ReGenUC's insight:

Involving over 250 patients with conditions such as chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues, the study found that 63% reported using medicinal cannabis instead of their prescription drugs, which included opioids (to treat pain), benzodiazepines (sedatives) and anti-depressants.

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Is Colorado's homeless surge tied to marijuana legalization?

Is Colorado's homeless surge tied to marijuana legalization? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An 8% rise in homelessness has fueled speculation over whether legalization boosted the numbers of displaced in America’s unofficial legal cannabis capital
ReGenUC's insight:

This makes for an interesting discussion on the broader impacts of cannabis law reform. Has increased accessibility led to increased homelessness amongst the local population, or attracted those from other states who are more likely to experience homelessness, or a combination of both?

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Children exposed to 'unacceptably high levels' of alcohol marketing (Scotland)

Children exposed to 'unacceptably high levels' of alcohol marketing (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Children are exposed to "unacceptably high levels" of alcohol marketing through sports sponsorship and public adverts, according to a report.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Alcohol Focus Scotland report says there is 'clear evidence' that exposure to alcohol marketing contributes to an earlier initiation into alcohol consumption, with well-established impacts on child development.

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The need for more balanced media reporting (Aus)

The need for more balanced media reporting (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

To those who work in the health system, ‘ice’ (crystal methamphetamine) is but one problem among many and pales into the background of the prevailing problems of addiction and misuse of alcohol and drugs.  

ReGenUC's insight:

Ian Webster considers the recent controversy around the ABC 'Ice Wars' series as an example of the distorted presentation of AOD concerns in mainstream media and its impact on public opinion and public policy.

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Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities (Aus)

Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Smokers no longer derive a sense of identity from cigarette brands after plain packaging rule was introduced in Australia, helping them to kick the habit
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new Aus research on the impacts of plain packaging on smoking rates: 'between 2010 and 2013, the proportion of daily smokers in Australia dropped from 15.1 to 12.8 per cent – a record decline. The number of calls to quit helplines also increased by 78 per cent after the policy change.'

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Why baby boomers are hitting the bottle like never before (UK)

Why baby boomers are hitting the bottle like never before (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Disillusioned over-50s risk serious health problems because of alcohol
ReGenUC's insight:

Reflecting similar concerns in Australia and elsewhere.

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More Education, Less Indoctrination: the Improved US Approach to Drug Use

More Education, Less Indoctrination: the Improved US Approach to Drug Use | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The US government’s approach to drug education has come a long way since the days of “Just Say No”, but changes to the strategy are still needed to reduce the harms of drug use.

ReGenUC's insight:

Laura K Ann notes the changes to NIDA's D.A.R.E program since the 80s and the need for further improvement.

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Sniffer Dogs: Doing More Harm Than Good (UK)

Sniffer Dogs: Doing More Harm Than Good (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Emily Lyon, a 17-year old girl who died at the London O2 Arena last year, had collapsed from an ecstasy overdose, the inquest heard last week. She had taken a quarter of a gram on the way to the venue, and then a further quarter whilst standing in the queue, after seeing sniffer dogs and fearing they would discover the illegal drugs on her person. After complaining of feeling unwell and overheating, she was rushed to hospital and died around three hours later. A fellow Esher College student, who supplied Emily and her friends with the pills, was arrested the next
ReGenUC's insight:

Reflecting similar concerns about their use in Aus.

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