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.
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.
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
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.
Bill English says young Kiwis can't get jobs due to drug use, but that's not true, NZ Drug Foundation says.
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.
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
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Everything from cocaine to heroin is being cut with fentanyl.
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.
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.
More signs of turbulence ahead for US drug policy.
SINCE his election to power last July, The Punisher has led a brutal war against users and dealers of illegal narcotics in the Philippines.
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.
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.
Marija Poljic makes the 'pro-freedom' argument in support of drug checking services.
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.
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.
An 8% rise in homelessness has fueled speculation over whether legalization boosted the numbers of displaced in America’s unofficial legal cannabis capital
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?
Children are exposed to "unacceptably high levels" of alcohol marketing through sports sponsorship and public adverts, according to a report.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.'
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
Reflecting similar concerns about their use in Aus.
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