Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Amateur athletes 'could be taking dangerous fitness supplies' (UK)

Amateur athletes 'could be taking dangerous fitness supplies' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Anti-doping experts warn dangerous steroids or stimulants are increasingly found in seemingly safe sports supplements
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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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Public drug warning system would save lives, forensic institute says (Vic)

Public drug warning system would save lives, forensic institute says (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New synthetic drugs are hitting the streets every day but crucial information about dangerous substances is trickling through to doctors and the public
ReGenUC's insight:

The Victorian Institute for Forensic Medicine calls for the establishment of an early warning system to alert the public to the risks associated with emerging synthetic drugs. So does the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, the YDHF and VAADA.

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WA State Government to 'fast-track' medicinal cannabis prescriptions

WA State Government to 'fast-track' medicinal cannabis prescriptions | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The State Government will 'fast track' the availability of medicinal cannabis for people in pain, the terminally ill and those suffering a chronic condition.
ReGenUC's insight:

While it's good to see the McGowan Govt addressing systemic access barriers on medicinal cannabis, this approach is in stark contrast to the Govt's rhetoric (and policy) on methamphetamine. It's not a contradiction that is limited to WA, but one that underpins the general shift in Australian cannabis policy.

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Seven Countries That Beat an Overdose Crisis

Seven Countries That Beat an Overdose Crisis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
While other countries are succeeding in reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths, U.S. rates are rising. 
ReGenUC's insight:

An overview of successful international strategies to treat heroin dependence and prevent overdose deaths, including MSICs, heroin assisted therapy and housing-first programs. However, the one common factor in all successful responses is cheap and accessible pharmacotherapy. While there are still many access problems with pharmacotherapy policy and practice in Australia, we are certainly ahead of much of the world when it comes to providing people with the base of stability they need to be able to engage with further treatment, work and family responsibilities and other meaningful contributors to sustainable recovery. If you're interested, check out our position statement (and supporting evidence) on Opioid Replacement Therapy: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action

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Do we need to start being creative in the pursuit of drug law reform? (UK)

Do we need to start being creative in the pursuit of drug law reform? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In a post-truth era, can we rely on evidence to persuade the public to support drug law reforms? Evidence based drug policy has long been a mantra for organisations like us when calling for change. Often though, evidence which appears unequivocal to drug reformers, fails to resonate beyond the tribe and persuade skeptics about the …
ReGenUC's insight:

Josh Mendelsohn considers the advocacy options for when evidence alone is not enough. We need to be able to tell stories, to reduce stigma and promote understanding. This will help increase receptiveness to evidence based proposals.

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What do prisoners think of drug treatment? (UK)

What do prisoners think of drug treatment? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prisoners have very mixed experiences of drug treatment, particularly the prescribing of substitute medications such as methadone or buprenorphine (AKA Subutex)
ReGenUC's insight:

Russell Webster considers changes in pharmacotherapy treatment within UK prisons and consumer experiences of treatment.

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'The pill mill of America': where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones

'The pill mill of America': where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
For six days in Portsmouth, Ohio, I keep trying to fool myself. Eventually, I am unable to just watch and listen
ReGenUC's insight:

Chris Arnade on the intersection of poverty, drug dependence and parenting. It's a powerful reminder that AOD use does not occur in isolation and the impacts on children, families and communities.

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Reality Check: Could legalising cannabis raise £1bn? (UK)

Reality Check: Could legalising cannabis raise £1bn? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Liberal Democrat manifesto says legalising cannabis would raise £1bn for the Exchequer.
ReGenUC's insight:

Based on US data, yes.

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Warning pregnant women over dangers of alcohol goes too far, experts say (UK)

Warning pregnant women over dangers of alcohol goes too far, experts say (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Experts claim some mothers-to-be may even be having an abortion due to worry about damaging their unborn child by drinking alcohol
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the challenges of effective public health messaging that informs about FASD risks, without causing unintended harm to mothers or their babies.

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Pill testers are no match for illicit drug market (Aus)

Pill testers are no match for illicit drug market (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

If sports doping feels like a runaway train, then the ever-changing market for illicit drugs used by everyday Australians moves at the speed of light.

Yet, a well-meaning but deluded band of activists want us to pin our hopes on rudimentary DIY pill-testing kits to counter a surge in drug-related deaths and overdoses.

ReGenUC's insight:

'Caffeine fuelled' Belinda Seeney (check her Twitter profile) fundamentally misrepresents evidence based harm reduction advocacy around pill testing at music festivals. See a couple of the rebuttals of this sort of uninformed coverage for AOD Media Watch: http://aodmediawatch.com.au/pill-testing-isnt-a-silver-bullet-but-it-will-save-lives/, http://aodmediawatch.com.au/fact-check-is-it-not-practical-to-conduct-on-the-spot-drug-tests-safely-and-quickly/

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Drug addict receives amputations after dealer put plastic pebbles in batch (Aus)

Drug addict receives amputations after dealer put plastic pebbles in batch (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

An Adelaide woman's frightening years of drug addiction are quickly evident to others when they see the impact to her right hand.

ReGenUC's insight:

Blocked capillaries as a result of injecting particulate matter is a common risk for people injecting illicit drugs. Images like this one are an important reminder of the importance of practical harm reduction measures to prevent this sort of damage.

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Welfare and drug dependency: Why tough love won’t help

Welfare and drug dependency: Why tough love won’t help | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Punishing drug dependency won’t cure it, it’ll make things worse says Nicole Lee. She explains why the government’s new proposal is unlikely to succeed in its goals.

ReGenUC's insight:

Nicole Lee highlights some of the major flaws in the Turnbull Govt's proposed drug testing measures, including the fact that many of the people who would test positive are unlikely to be drug dependent, or in need of treatment. See also Judith Ireland's piece on the lack of genuine reasons for the Govt's welfare 'crackdown': http://sco.lt/6HAOdl.

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Australia should stop beefing up its steroid laws – that won't help users

Australia should stop beefing up its steroid laws – that won't help users | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There is an urgent need to reconsider steroid use as a public health issue as opposed to a criminal justice concern.
ReGenUC's insight:

Katinka van de Ven and Renee Zahnow highlight the ineffectiveness of 'tough on...' approaches with steroid use and the need for a greater investment in harm reduction measures.

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Women-only overdose prevention site opens in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Women-only overdose prevention site opens in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A first of it's kind women-only overdose prevention site has opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see the creation of safe spaces for women to remove potential service access barriers.

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Welfare card increases crime (WA)

Welfare card increases crime (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE cashless welfare card championed by mining billionaire Andrew Twiggy Forrest has done nothing to reduce methamphetamine use and instead backfired by leading to a crime surge, prostitution and rorting, WAs leading Aboriginal health group warns.
ReGenUC's insight:

The cashless card that quarantine's a proportion of people's welfare payments has been trumpeted as a great success by the Turnbull Govt and is a central plank of its proposed welfare reforms. These revelations should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with disadvantage and AOD dependence. See our response to the Govt's proposed drug testing of welfare recipients: http://sco.lt/5LlsrR

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Britain follows Australia's lead on plain packaging for tobacco

Britain follows Australia's lead on plain packaging for tobacco | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Britain has introduced tough new rules which mean cigarettes and tobacco products must be sold in plain green packets and feature prominent, graphi
ReGenUC's insight:

The new measures took effect on Saturday.

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It's time for a mature and apolitical welfare debate (Aus)

It's time for a mature and apolitical welfare debate (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Discussions of our welfare system are riddled with inaccuracies and 'fake news'.
ReGenUC's insight:

Former Liberal leader John Hewson calls out the hypocrisy of the latest Federal welfare 'crackdown' and says, 'Rather than being beaten up and stigmatised, the unemployed need a holistic, interdisciplinary policy response that covers economic growth and job creation through to education, training and retraining, as well as financial support.' We hope the Turnbull Govt is listening. If you haven't seen it, here is our response to the proposed drug testing of Newstart recipients: http://sco.lt/5LlsrR.

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CA senator: There's an obvious double-standard in how America talks about drugs

CA senator: There's an obvious double-standard in how America talks about drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In 2016 Harris became the second black woman to be elected to the United States Senate.
ReGenUC's insight:

Drug policy and public debate of drug issues is never just about the drugs and their impacts. Racism, privilege and political ideology all distort the framing of the issues. Such distortions need to be regularly challenged to improve the quality of public debate and our capacity to look beyond the stereotypes.

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It's often family to the rescue during opioid ODs (USA)

It's often family to the rescue during opioid ODs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—The tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder of the importance of getting naloxone into the hands of those most likely to encounter opioid overdoses. In most cases, this is peers and family members.

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Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds (Spain)

Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds (Spain) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Researchers from Spain also find that swapping one sugary soft drink for water each day cuts risk of obesity by 15%
ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder that long-term alcohol related harm isn't just about your liver.

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‘My whole life was focused on drugs.’ Miami chef talks addiction in the industry

‘My whole life was focused on drugs.’ Miami chef talks addiction in the industry | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Danny Serfer, owner of beloved Blue Collar, Mignonette restaurants, reflects on 10 years of sobriety.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's a lot going on here. The US context needs to be kept in mind, but there's a recovery story here, in addition to the discussion of problematic patterns of AOD use within the hospitality industry. See also this local blog post about similar issues in Australia: http://theboozebaron.com/dark-side-hospitality-part-1/

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Why taking drugs to treat addiction doesn't mean you're 'still addicted' (USA)

Why taking drugs to treat addiction doesn't mean you're 'still addicted' (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
People taking methadone or buprenorphine to treat addiction are dependent on opioids, but they are not addicted, as they are often portrayed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Articles like this one are important for changing US attitudes towards pharmacotherapy. They're also an indicator of how far the US health system has to go in terms of delivering evidence based treatment.

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Recovering addicts reveal what it's really like to be hooked on ice (Aus)

Recovering addicts reveal what it's really like to be hooked on ice (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ADAM, a former FIFO construction worker from Perth, says having sex while you’re high on ice makes you act like an animal.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another great episode of 'You can't ask that', with participants providing frank and honest responses to questions about methamphetamine use. We need more such genuine discussions if we are to improve the quality of public debate and public policy.

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Queensland drug court could return, with alcohol also in the mix

Queensland drug court could return, with alcohol also in the mix | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Palaszczuk government is looking to reinstate the drug court in Queensland and considering whether to extend it to people whose offending is related to alcohol use.

ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see the return of more therapeutic responses to AOD-related offending within the Qld justice system. The drug courts were defunded by the Newman Govt in 2012.

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Bid to catch welfare cheats at odds with real story (Aus)

Bid to catch welfare cheats at odds with real story (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Plan to test dole applicants seems like the budget's wackiest measure, writes Judith Ireland.
ReGenUC's insight:

Judith Ireland on the lack of genuine reasons for the Govt's proposed 'crackdown' on welfare fraud and the PM's apparent acceptance that his social policies are an evidence free zone. See also Nicole Lee's takedown of the proposed measures: http://sco.lt/7ldmML

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Pet Rat In Vancouver Overdoses On Heroin, Saved By Narcan

Pet Rat In Vancouver Overdoses On Heroin, Saved By Narcan | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Snuggles ate some heroin, according to the woman who brought the little rodent into an overdose prevention site in Canada. Volunteers administered a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.
ReGenUC's insight:

Naloxone saves lives.

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