Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Homelessness: The Nightmare of Kuala Lumpur

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Kay Walker's comment, February 5, 2013 4:53 PM
I had no idea Kuala Lumpur had any homelessness as it's always portrayed as a very regulated and prosperous place in the media in Australia.
Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
Topics being covered in the media that are of interest to us
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What it’s like living with an alcoholic parent (Aus)

What it’s like living with an alcoholic parent (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SOPHIE*, 20, grew up in NSW with a mum who was an alcoholic and a dad who struggled to cope.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a good example of reporting: get out of the way and let people tell their story. There's no editorialising here, just a frank and powerful account of the enduring impacts of a parent's alcohol dependence on a child. 

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Vodka Cruiser Instagram ad poured down the drain after Cancer Council complaint (Vic)

Vodka Cruiser Instagram ad poured down the drain after Cancer Council complaint (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Liquor brands will think twice about using models with "youthful looks" in their advertising.
ReGenUC's insight:

Yet another example of the alcohol industry targetting children in its marketing. Good on Cancer Council Victoria for calling out this sort of unethical practice.

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Two children pricked by syringe at Broadmeadows supermarket (Vic)

Two children pricked by syringe at Broadmeadows supermarket (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two children have been pricked by hidden syringe needles in a Broadmeadows supermarket in act being described by police as "malicious."
ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the hyperventilating coverage, it's important to remember that the most likely negative outcome from a needle stick injury in public (other than any psychological distress) is a bacterial infection.  See one of our previous responses to such incidents: http://www.regen.org.au/more-news/344-regen-calls-for-calm-in-response-to-sunbury-needlestick-outrage-26-03-13?highlight=WyJzdW5idXJ5Il0=

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Ontario study raises red flags over methadone distribution

Ontario study raises red flags over methadone distribution | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Researchers express concern over lack of counselling and other physician support at clinics offering opioid-addiction treatment
ReGenUC's insight:

The study highlights problems with the number of doctors prescribing methadone (a very familiar problem for those with any knowledge of the Victorian AOD sector) and the flawed service model in which people are provided pharmacotherapies, but no other support. See our position statement and supporting evidence on Opioid Replacement Therapy for our take on the importance of providing people with a range of supports to support sustainable, long term recovery from opioid dependence: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action.

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Fear of arrest stops some needed calls to 911 after opioid overdose is administered (USA)

Fear of arrest stops some needed calls to 911 after opioid overdose is administered (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Fear of being arrested still undercuts an Indiana law that shields anyone who administers naloxone from criminal charges, according to a survey conducted by two researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Naloxone is a lifesaving emergency antidote for opioid overdose.
ReGenUC's insight:

US study highlights the impacts of a law-enforcement led response to illicit drug use. The lack of national 'good samaritan' laws (as they are called in the states that have adopted them) that protect people calling emergency services from prosecution significantly increases the risk of overdose fatalities.

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Gaps in drug treatment as abuse rates on rise (Ireland)

Gaps in drug treatment as abuse rates on rise (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A lack of vital drug treatment services are leaving some areas of the country at risk of being abuse 'blackspots'.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related posts on the new Irish drug strategy: http://sco.lt/4yHjdZ

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Let workers vape in office, Government plan suggests (UK)

Let workers vape in office, Government plan suggests (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Vaping should be allowed in offices and enclosed public spaces in order to “maximise” access to safer alternatives to smoking, a Government plan says.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the Govt's plan for a smokefree generation by 2030: http://sco.lt/4ozJvl. You can see the new UK drug strategy here: http://sco.lt/4mYzVR

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Nova Scotia to offer free naloxone kits to the public as part of opioid response

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ReGenUC's insight:

For many of those most at risk of experiencing or witnessing opioid overdoses, cost is a significant barrier to the accessibility of naloxone. It's good to see local authorities removing this barrier and increasing the capacity of community members to save lives.

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The Myth Of The Place Where The War On Drugs Worked (Sweden)

The Myth Of The Place Where The War On Drugs Worked (Sweden) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Over the past three years, I have been publicly making the case for moving beyond the war on drugs in places as disparate as Baltimore, Medillin, Sydney, Paris and Buenos Aires – and everywhere, I ask the defenders of continuing the drug war one question. Can you name one place, anywhere in the world, where … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

Johann Hari reflects on the real impacts of Sweden's 'zero tolerance' drug policies, often cited by 'tough on drugs' proponents as evidence for various types of 'crackdown'. 

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'These people matter': The government's new 'compassionate' plan to tackle drug addiction (Ireland)

'These people matter': The government's new 'compassionate' plan to tackle drug addiction (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The new drug strategy aims to develop a health-led approach to drug and alcohol addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's post describing the new drug strategy as a 'missed opportunity': http://sco.lt/7lvHIP 

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Alcohol industry isn’t just funding studies; it’s also funding journalism to sway public opinion (USA)

Just four days ago [on 3 July], the New York Times reported, “Is Alcohol Good for You? An Industry-Backed Study Seeks Answers.” Because it was the day before the July 4th holiday, the story may not have received the attention it deserves, so we shine a spotlight on it here.

ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the alcohol industry seeking to control public debate of the impacts of its products on public health. With journalistic standards increasingly under threat (as media organisations cut costs and chase advertising revenue), mainstream media publications are increasingly prone to manipulation by vested interests. See our recent comment on the growth in uncritical coverage of for-profit AOD services in Aus media: http://sco.lt/5aHsnJ

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Portuguese drugs strategy - Cheaper to treat addicts than jail them

Portuguese drugs strategy - Cheaper to treat addicts than jail them | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

THE launch yesterday of the latest National Drugs Strategy represents the first serious attempt by an Irish government to take illegal drug use away from the criminal justice system and treat it as a health issue. It is also the first time that alcohol has been included as part of the strategy.

ReGenUC's insight:

This article is actually about the new Irish Drug Strategy and the need to ensure that it is supported with appropriate resources to support its implementation. You can see the Irish strategy here: http://sco.lt/6SKAYz

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Calls for medicine policy rethink as hospitals ration 'critical' painkiller fentanyl (Aus)

Calls for medicine policy rethink as hospitals ration 'critical' painkiller fentanyl (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australian hospitals are being forced to ration a painkiller used in millions of operations each year.
ReGenUC's insight:

Meanwhile, illicit fentanyl (which is relatively easy to synthesise) is flooding global markets.  It's supply is so plentiful that it is becoming the default ingredient in drugs being sold as a wide variety of products, from heroin to cocaine and is driving the rapid increase in overdose deaths in North America and Europe.

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'Don't bring kids into it': Scientologists target Victorian schools with drug claims

'Don't bring kids into it': Scientologists target Victorian schools with drug claims | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Scientology group sends propaganda DVD about psychiatrists and antidepressants to Victorian schools.
ReGenUC's insight:

Just as we would warn people against considering use of Scientology's drug treatment service Narconon (recently rebranded as Get Off Drugs Naturally: http://www.getoffdrugs.com.au/ following extensive negative publicity for its dangerous practices), we would also suggest anyone experiencing mental health concerns seek advice from a medical professional, not an obscure committee that markets itself by spamming schools.

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Nearly half of WA sporting teams have at least one 'unhealthy' sponsor

Nearly half of WA sporting teams have at least one 'unhealthy' sponsor | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new study reveals almost half of WA sporting clubs have at least one unhealthy sponsor supporting them, with Aussie Rules footy the biggest culprit.
ReGenUC's insight:

A good indicator of how deep the hooks of the alcohol, fast food and gambling industries are set into our communities.

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Former drug kingpin says welfare card could break cycle in meth battle (WA)

Former drug kingpin says welfare card could break cycle in meth battle (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
From dealing $40,000 a day of meth to lobbying the government for solutions to the 'most evil drug to ever hit the face of the planet', Peter Lyndon-James is not your typical Christian chaplain.
ReGenUC's insight:

As with other advocates for quarantining of welfare payments, Mr Lyndon-James ignores the evidence that such measures are not effective in preventing use and contribute to increased harm within communities as people find other ways to source or pay for drugs. See this recent coverage of the welfare card's impacts in WA: http://sco.lt/680Xa5.

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Uruguay pharmacies start selling marijuana

Pharmacies in Uruguay started selling marijuana Wednesday under a four-year-old law that has made the small South American country the first in the world to legalize pot from production to sale.
ReGenUC's insight:

See related coverage of the implementation of Uruguay's regulated cannabis market: http://sco.lt/9AOce9

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Forum discusses substance abuse in the region (Vic)

Forum discusses substance abuse in the region (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"These problems have attracted a lot of interest from within the Shire."
ReGenUC's insight:

Hopefully, the forum will also consider what local factors are contributing to increased AOD use in Stawell (and other regional communities). If you don't address the cause, you'll never stop dealing with the effects.

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How the country that invented many of the world's drugs turned against them – until now (Germany)

How the country that invented many of the world's drugs turned against them – until now (Germany) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cocaine in 1859; heroin in 1888 – and a ban introduced in 1929. Now, however, times are changing – and more compassionate policies are taking root.
ReGenUC's insight:

Johann Hari on the work being done in Germany to change the country's drug policy. See yesterday's post where he considers the impacts of Sweden's 'zero tolerance' policy framework: http://sco.lt/7fl4Nd

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England 'on track' to stamp out smoking

England 'on track' to stamp out smoking | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Government sets out ambitious target to get remaining smokers to quit.
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt aims for generation of non-smokers by 2030.

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Needle exchange faces backlash (WA)

Needle exchange faces backlash (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
BUSINESS owners and ratepayers in Perths south-east are concerned a needle exchange program is fuelling anti-social behaviour.
ReGenUC's insight:

A good example of an outreach harm reduction service, going to where there is established need. Sounds like there might need to be a focus on appropriate disposal of used equipment though. It doesn't sound like there's much of a story here. As the WA AIDS Council said, they've been running the service in that location for eight years.

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New Home Office drug strategy, same old rhetoric (UK)

New Home Office drug strategy, same old rhetoric (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Home Office issued its last drug strategy seven years ago. A lot has changed in that time, except the Home Office's ability to ignore the advice of experts.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ian Hamilton & Harry Sumnall offer a pretty damning indictment of the new UK drug strategy: 'There is little point recognising that the UK has a problem with drugs, and that a strategy is needed to deal with it, and then ignore international evidence that provides solutions. The real crime is claiming to be in favour of evidence-based solutions while ignoring the evidence, including that of the government’s own expert advisers.' You can see the strategy here: http://sco.lt/4mYzVR

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Possession of small quantities of drugs could be decriminalised (Ireland)

Possession of small quantities of drugs could be decriminalised (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
National Drugs Strategy will govern approach to substance abuse through 2020
ReGenUC's insight:

Could the new drug strategy lead to decriminalisation? It would be a big step forward for Irish drug policy. See the new strategy (and other related coverage) here: http://sco.lt/6SKAYz

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Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent (USA)

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, whic
ReGenUC's insight:

Just to be clear, this is about teams of doctors, not patients. It's about moving from a focus on changing individual prescribing practice to a group-based model. 

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The Spice Response (UK)

The Spice Response (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Friday 14th July was a big day for UK’s drug policy strategists. Many of our best and brightest, including treatment service providers, mental health practitioners, police and probation officers, gathered at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for a conference called “Responding to ‘Spice’: Developing an Integrated Response.” 

ReGenUC's insight:

Rosalind Stone reports on conference proceedings and the implications for UK drug policy in developing an effective response to legal-high related harm.

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