Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Indigenous offenders with addictions to rehab: report

It's a "no-brainer" that sending non-violent Aboriginal offenders with drug and alcohol problems to rehab rather than prison would cost less and bring better outcomes, an indigenous leader says.
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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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The intelligent approach is expanding options for families (Qld)

The intelligent approach is expanding options for families (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

QNADA felt the need to respond to an article in the Gold Coast Bulletin that suggested that "dumb" people with uncontrollable ice problems breeding more kids is the cause of a spike in defendants in the local Children's Court."  We argue for the expansion of treatment options for families.

ReGenUC's insight:

Nice response by QNADA (the peak body for the AOD sector in Qld) to the latest example of welfare recipient bashing that shows no understanding of the core issues. It's a particular concern that there are now two faculty members at Bond University that are making the argument that poor people don't have the same reproductive rights as the rest of the population. With this sort of sustained media coverage, it's only a matter of time before we start seeing arguments for forced sterilisations, as regularly proposed by organisations like Project Prevention (http://www.projectprevention.org/). With the Turnbull Govt already racheting up the inflammatory rhetoric (to justify punitive policy measures) on people who receive Centrelink payments, this sort of uninformed stereotyping (and gross simplification of the complex issues in play) is the last thing we need.

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Controversial Perth Naltrexone doctor supports welfare testing

"As for the people who are on Centrelink - the majority - probably more than 50 per cent are drug or alcohol dependent and that's a terrible problem."
ReGenUC's insight:

Another issue on which Dr O'Neill is at odds with the evidence (and those who are guided by it). See this week's related post on the impacts of cashless welfare cards on Aboriginal communities where they have been piloted: http://sco.lt/680Xa5. Here's our response to the Turnbull Govt's proposed drug testing of welfare recipients: http://sco.lt/5LlsrR

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“It’s About Politics And Social Engineering”: How Police Drug Tests Target The Poor

“It’s About Politics And Social Engineering”: How Police Drug Tests Target The Poor | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New data shows the drug most commonly involved in road crashes isn't even tested for by police.
ReGenUC's insight:

Osman Faruqi highlights some of the inconsistencies in drug testing policies, particularly the exclusion of benzos (most commonly implicated in accidents) and cocaine (similar level of involvement as MDMA) from roadside testing.

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Music festivals want to let revellers test drugs before taking them (UK)

Music festivals want to let revellers test drugs before taking them (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Organiser of events including Reading and Latitude hope to get support from police forces across country for radical scheme
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing The Loop's Fiona Measham on the importance of such measures to help people make informed decisions about their drug use and prevent potential harm. See today's related post on the work of The Loop and other UK harm reduction services: http://sco.lt/4jmqgr

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When mum or dad is an alcoholic (UK)

When mum or dad is an alcoholic (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
What's it like to grow up with a parent who drinks? Four women share their stories.
ReGenUC's insight:

A frank discussion of the impacts on the lives of affected children.

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'Half a glass of wine every day' increases breast cancer risk (UK)

'Half a glass of wine every day' increases breast cancer risk (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
That's what a report says - but we look at all the risks of breast cancer for women.
ReGenUC's insight:

Regular alcohol consumption one of a range of risk factors.

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New meth-testing rules pointless without regulation - critics (NZ)

New meth-testing rules pointless without regulation - critics (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New standards for methamphetamine contamination in houses are pointless if the meth testing industry itself is not regulated, the government has been told.
ReGenUC's insight:

NZ Drug Foundation's Ross Bell highlights some of the problems associated with these measures.

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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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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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Australians the biggest bong users in the world, survey finds

Australians the biggest bong users in the world, survey finds | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The fictional Will Tripp is white, employed and almost 40. His drug of choice is alcohol, but he is next most likely to smoke marijuana.
ReGenUC's insight:

2017 Global Drug Survey's Australian findings highlight the need for harm reduction education on cannabis (e.g. not mixing with tobacco) and highlight the role our geographical isolation plays in increasing risks with emerging psychoactives purchased via online markets.

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WA teen died after birthday binge drinking game

WA teen died after birthday binge drinking game | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A teenager had a fatal blood alcohol reading of 0.319 per cent after she played drinking games with her friends and family on her 18th birthday, an inquest i
ReGenUC's insight:

Initial reporting from the three-day inquest.

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Report on pubs and clubs penalty regime kept secret (NSW)

Report on pubs and clubs penalty regime kept secret (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The government has not released a review of the "three strikes" scheme despite changes coming before Parliament.
ReGenUC's insight:

Former High Court justice Ian Callinan's review of the NSW licensing system not released, but govt introduces legislation to reduce penalties for licencees.

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Fewer US teens are boozing it up

Fewer US teens are boozing it up | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—American teens are hitting the bottle less often than they did 25 years ago, new research reveals.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that (at least, when it comes to alcohol) the kids are alright. This data reflects broad patterns in Aus, UK and USA of reduced overall consumption by young people, with a corresponding concentration of alcohol related harms amongst groups sometimes referred to as 'super binge drinkers'. See today's related coverage of such harms: http://sco.lt/5J7uNt

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Meet the Woman Testing Your Drugs at This Summer's Festivals (UK)

Meet the Woman Testing Your Drugs at This Summer's Festivals (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Fiona Measham, boss at The Loop, is expanding the drugs testing service from two independent festivals to a load of major events around the UK.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece on the work of The Loop and other UK harm reduction services. See today's related post on the expanded drug checking at upcoming festivals: http://sco.lt/7h5Jw1

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Illicit drug use among U.S. workforce most prevalent in 12 years: study

Illicit drug use among U.S. workforce most prevalent in 12 years: study | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

In 2016, American workers tested positive for illicit drugs at the highest rate in 12 years, according to an annual study conducted by Quest Diagnostics.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's worth noting that the source for this story (Quest Diagnostics) is a publicly listed company with 2016 revenues of $7.5 billion: http://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/index.php?s=30664. Some scepticism of claims promoting the need for workplace testing is appropriate when they are being made by the companies that provide testing services.

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Another woman accused of drug smuggling, another hypocritical display of moral judgement (Aus)

Another woman accused of drug smuggling, another hypocritical display of moral judgement (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Salacious media coverage of Cassandra Sainsbury serves no purpose except to turn a deadly trade into cheap and nasty entertainment.
ReGenUC's insight:

A great piece by Ruby Hamad on the impact of stigma on public perception of drug related issues and the role media plays in leveraging that stigma to boost ratings/circulation.

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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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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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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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