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Bring back banned drinkers register (NT)

THE scrapped Northern Territory banned drinkers register dramatically cut alcohol-fuelled violence when it was introduced, federal Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon says.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Getting Tough On Crime Needs A Softer Approach (Aus)

Getting Tough On Crime Needs A Softer Approach (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The current political and community discussion on prisons appears to be quite logical. Too many prisoners means building more prisons. The problem is that it doesn't solve the problem and doesn't improve community safety. In fact it achieves very little of what people think it will achieve.
ReGenUC's insight:

Harm Reduction Australia's Gino Vumbaca calls for justice reinvestment, drug law reform and investment in treatment services.

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ACT government lost opportunity to reap economic harvest from medical marijuana

ACT government lost opportunity to reap economic harvest from medical marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

 This week, the Turnbull government tabled legislation that will allow farmers to grow cannabis for medical use, and allow businesses to manufacture cannabidiol – a potentially effective painkiller – from those plants. If passed, the draft laws will ensure these suppliers meet strict licensing requirements and minimise the risk of the plants being used or sold unlawfully. In effect, the legislation will establish a regulated national market for a drug that has shown some promise in relieving chronic pain, and might also help suppress epileptic seizures and psychotic episodes.

ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Canberra Times editorial.

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Does forced drug treatment actually work? (Canada)

Why can’t we just make people go to addiction treatment? This is a question some may be asking in light of recent overdose deaths and other drug-related problems in Victoria. Is forcing people to get help an effective response to the problems caused by addiction? It turns out the evidence is murky—and the research may not even be asking the right questions.

ReGenUC's insight:

Karen Urbanoski reviews the evidence and calls for a greater focus on the social determinants of health and systemic policy change. 

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Level of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - more than triples in 20 years (USA)

Level of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - more than triples in 20 years (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana increased from 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study of seized products provides more evidence of recent rises in THC levels and drop in CBD content.

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Call to make cannabis legal for everyone (Aus)

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm has called on the government to go further than just legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes.

ReGenUC's insight:

Senator Leyonhjelm makes the argument that legalisation would be simpler and cheaper to implement than a regulatory regime for medical cannabis.

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Drink drive limit could be cut by third, ministers say (UK)

Drink drive limit could be cut by third, ministers say (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Andrew Jones, a transport minister, says that the drink drive limit could be
lowered in England and Wales is there is 'robust evidence' that it has
improved road safety in Scotland
ReGenUC's insight:

Proposal to reduce the current limit of .08 to .05, which Australia did a long time ago.

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The absorption of recovery in English drug policy

The absorption of recovery in English drug policy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In both Australia and England, there have been challenges to established ways of treating people who have problems with drugs. Treatment, it has been claimed, does not do enough to help people ‘recover’ from drug dependence. In both countries, people who run the treatment system have had to respond to this challenge. In England, this has involved ‘absorption’. 
ReGenUC's insight:

Alex Stevens highlights some of the concerns with the UK approach, including increased risk of death for people being persuaded to come off pharmacotherapies before they are ready. FYI, our updated Recovery Oriented Practice position statement is here: http://www.regen.org.au/advocacy. 

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Government won't postpone lockout laws debate (Qld)

Government won't postpone lockout laws debate (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Queensland Premier has ruled out postponing debate on the state's proposed alcohol-fuelled violence legislation in the face of resistance from the cross ...
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's post where NSW Premier Mike Baird strongly supported the Syndey lockouts from recent criticism: http://sco.lt/8vnrP7.

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Ban all smoking in food and drink venues (Vic)

Ban all smoking in food and drink venues (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Premier Daniel Andrews is dawdling with the last steps necessary for reforms on a crucial aspect of public health.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Age editorial calls on the Vic Govt to bring smoking legislation in line with other states.

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New laws to allow Canberra police to breath test without permission on private property

New laws to allow Canberra police to breath test without permission on private property | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT government has closed a loophole which may have allowed some drink drivers to evade prosecution.
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Guns, drugs and cars: Why Americans die younger

Guns, drugs and cars: Why Americans die younger | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The average American will die as many as two years sooner than if they lived in Western Europe or Japan, according to a new study.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new JAMA article. See yesterday's related posts on opioid overdoses in the US: http://sco.lt/85Z7NB, http://sco.lt/5PMhfN. 

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Indonesian bootleg alcohol kills 24 in central Java

Indonesian bootleg alcohol kills 24 in central Java | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
At least 24 people have died in recent days from drinking illegally produced alcohol in central Java, Indonesia, say police.
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Qld lockout laws to have 18-month trial

Qld lockout laws to have 18-month trial | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Queensland's opposition has again questioned whether there is enough evidence to support the government's proposed lockout laws to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence.

ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post for a link to the committee's full report: http://sco.lt/7UargH.

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Sydney's lockout laws: The for and against arguments

Sydney's lockout laws: The for and against arguments | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In the past 24 hours, Premier Mike Baird has celebrated the drop in assaults and hospital admissions brought about by NSW Government lockout laws, while ...
ReGenUC's insight:

These are not comprehensive arguments (on either side), but two people's opinions. Interesting to note the 'for' opinion refers to the need for diversification of the night time economy away from an alcohol-focussed monoculture. This is an issue that hasn't had much attention in the public debate so far. See today's related post on the fate of the proposed Qld lockouts: http://sco.lt/4sln3B. 

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Cannabis laws just the first step (Aus)

Cannabis laws just the first step (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Ben Oakley was a triathlon-fit teenager when he was struck down with a rare illness that left him wheelchair bound.

ReGenUC's insight:

Following this week's changes to medical cannabis legislation, it remains to be see what future changes will emerge within Australian drug policy. See today's related post by Gino Vumbaca: http://sco.lt/9IghZR. 

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How Legal Prescription Heroin Saved Me (Canada)

How Legal Prescription Heroin Saved Me (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One participant of a groundbreaking Vancouver health experiment tells his story.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice example of the potential impacts of prescription heroin (also known as Heroin Assisted Therapy), which has been shown to provide an effective response for the small proportion of people for whom other forms of treatment are ineffective. Interestingly, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle recently said that he would support the establishment of HAT in the city, but not a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.

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We can’t go back to before lockouts: Fulde (NSW)

Frontline staff from one of Sydney's main emergency departments say lockout laws have been an outstanding success in reducing violence, backing NSW Premier Mike Baird's vow they should stay.

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Doctors fight for Sydney lockout laws

Doctors fight for Sydney lockout laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The parents of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly have returned to the Sydney hospital where their 18-year-old son died to join emergency staff arguing to keep and even expand the state's controversial lockout laws.

ReGenUC's insight:

Doctors suggest opponents of the lockouts would change their mind if they had to confront the direct impacts of alcohol related violence.

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Lockout legislation rests on KAP's support (Qld)

Lockout legislation rests on KAP's support (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
North Queensland is shaping up as the key battleground in the Palaszczuk government's fight to get the support it needs to pass its alcohol fuelled violence ...
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Gap report 'must focus on ice problem' (SA)

Generations of Aboriginal families are being hurt by ice addiction and the federal Closing the Gap strategy will fail unless it deals with the impact the drug is having across Australia, a peak drug advisory group has warned.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing ADAC's Scott Wilson on the impacts of methamphetamine use on Aboriginal communities. You can see the Closing the Gap report here: http://sco.lt/6cQkID.

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One thing Melbourne can teach Sydney

One thing Melbourne can teach Sydney | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MELBOURNE was one of the first cities in Australia to adopt the controversial lockout laws that have seen Sydney labelled a nanny state, but they were so unpopular the Victorian Government quietly dropped them months later.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Peter Miller and FARE's Michael Thorn on just how poorly the 2008 Melbourne lockouts were implemented. A salient lesson in how not to do it.

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Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament (Aus)

Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers.
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Heroin dealers could face murder charges amid crisis in New Hampshire

Heroin dealers could face murder charges amid crisis in New Hampshire | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
State’s attorney general aims to teach police to treat fatal drug overdoses like murder scenes, but critics attack a ‘backwards punitive policy’
ReGenUC's insight:

See our recent post on the first US doctor convicted of murder because of inappropriate opioid prescribing: http://sco.lt/7a5sSP. 

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Father Files Federal Lawsuit After Son Dies from Heroin Withdrawal in DuPage County Jail (USA)

Father Files Federal Lawsuit After Son Dies from Heroin Withdrawal in DuPage County Jail (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Naperville, IL - The DuPage County man says jailers should have known his son was exhibiting signs of a heroin withdrawal, according to the lawsuit.
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Lockout laws: Mike Baird defends laws as 'independent' review approaches (NSW)

Lockout laws: Mike Baird defends laws as 'independent' review approaches (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The NSW Premier has made no secret of his opinion as lockout laws go to review.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see the Premier standing by the policy in the face of recent public criticism:

"The main complaints seem to be that you can't drink till dawn any more and you can't impulse-buy a bottle of white after 10pm," Mr Baird wrote, in a reference to recent criticism that claims the laws depress Sydney's nightlife and undercut its claims to be a global city.

"I understand that this presents an inconvenience. Some say this makes us an international embarrassment.

"Except, assaults are down by 42.2 per cent.

"And there is nothing embarrassing about that."


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