Over the past half-century, the meaning of “the recovery community” has undergone considerable changes. First used as an umbrella term to embrace local members of AA, the term was gradually extended to embrace members of Al-Anon and Alateen, members of other Twelve-Step fellowships, and then professional and lay allies of AA and related groups. The term was further stretched through the rise and dispersion of secular and religious alternatives to AA and the phenomenon of “dual citizenship in recovery”—individuals concurrently participating in Twelve Step and alternative recovery mutual aid groups.
William White responds to a recent article by Parkman and Lloyd and considers the benefits of an 'ecumenical' approach to building recovery communities. If you're interested, our position statement (and supporting evidence) on Recovery Oriented Practice are here: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action.
Illicit marijuana use increased in states with medical marijuana laws, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.
The study reviewed 20 years of data on the impacts of medicinal cannabis legislation. The authors conclude that: 'professionals and the public should be educated on the risks of cannabis use and the benefits of treatment.' See today's related post on increased use of cannabis (rather than opioids) to manage chronic pain in the US: http://sco.lt/6QSpLl.
Maybe it's my age but I found reports of last year's Groovin the Moo music festival repulsive ("Security guards accused of mocking sick revellers" April 29, 2016 p6).
FFDLR's Bill Bush responds (it's the fourth letter) to last week's announcement that the ACT Govt will block drug checking services in the territory. See also David Caldicott's response to the Victorian Govt's similar decision: http://sco.lt/6aoOW1
Health Canada's proposal to loosen regulations on importing prescription-grade heroin to treat opioid addiction is being hailed as a crucial step to reducing fentanyl-fuelled deaths across the country.
Heroin Assisted Therapy will only ever be appropriate for a very small proportion of people who are opioid dependent (and for whom other treatment options are ineffective), but it's good to see access barriers to what can be a life-saving intervention removed.
If America wants to solve the overdose crisis, policymakers need to listen to real scientists, not so-called experts whose primary qualification is that they beat their own addiction.
Great to see public support for evidence based drug policy. We need to call out political leaders who refuse to recognise the evidence and help created an informed public debate to build support for effective (but politically unpopular) measures.
Patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery who are treated with methadone during the procedure require significantly less intravenous and oral opioids to manage postoperative pain, reports a new study published in the May issue of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
US study indicates potential impacts on development of post-operative chronic pain.
A Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court to charge the Philippine President with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the killings o
More evidence of the growing domestic opposition to President Duterte's brutal drug policies. See also recent coverage of charges being brought against police by victims' families: http://sco.lt/5YwAPh.
The man expected to run the Office of National Drug Control Policy is really into "hospital-slash-prison" drug rehab. The only problem is there's a lack of evidence it works.
Maia Szalavitz highlights some of the significant flaws in arguments for forced treatment. See also Monday's coverage on evaluation findings on the Northern Territory's mandatory alcohol treatment program (including that it had no lasting impact on the health or wellbeing of those forced into it): http://sco.lt/8Ac0uH.
In US states where medical marijuana has been legalised, people seem to be switching from other prescribed drugs to cannabis as a treatment for pain
This should be read as a companion piece to today's related post on a study of the impacts of medicinal cannabis legislation on US consumption: http://sco.lt/58lwa9. There have now been several studies indicating that people are increasingly choosing to use cannabis (rather than opioids) for chronic pain relief.
Some big news has come out of North America and it has nothing to do with Trump. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that will legalise and regulate cannabis use in Canada. This would make Canada the second country the world (after Uruguay) to legalise adult use of cannabis. This comes off the heels of some ground-breaking reforms that took place in November last year when California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalise and regulate cannabis use, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. One in five Americans now live in a state where adult use of cannabis is legal or is in the process of being made legal. So why has the debate barely even begun in Australia?
NSW MP Mehreen Faruqi makes the case for Australian drug law reform.
Is decriminalizing drug use the better alternative to killing drug addicts?
Well, this is unexpected. Is this an indicator of the growth in domestic opposition to President Duterte's brutal drug policies? It will be interesting to see how he responds. See today's related coverage of the call for the President to be indicted for mass murder in The Hague: http://sco.lt/6jpvub
Almost one-fifth of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in a large healthcare system died during a four-year follow-up period, reports a new study.
One potential contributing factor not addressed here is the role systemic barriers to people having access to opioid replacement therapies, which have been consistently shown to reduce mortality amongst people who are opioid dependent.
A new plan to legalise cannabis has launched in Switzerland, marking the country's second push for the change within a decade. The new initiative proposes that both cannabis production and consumption for personal use should be made legal. It recommends that its sale should be regulated and taxed by the government. A referendum in 2008 aiming to make the drug legal for everyone failed, but those proposals did not suggest the government would be able to collect tax on it.
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