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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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More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT)

More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Early engagement with women who take drugs and drink during pregnancy and access to support and treatment that also addresses mental health problems, domestic violence and homelessness are vital.
ReGenUC's insight:

This report draws attention to the need to remove access barriers (such as those highlighted in yesterday's post: http://sco.lt/4zn281) for women who are pregnant or who have young children to relevant services. In related news construction of the 'Mother & Baby' unit at our residential withdrawal service in Ivanhoe is due to commence soon, with the unit opening in mid-2016.

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Khat ban: One year on (UK)

Khat ban: One year on (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
On the 24th of June 2014, the United Kingdom, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, passed a law to legally ban the use and importation of stimulant Khat (Miraa), naming it as a Class C drug. Khat is ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Experiences within the UK Somali community indicate mixed results for the Khat ban and highlight the need for greater support for those affected.  As we know with other drugs and other jurisdictions, simply banning a substance will not, on its own, solve the problems associated with its use and can create a new set of problems.

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Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus)

Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The work Christmas party may become an alcohol-free zone after a landmark Fair Work Commission decision.
ReGenUC's insight:

While employees do have a responsibility to behave appropriately at work events, providing 'unlimited drinks' is not responsible behaviour by employers.

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Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up

Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Joints lit up at midnight on the streets of Portland as marijuana became legal in the fourth western US state.
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Be bold on tackling ice, learn from 90s heroin crisis (Aus)

Be bold on tackling ice, learn from 90s heroin crisis (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The national taskforce set up to target the problem of ice or crystal methamphetamine is wrapping up community consultations this week and is preparing its interim report for the Federal Government. The Noffs Foundation is urging the taskforce to be bold in its approach, saying a lot can be learned from the heroin crisis of the 1990s and calling for a similar response, with regulation of the crystal meth and ice using rooms.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Matt Noffs on the need for harm reduction measures, such as a methamphetamine consumption room.

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Prisoners riot at Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall (Vic)

Prisoners riot at Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prison staff armed with shotguns are preparing to enter the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall, after a riot broke out at the jail 20 kilometres west of Melbourne.
ReGenUC's insight:

No confirmation yet of the cause, but today's developments have ocurred in the context of increased tensions since last week's smoking ban was implemented.

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Female drug users shun treatment for fear of losing children: U.N.

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Female drug users worldwide are far less likely than their male counterparts to undergo treatment due to discrimination against mothers and pregnant women and the cost of childcare, transport and treatment, t
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a significant barrier to treatment and support, with obvious consequences for the women and children affected. The stigmatisation (and growing criminalisation) of mothers who use AOD is a huge issue and one that needs to be addressed by policy makers, service providers and the wider community. The recent 'Support. Don't punish' campaign provides a clear voice for change.

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Ivy dance party closed down after alleged drug overdoses (NSW)

Ivy dance party closed down after alleged drug overdoses (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police say they shut down a dance party at The Ivy nightclub in Sydney's CBD on Sunday night after three people were treated for alleged drug overdoses at the venue.
ReGenUC's insight:

This could be a case of people who haven't taken MDMA in a while being caught out by the changes in what is being sold as ecstasy.

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Minimum alcohol pricing cuts serious crime, study reveals (Canada)

Minimum alcohol pricing cuts serious crime, study reveals (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Canadian research finds crimes against the person fell by 9% over a decade as authorities in British Columbia increased prices by 10%
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence for the effectiveness of minimum pricing in reducing alcohol related harm at a population level.

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Developing an Organisational Response to Methamphetamine

Developing an Organisational Response to Methamphetamine | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In response to increasing demand for methamphetamine treatment, ReGen has undertaken a range of measures to respond to individuals and family members.
ReGenUC's insight:

A blog post by our CEO Laurence Alvis on the work we've been doing to develop targeted treatment responses for people affected by methamphetamine use. The blog is part of the upcoming Tackling Methamphetamine conference (Early Bird registrations still available until Friday).

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Retirement funds spent on ice rehab (Vic)

Retirement funds spent on ice rehab (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Parents of ice addicts are spending their retirement funds, cashing in super and mortgaging homes to pay for their children's rehab.
ReGenUC's insight:

A timely reminder of the desperation (and vulnerability) of family members affected by a loved one's AOD dependence and of the need for greater capacity and accessibility within publicly funded treatment services. Parents should not need to put their future wellbeing at risk to get help for their children. It's worth noting that residential rehab is not the only treatment option. Friday's announcement by Minister Foley will see non-residential rehab programs (including ours in Narre Warren: http://sco.lt/5QOPbd) established around the state in the coming months: http://sco.lt/7E6yfJ.

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Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia's drinking problem on ice

Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia's drinking problem on ice | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcohol-related violence is a much bigger problem in Australia than the harms of illicit drugs but we tend to overlook the former because the latter gets more headlines.
ReGenUC's insight:
Nice piece by Sandra Jones on the power of media coverage in shaping community perceptions of risk and harm associated with different drug types.
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VAADA: Ice funding announcements – a step in the right direction (Vic)

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) today acknowledges the Government announcement on the allocations of funding associated with Victoria’s Ice Action Plan.

The Ice Action Plan released earlier this year, committed funding to a number of areas over a four year period, including:

  • $18 million to alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services
  • $3.2 million to family support services
  • $1.8 million to Needle Syringe Programs (NSP) providers
  •  $1.48 million for the development of a family drug education program; and
  • $500,000 community activities.
ReGenUC's insight:

VAADA's response to this morning's Ice Action Plan funding announcements, highlighting that they will not resolve all the barriers to treatment access in Victoria and that there is still more work to be done.

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Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT)

Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An unimpaired motorcyclist has been suspended and fined for drug-driving after tests found traces of cannabis in his system from four days earlier.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David McDonald on the need for a review of Australian drug driving laws. The distinction between current impairment and detectable presence of drugs (particularly cannabis, which is typically detectable for a month after consumption) is a common cause for criticism of the current regime.

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Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced

Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Abbott government does not believe there needs to be a federal ban of powdered alcohol, despite pleas from Victoria.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Victorian bans are in place from July 1st. In the absence of a uniform policy approach to this product, it will be interesting to see if interstate/international online sales become an issue.

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Tamper-resistant opioids will not solve opioid addiction problem, study suggests (Canada)

Governments in Canada and the United States are promoting tamper-resistant drugs, which are more difficult to crush, snort or inject, to prevent addiction and other harms. Opioid users may tamper with prescribed tablets, capsules or patches for a faster "high." However, a research group argues, tamper-resistant formulations of drugs will not solve the problems of opioid addiction and overdose.
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More than 150 cities join the global call for drug policy reform

More than 150 cities join the global call for drug policy reform | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The actions varied in size and design: from small gatherings of supporters in countries as diverse as Guinea and Kazakhstan, to larger protests in France and the USA, and a range of music events, dance displays, flash mobs and sport tournaments.
ReGenUC's insight:

IDPC's Jamie Bridge summarises the global activities for last week's "Support. Don't punish' campaign.

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Drug users mailing syringes to avoid stigma and discrimination (Aus)

Drug users mailing syringes to avoid stigma and discrimination (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia's first study into the reasons why injecting drug users are sharing syringes has found stigma and discrimination are barriers to accessing clean equipment.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Kirby Institute study highlights some of the barriers to effective harm reduction in Australia (particularly in rural and regional areas), the impact of stigma on service access and the innovative responses by people who inject drugs to support their peers, reduce harm and protect public health. See Carla Treloar's post on peer distribution: http://sco.lt/4sYGJN. 

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Peer distribution of injecting equipment (Aus)

I bet, if we asked the average Jo Blow on the street, they could not fathom the illegality of peer distribution. It is illegal in all states and territories for someone (unless they are authorised ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Great blog post from Carla Treloar on the legal barriers to effective harm reduction, with link to Kari Lancaster, Kate Seear & Carla's paper. See today's related post on the impact of stigma on access to harm reduction services and innovative responses by people who inject drugs: http://sco.lt/8dOHqr. 

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Victorian road death culprits speed, alcohol, males in late teens: report

The drug ice was a factor in only 4 per cent of culpable driving cases despite a growing prevalence in the community, with two-thirds of killer drivers speeding or alcohol-affected, a new study has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tammy Mills cites SAC data.

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Medical marijuana arrives next week in Minnesota – but smoking it is banned

Medical marijuana arrives next week in Minnesota – but smoking it is banned | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Under new rules that set the state apart from others, patients will have to stick with pills and oils, and the drug will only be sold in eight locations
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WA prison officers want full smoking ban

WA prison officers want full smoking ban | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
West Australian prison officers are calling for a full ban on smoking on jail grounds, saying the state is lagging behind the rest of the nation.
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Martin Foley, Minister for Mental Health Message to the Alcohol and Drug sector (Vic)

The Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting the alcohol and drug sector. The investments we have made through the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to support the Ice Action Plan signal just how important issues of substance abuse are, and this funding ensures that more people affected by ice and other drugs can get the help they need across Victoria. Importantly, this is a plan that also recognises we all have a role to play in tackling these issues and was developed alongside Victoria Police and health experts.

ReGenUC's insight:

Minister Foley announces review of the current Victorian treatment system to address accessibility and integration of current services. The sector reforms have brought some overdue improvements, but there is still more work to be done to ensure that Victorians can get evidence-based, co-ordinated treatment when they need it. See today's related post on the lengths families are going to get help for their loved ones: http://sco.lt/8gUoDZ.

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Crack down on ice scourge in Casey and Cardinia gets $2 million boost (Vic)

MORE than $2 million will be spent on tacking the methamphetamine problem within Casey and Cardinia as part of a $24.6 million State Government package.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of Friday's announcement of new funding for non-residential rehab programs across Victoria, including the new program we'll be running in Narre Warren (at Connections UnitingCare) from October. It's important to note that the 500 places are the statewide figure, not just for Casey & Cardinia LGAs.

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'War on drugs' needs a serious rethink (Thailand)

'War on drugs' needs a serious rethink (Thailand) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
For almost half a century, governments throughout Asia have invested millions of dollars in costly counter-narcotics strategies, and yet every year — in every Asian country — the total number of drug users and drug seizures just keeps growing.
ReGenUC's insight:

By IDPC's Ann Fordham

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