Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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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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Pill Testing At Spilt Milk Is A Huge Win For Harm Reduction (Aus)

Pill Testing At Spilt Milk Is A Huge Win For Harm Reduction (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It is an especially historic decision when you consider how long it took us to get here.
ReGenUC's insight:

Matt Noffs and Shelley Smith consider the potential broader drug policy (and public safety) impacts of last week's ACT Govt decision to approve a pill testing pilot in November. See yesterday's related Canberra Times editorial: http://sco.lt/5oU3l3

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A quarter of cancer patients use cannabis to feel better, where it's legal (USA)

A quarter of cancer patients use cannabis to feel better, where it's legal (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Three-quarters of cancer patients would like to hear more about cannabis from their doctors.
ReGenUC's insight:

Since US states first started changing their cannabis laws a few years ago, there have been several studies that found reduced demand for prescription opioids. One obvious conclusion is that people are choosing to manage pain with a drug they see as less harmful.

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Scotland's busiest needle exchange for drug addicts forced to close amid fears over HIV outbreak

Scotland's busiest needle exchange for drug addicts forced to close amid fears over HIV outbreak | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SCOTLAND’S busiest needle exchange for injecting drug users is to be shut despite warnings that the move could “exacerbate” the worst HIV…
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the ongoing battle to ensure support for evidence based harm reduction services, Network Rail (owners of the train station where the NSP is located) demand its closure following an overdose.

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Decriminalise drugs, says Russell Brand (UK)

Russell Brand has suggested that drugs should be decriminalised and regulated as part of the battle to combat addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's plenty we disagree with in Mr Brand's framing of AOD treatment and recovery, but we're certainly on the same page here. Drug law reform would go a long way to reducing drug related harm, stigma, and barriers to seeking help. Here's some of the coverage of Prince William's recent entry into the drug policy debate: http://sco.lt/8SlEZ7. See also today's related coverage of drug policy discussion at the Labor event: http://sco.lt/5NphwH

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'Bute' more profitable than cocaine for Melbourne crime gangs

'Bute' more profitable than cocaine for Melbourne crime gangs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Please Legal
Could someone please include link to John Silvester story from Saturday on 1,4-Butanediol.
ReGenUC's insight:

Part of The Age's ongoing coverage of the importation and distribution of butanediol within illicit drug markets and the related risks to public health. You can see John Silvester's original report here (http://www.theage.com.au/comment/it-is-legal-to-import-but-illegal-to-use--the-drug-flooding-our-streets-20170816-gxxj1a.html) and the AOD Media Watch response to it: http://aodmediawatch.com.au/ghb-fuelling-the-flames-instead-of-reducing-the-harm/ 

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Reduce alcohol by a litre a year, see a 15 per cent reduction in liver cancer (Aus)

Reduce alcohol by a litre a year, see a 15 per cent reduction in liver cancer (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Reducing Australia's per-capita alcohol consumption by just one litre a year would drive a significant reduction in head, neck and liver cancer deaths.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Michael Livingstong on new CAPR research highlighting the role population level decreases in alcohol consumption would play in reducing cancer risk, particularly amongst men over 50. You can see a brief summary of the report here: http://fare.org.au/archives/87478 or the full document: http://sco.lt/955Fqb

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Ice epidemic puts Queensland child protection system under strain

Ice epidemic puts Queensland child protection system under strain | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Queensland's worsening ice epidemic is heaping pressure on the state's child safety department, with more than one-third of kids taken into care coming from parents addicted to the drug.

ReGenUC's insight:

Qld Child Protection reports 5.5% growth in numbers of reports involving methamphetamine

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How to Win a War on Drugs (USA)

How to Win a War on Drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

On a broken-down set of steps, a 37-year-old fisherman named Mario mixed heroin and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. “It’s hard to find a vein,” he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.

ReGenUC's insight:

Nicholas Kristof looks to the Portuguese drug policy model for an example of how the US should be addressing its opioid crisis.

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Grass roots response to win ice war (Aus)

The Australian Government is teaming up with key community groups across the country to tackle the scourge of ice at a grass-roots level, with the next 40 Local Drug Action Teams rolling out.
ReGenUC's insight:

Media release from Health Minister Greg Hunt on the Turnbull Govt's fuding of community organised responses to local impacts of methamphetamine use. See today's related post on the Govt's new pre-Schoolies anti-ice advertising campaign: http://sco.lt/5jbIuX

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Hope that meth 'monster' can be defeated (WA)

Hope that meth 'monster' can be defeated (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE head of WA’s new methamphetamine task force has likened the State’s ice epidemic to a “monster”, but said there are already positive signs.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's not really any detail here about the WA taskforce, but there is reference to an upcoming federal anti-methamphetamine advertising campaign in the lead up to schoolies celebrations. If the Govt's, last effort (http://www.drugs.health.gov.au/internet/drugs/publishingcp.nsf/content/home) is any guide, these new ads will be heavy on inflammatory rhetoric and light on evidence. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5jbIuX.

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Telling war stories is not good drug education (Aus)

A former crystal methamphetamine (or ‘ice’) user in Queensland announced in August 2016 that her business was talking to primary and secondary school students about her experience with the drug. Her approach involved describing to young audiences her drug use, her dependence, and her way of life that followed, including criminal acts and acts of self-harm.1 Although it may be done with good intentions, this approach is at best a waste of time and at worst could potentially increase the chance of future drug harm; not least of which because it could have prevented more useful drug prevention approaches from taking place.

ReGenUC's insight:

The ADF's Geoff Munro considers the intuitive appeal of such approaches, and their potential to do more harm than good. He also calls for evidence based practice in drug education programs.

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Vaping ban: Senate committee rejects changing e-cigarette laws (Aus)

Vaping ban: Senate committee rejects changing e-cigarette laws (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
E-cigarettes are banned in Australia and a Federal Senate inquiry recently voted to uphold that ban until further scientific research into the safety and effect of vaping can take place. But you're still likely to see people vaping.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related posts on UK support for the role of e-cigarettes in reducing tobacco related harm: http://sco.lt/5pkn4b, http://sco.lt/7iCjBZ

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Are alcohol-related disparities between LGB and heterosexual youth decreasing? (Canada)

Are alcohol-related disparities between LGB and heterosexual youth decreasing? (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

This week, as part of our Special Series on Youth Risky Behavior, the DRAM reviews a study by Jessica Fish and her colleagues examining changes in the differences in drinking behavior between heterosexual and LGB youth surveyed in 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2013.

ReGenUC's insight:

The study finds that, while overall levels of alcohol consumption by young people are decreasing, young people who are lesbian, gay and bisexual continue to drink more and earlier than their heterosexual peers.

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Health minister says Canadians need to avoid judging those addicted to opioids

Health minister says Canadians need to avoid judging those addicted to opioids | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As the opioid epidemic continues to march across the country, destroying an ever increasing number of lives, the federal health minister says people have fallen into the habit of passing judgment on those addicted to the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see a political leader speaking out against stigma and supporting evidence based policy. With the latest round of deliberately stigmatising Federal Govt anti-methamphetamine ads about to hit our screens (http://sco.lt/5jbIuX), our political leaders would do well to follow Ms Petitpas Taylor's example.

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O’Callaghan calls for Pilbara booze restrictions (WA)

O’Callaghan calls for Pilbara booze restrictions (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FORMER police commissioner Karl OCallaghan has called for sweeping restrictions on takeaway alcohol sales to be introduced across the Pilbara to help tackle what he described as the child sex abuse crisis confronting the region.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mr O'Callaghan says the McGowan Govt should move on alcohol restrictions, rather than consulting with affected communities.

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Government accused of cutting vital drug and alcohol services as £43m slashed from addiction budgets (UK)

Government accused of cutting vital drug and alcohol services as £43m slashed from addiction budgets (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Government has been accused of presiding over “staggering cuts” to vital drug and alcohol services, forcing town halls to slash £43m from addiction budgets in one year.
ReGenUC's insight:

The UK Shadow Health Secretary calls out a funding model that has resulted in cuts to AOD services by two-thirds of local authorities. See related recent coverage of the public health impacts of the funding cuts: http://sco.lt/9KE4ob

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Soft drink warning for tourists in Mexico

Soft drink warning for tourists in Mexico | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IN A place where tourists are already being warned of potentially deadly dodgy alcohol, sticking with a familiar soft drink might seem like the safe option in Mexico — but not anymore.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's unclear here whether this is a case of deliberate drink spiking or accidental contamination.

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AOD Media Watch: Correcting Mainstream Media Misinformation About Drugs (Aus)

AOD Media Watch: Correcting Mainstream Media Misinformation About Drugs (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Australian mainstream media is awash with reporting about illicit drugs and their effects. AOD Media Watch is a new media service trying to change this.
ReGenUC's insight:

Promotional piece on the AOD Media Watch project by Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

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ACT government's decision to allow a pill testing trial at Spilt Milk festival is a good one

ACT government's decision to allow a pill testing trial at Spilt Milk festival is a good one | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It is a courageous decision and not one that will be welcomed by everyone.
ReGenUC's insight:

Canberra Times editorial supporting the move announced last week to allow a pill testing pilot. Hopefully, this decision (and the research into its impacts) will help create political space for similar decisions in other jurisdictions. See last week's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6oi9Fx

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46 500 people living with AIDS (PNG)

About 46,500 people in Papua New Guinea are HIV-positive this year – an increase of nearly 10,000 in two years. Last year there were just under 3000 new infections in total, a quarter of them children and youths.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the need for harm reduction and treatment programs to protect public health in PNG.

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Harm reduction program takes 'Shot in the Dark' to help addicts (USA)

Harm reduction program takes 'Shot in the Dark' to help addicts (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Whether you call it a harm reduction program, or a clean needle exchange, it is not without controversy. But a local group is sharing their story, hoping to get more public support. 
ReGenUC's insight:

Arizona couple rely on GoFundMe donations for volunteer harm reduction program. Where is the Govt funding for such lifesaving services?

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Anti-ice ads aimed at partying school leavers  (Aus)

Anti-ice ads aimed at partying school leavers  (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ANTI-DRUG ads showing ice addicts spiralling violently out of control are targeting schoolies thinking of experimenting with party drugs during end-of-year celebrations.
ReGenUC's insight:

It sounds like the Federal Govt's new ad campaign is going to be very similar to the last one: (http://www.drugs.health.gov.au/internet/drugs/publishingcp.nsf/content/home. It's a pity that the Govt hasn't listened to the evidence of harm that such campaigns do to those already affected or most at risk of experiencing methamphetamine related harm. Here's what we had to say last time the Govt took this approach: http://sco.lt/5GQyh7. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6WQJHd

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ACT government approves free pill testing at Spilt Milk festival

ACT government approves free pill testing at Spilt Milk festival | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking Australian first is coming to Canberra in November.
ReGenUC's insight:

An important step for evidence based drug policy in Australia. See Harm Reduction Australia's media release: http://www.harmreductionaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Pill-Testing-Media-Release-Sept-2017.pdf

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Alcohol floor price in WA: Unfair impost or potential lifesaver?

Alcohol floor price in WA: Unfair impost or potential lifesaver? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Angered by the sale of cheap wine by Aldi, the WA Health Minister flags the introduction of a floor price on alcohol to stop the sale of bargain-basement booze, but how would it work and what could it achieve?
ReGenUC's insight:

A more considered look at the evidence supporting proposed minimum pricing in WA. See today's related coverage of alcohol industry claims that such measures aren't effective: http://sco.lt/8RY9DN

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Australia should start providing heroin assisted treatment

Harm Reduction Australia outlines how this intervention could greatly benefit a small subset of people who use heroin and their communities
ReGenUC's insight:

The introduction of a HAT trial was considered (and rejected) by the Howard Govt. Since then, the evidence for its effectiveness has become even more compelling.

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