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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Ineffective drug dogs could cost hundreds of thousands a year, Greens say (NSW)

Ineffective drug dogs could cost hundreds of thousands a year, Greens say (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cost of three dogs at a music festival would be $6,000 an hour – yet just 1.7% of people searched are charged with dealing
ReGenUC's insight:

NSW Greens make the economic argument for ending the use of sniffer dogs at festivals. There are many more useful ways to fund reductions in illicit drug harm at such events, pill testing being the most obvious one.

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Interview: Professor Simon Lenton (Aus) - video

Interview: Professor Simon Lenton (Aus) - video | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Emma Alberici speaks to Professor Simon Lenton, Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, about the drug being used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
ReGenUC's insight:

Recent Lateline interview highlights the importance of peer distribution of naloxone, the need for regulatory changes to overcome current barriers and the challenges posed by the emergence of fentanyl. You can also listen to this podcast of Marianne Jauncey (from Sydney's MSIC) discussing the same topic: https://podtail.com/podcast/australian-prescriber-podcast/episode-5-community-use-of-naloxone-for-opioi/

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Medicinal cannabis bill passes Senate (Aus)

Medicinal cannabis bill passes Senate (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MEDICAL cannabis could soon be easier to get for terminally-ill Australians after passing a first hurdle in Parliament today.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Greens bill will allow easier access for terminally ill patients. It now goes to the lower house.

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Dan Murphy’s store could be allowed in Darwin if NT Government adopts alcohol reform recommendations

Dan Murphy’s store could be allowed in Darwin if NT Government adopts alcohol reform recommendations | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE NT Government would introduce a floor price on cheap grog, cap the number of take away liquor outlets and lift its controversial Dan Murphy’s ban under the most significant alcohol reforms in recent history.
ReGenUC's insight:

...'But if cabinet accepts review’s recommendations, it could put it on a collision course with the powerful alcohol lobby.' You can see more on the recommendations here: http://www.news.com.au/national/northern-territory/sweeping-booze-changes-for-nt/news-story/b9d055a8b602ec601ea66b4d772ca171

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Growing Support for a Supervised Injection Facility in Melbourne

Growing Support for a Supervised Injection Facility in Melbourne | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of heroin-related deaths in Australia has risen to levels not witnessed since the 1990s, prompting calls for a supervised injection facility (SIF) to be int
ReGenUC's insight:

International coverage of the #RichmondMSIC campaign.

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Trump poised to declare national emergency on drugs (USA)

Trump poised to declare national emergency on drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has promised to officially declare a national emergency over opioid use, after a White House Commission warned of prescription drugs creating a “September 11th every three weeks”.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not appointing a chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry as his new 'drug czar' would be a good start, but there is yet no clear picture of how President Trump proposes to respond, once he makes his declaration. Hopefully, his response will include a long overdue commitment to harm reduction initiatives, increased (and affordable) treatment programs and removal of barriers to more widespread uptake of evidence based interventions, like pharmacotherapies. See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5prwTh

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'How I got my children back' (UK)

'How I got my children back' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
When Archie was taken into care, the Family Drug and Alcohol Court sought to reunite him with his father.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice example of the role courts can play in supporting recovery and family reunification.

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Meth and the rise of an industry (NZ)

Meth and the rise of an industry (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
OPINION: Here's a wee task for you. While you're sipping that first morning coffee or flicking through the news, google 'meth testing in New Zealand'.
ReGenUC's insight:

Stuff editorial on uninformed and fear-driven responses to methamphetamine related harm in NZ, and the benefits for those willing to exploit them. Our favourite line: 'Fear is a powerful stimulant; it can provoke dramatic physiological responses.'

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Drug-testing welfare recipients will stigmatise poor, UN official says (Aus)

Drug-testing welfare recipients will stigmatise poor, UN official says (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Special rapporteur questions why wealthy people ‘who spend far more on drugs’ aren’t subjected to same measure
ReGenUC's insight:

As the Turnbull Govt's drug testing measures come up for debate, more recognition of their likely impacts on some of the most vulnerable people within our communities. Hopefully the NXT senators will block the Govt's legislation when it comes to a vote.

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Spilt Milk pill testing trial: Greens leader Richard Di Natale seeks answers

Spilt Milk pill testing trial: Greens leader Richard Di Natale seeks answers | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Richard Di Natale has sought answers over the a ditched pill-testing trial at Canberra's Spilt Milk.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today’s related post by David Caldicott on the politics behind the last minute obstruction of the pill testing pilot. See today's related account from David Caldicott: http://sco.lt/8cEaAL

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Study reveals risk factors for substance use problems, as well as resilience (USA)

A new study explores factors increasing the risk for substance use problems among African-American/Black and Latino adults residing in a high-risk urban community, as well as patterns of resilience. It reveals that serious risk factors are highly prevalent and strongly associated with substance misuse; however, a substantial proportion could be characterized as resilient, and evidenced substance use problems at rates comparable to the general U.S. population.
ReGenUC's insight:

US study finds homelessness and incarceration to be key risk factors, education and social connectedness to be key resilience factors.  Lack of social connectedness was identified as a particular risk factor.

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A Spilt Milk Pill Tester Explains How Things Went So Wrong (ACT)

A Spilt Milk Pill Tester Explains How Things Went So Wrong (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Spilt Milk was to be the first music festival in Australia to offer professional pill testing. Then everything went to shit.
ReGenUC's insight:

David Caldicott examines the politicking behind the last minute obstruction of the pill testing pilot by the NCA. See today's related coverage of the Greens' response to the obstruction: http://sco.lt/9BqxwP

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The families on the front line of Australia's ice epidemic

The families on the front line of Australia's ice epidemic | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
While the ice problem is nothing new in Australia, our investigation found that every single day thousand
ReGenUC's insight:

This story gets the usual sensationalist ACA treatment, but it does at least refer to various patterns of use, the various reasons people use it and provide a realistic description of recovery. 

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Weekly Dose: from laughing parties to whipped cream, nitrous oxide's on the rise as a recreational drug (Aus)

"Nangs" are cheap, legal and easy to get - but like most drugs, they are also highly dangerous.
ReGenUC's insight:

While there has been a recent upsurge in media interest in nitrous use (and has focussed on extreme examples of harm: http://sco.lt/6pOUvB), Julaine Allan provides a more considered perspective. See also today's related piece on the nangs coverage citing Stephen Bright and Ash Blackwell: http://sco.lt/57TpgX. 

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Nangs scare campaign a gasbag: experts on nitrous oxide (Aus)

Nangs scare campaign a gasbag: experts on nitrous oxide (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
No drug is good for you. But is inhaling nitrous oxide really worth a scare campaign? Experts weigh in on the dangers of nangs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Stephen Bright and SSDP's Ash Blackwell on the recent surge in media focus on nitrous oxide use.

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Drug, drink-driving down in Victoria

Fewer Victorian motorists have been caught while affected by alcohol or illegal drugs in the past financial year despite an increase in testing, police data shows.
ReGenUC's insight:

More testing but fewer positive results. That's a good public safety outcome.

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Life-Saving Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Laws Pass Parliament (Vic)

Life-Saving Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Laws Pass Parliament (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Andrews Labor Government’s state-of-the-art real-time prescription monitoring system will roll-out across Victoria in 2018, as new laws passed the Victorian Parliament today.

ReGenUC's insight:

Govt media release on the passing of the 'Safe Script' scheme. While this measure does have the potential to reduce harm associated with prescription drug use, we'll need to carefully monitor for unintended impacts e.g. people shifting to illicit drug use as licit supply becomes more restricted. Such impacts have been a significant factor in the escalation of America's opioid crisis, as people turned from prescription drugs to heroin.

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Welfare drug testing trials head to Senate (Aus)

The federal government faces an uphill battle as the Senate prepares to debate its controversial plans to drug test welfare recipients.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's critique of the Govt's proposed measures by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights: http://sco.lt/8eo1Kr

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DOJ Admits It Isn't Legal To Keep Prosecuting Washington State Medical Marijuana Users

DOJ Admits It Isn't Legal To Keep Prosecuting Washington State Medical Marijuana Users | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The so-called Kettle Falls Five were first charged in 2012.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the complexities of the state-led changes to US cannabis policy.

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Even moderate drinking by parents can upset children – study (UK)

Even moderate drinking by parents can upset children – study (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Children who see parent tipsy or drunk are less likely to see them as a positive role model, report says
ReGenUC's insight:

With some obvious implications for parenting and our consumption of alcohol around children.

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Rice University researcher explains why prescription heroin could fight the opioid epidemic (USA)

Rice University researcher explains why prescription heroin could fight the opioid epidemic (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

It may seem counterintuitive, but one Rice University academic says prescription heroin could be a solution to the ongoing opioid epidemic.

ReGenUC's insight:

Interview with Katherine Neill Harris on the benefits of HAT. What chances such evidence based interventions will be included in President Trump's 'national emergency' response? See today's related post: http://sco.lt/6ptoMj

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Student who inhaled 360 laughing gas canisters in a week may never walk again (Aus)

Student who inhaled 360 laughing gas canisters in a week may never walk again (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An Australian university student may never walk again after she inhaled 360 canisters of nitrous oxide in one week. The woman, aged in her 20s, has damaged nerves i
ReGenUC's insight:

Follow-up coverage on this week's ABC story. You can see the full 7.30 report story here: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/doctors-warn-of-dangerous-rise-in-use-of-nangs/9056018

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How one woman's drug addiction cost her everything (USA)

How one woman's drug addiction cost her everything (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TWO days before last Christmas, Beth Stephens was full of plans and promise.
ReGenUC's insight:

The headline gets it wrong. This is a story about the various factors that contribute to AOD dependence (some of these will be very familiar to #MeToo posters) and the long-term struggle that is recovery. Ms Stephens wasn't killed by her opioid dependence. She was killed by fentanyl and by drug policy. If she had injected in a supervised injecting facility, she would still be alive today. Because there was no-one to administer the naloxone that she was carrying with her, she died trying to stay alive.

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Trump says he'll declare the US opioid crisis a national emergency 'next week'

Trump says he'll declare the US opioid crisis a national emergency 'next week' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Trump teases ‘major announcement, probably next week, on the drug crisis’ – two months after declaring opioid addiction was ‘a national emergency’
ReGenUC's insight:

What President Trump proposes to do still remains to be seen. Since this article was published, Tom Marino has withdrawn his nomination for the 'drug czar' position.

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Exemplars - good AOD reporting

Exemplars - good AOD reporting | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Paul Gregoire is a journalist with both VICE News and Sydney Criminal Lawyers. Through a number of articles Paul has consistently demonstrated that stories about illicit drugs need not rely on sensationalist and emotive narratives to get their message across. Paul’s work has many positive features, however it’s his strong conviction about the need for evidence-informed policy and practices that highlights why his writing is so well regarded.

ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see some recognition for Paul's sustained quality AOD journalism. Nicely summarised by Greg Denham for AOD Media Watch

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