Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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France may legalize marijuana-based spray Sativex

The French government is considering legalizing a marijuana-based spray for muscle pain.
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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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WA's raw sewerage testing reveals highest ice use in the nation

WA's raw sewerage testing reveals highest ice use in the nation | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The study found the Perth daily consumption average was one dose per 17 people.
ReGenUC's insight:

National wastewater analysis data will provide a very useful indicator of changing patterns of illicit drug consumption across the country. While, as with any data, it will always be prone to misinterpretation (or selective reporting of findings), these reports will provide an important source of information for future policy and treatment service planning. You can see the report here: http://sco.lt/99mCzh

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ReGenUC's curator insight, March 26, 6:32 PM

National wastewater analysis data will provide a very useful indicator of changing patterns of illicit drug consumption across the country. While, as with any data, it will always be prone to misinterpretation (or selective reporting of findings), these reports will provide an important source of information for future policy and treatment service planning. You can see the report here: http://sco.lt/99mCzh

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Number of Canberra liquor licences up almost 40 per cent in four years

Number of Canberra liquor licences up almost 40 per cent in four years | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT Government is approving an average of 50 new liquor licences in Canberra every year.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing FARE's Amy Ferguson on the community impacts of this level of growth in the availability of alcohol. See last week's related coverage of the proposed changes to the ACT's liquor laws: http://sco.lt/7h1HKj

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WA meth crisis: Perth woman's fightback from ice addiction

WA meth crisis: Perth woman's fightback from ice addiction | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
EVEN though she was in the middle of a drug-induced psychosis at the time, Dee-anne Allender can still clearly recall the turning point that helped her break free of her entrenched meth addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

While there are a few problems with this article, it's at least good to see WA media using the current bout of methamphetamine coverage to tell a positive recovery story.

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Meth Border Force to break WA ice scourge

Meth Border Force to break WA ice scourge | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MARK McGowan says tackling WAs meth epidemic is a top priority and work has already started on creating a Meth Border Force to crack down on the drug entering and spreading across WA.
ReGenUC's insight:

Proving who was toughest on preventing methamphetamine supply was a big part of the recent WA election campaign. Expect to see more statements like this from the new McGowan government. See today's related coverage of WA findings in the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report, released yesterday: http://sco.lt/7g6b7x

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Legalise drugs, says mother who lost daughter to ecstasy (UK) - video

Five years ago Anne-Marie Cockburn's 15 year-old daughter Martha died from taking 1/2g of MDMA powder that turned out to be 91% pure. She is now calling for the legalisation of all drugs for people over 18.

ReGenUC's insight:

A powerful (5 min) interview. Ms Cockburn's experience should resonate with any parent and be a wake up call for anyone who thinks 'it wouldn't happen to my kids'.

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Nadia Bakhsh's curator insight, March 24, 4:57 AM
After loosing her daughter, she should probably have lost her mind by saying that drugs should be legalised. Yes people should be educated and should get familiar with drugs and they should be educated about the specific harms it can cause. however by making drugs legal it will just cause more deaths and other problems. i just don't see how the future would look and be better by having drugs legalised. 
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If tighter alcohol licensing laws don't work tighter measures will need to be considered (ACT)

The smaller, "boutique" style, venues who stand to gain most under the ACT government liquor law reform package this week aren't usually the types o
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Canberra Times editorial. See yesterday's related coverage of the proposed measures: http://sco.lt/87ka25

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Can Old Prescription Drugs Provide New Treatments for Alcoholism? (USA)

Can Old Prescription Drugs Provide New Treatments for Alcoholism? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
By scouring thousands of medications created for other conditions, a researcher wants to find pills that can help overcome addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

While we regularly see headlines proclaiming the latest 'cure' for AOD dependence, it's good to see that this piece concludes with the section: 'There's just no silver bullet' that at least provides some brief recognition of the complex factors contributing to dependence and the need for a range of evidence based approaches that allow people to find a treatment model that works for them.

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Philippines’ complains drug war reports are hurting tourism

Philippines’ complains drug war reports are hurting tourism | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Philippines tourism secretary has urged the media to “tone down” coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war, complaining that reports on extrajudicial killings were scaring away foreigners.
ReGenUC's insight:

Perhaps the Duterte govt should consider that stopping state sanctioned murders of thousands of its own citizens (and a small number of internationals) would be more likely to encourage people to visit the country? What will they do next, claim reports of the 8,000 people killed to date are 'fake news'? See today's related post on a UK documentary providing an insight into the impacts of the brutality unleashed by President Duterte: http://sco.lt/6cWk77

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MP pushes to make medicinal cannabis cheaper through PBS listing (Qld)

MP pushes to make medicinal cannabis cheaper through PBS listing (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health Minister Cameron Dick is calling for medicinal cannabis to be subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the rapid shift in Aus cannabis policy.

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Vietnam sentences 9 men to death for drug trafficking

Vietnamese state media say a court has sentenced nine men to death for trafficking more than 1,000 pounds of heroin.

ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of its demonstrated ineffectiveness at preventing trafficking, the use of the death penalty for drug offences has only increased in SE Asia since countries like Vietnam and Indonesia obstructed global policy change at last year's special session of the UN General Assembly.

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'Powers to deal with difficult patrons': ACT government proposes major liquor law overhaul

'Powers to deal with difficult patrons': ACT government proposes major liquor law overhaul | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drunk and disorderly patrons who loiter around licensed venues after being kicked out could soon face prosecution.
ReGenUC's insight:

Proposed measures also include increasing licensing fees for 'big box' alcohol retailers, reduced fees for small bars and a change in the legal definition of 'intoxicated' to include impairment by other drugs. There's a full summary of the measures at the bottom.

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Ice Taskforce forum at Murray Bridge (SA)

Ice Taskforce forum at Murray Bridge (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Families affected by ice addiction speak out at Murray Bridge forum.
ReGenUC's insight:

Lack of service accessibility in regional areas a key issue. Good to see the voices of individuals and families affected by methamphetamine use being heard by the Taskforce.

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Move illicit drugs to 'white' economy: report (Aus)

Move illicit drugs to 'white' economy: report (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pharmacists could have a greater role in harm minimisation under the recommendations of a new report The Australia 21 report, Can Australia respond to drug
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the Australia 21 report, also citing Fiona Patten (whose MSIC bill has been sent to committee for consideration) on the need for drug policy reform. See today's related Age editorial: http://sco.lt/6VCEOv.

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Never give in on drugs fight (Vic)

THE numbers are staggering. More than seven tonnes of illicit drugs and their precursors. More than 2.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, both here and in China.

ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Herald Sun editorial. After some encouraging signs of a recent shift in the way the paper frames drug policy issues (with sustained support for the establishment of a MSIC in Melbourne), the paper has returned to type here, focussing on the size of police seizures, rather than the abundant evidence demonstrating the limited effectiveness of supply reduction measures. As in so many editorials before it, instead of recognising the failure of law enforcement to prevent supply, or affect demand for illicit drugs, the paper simply calls for more of the same. This is a failure of journalistic principles and a failure of leadership, with the Federal Govt continuing to frame drug policy as a criminal, rather than a health issue. We need genuine policy change, not more of the same damaging, ineffective (but politically popular) policy. Thanks to VAADA for making the content of the article available from behind the News Ltd paywall.

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Australians world's 2nd biggest meth users

SNAPSHOT OF NATIONAL WASTEWATER DRUG MONITORING:
ReGenUC's insight:

The first national wastewater monitoring report reduced to seven bullet points. You can see the full report here: http://sco.lt/99mCzh.

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Sewerage tests show Aust meth use soaring

Secret tests of sewerage around Australia show methylamphetamine is the most popular illicit drug, with levels of use in WA far outstripping the rest of the nation.
ReGenUC's insight:

As well as the figures on methamphetamine use, the wastewater monitoring report also highlights higher rates of fentanyl use in regional NSW, SA and WA. You can see the full report here: http://sco.lt/99mCzh

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CUB pulls stumps on Australian cricket

CUB pulls stumps on Australian cricket | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Carlton & United Breweries has pulled up stumps on its 20-year sponsorship of the Australian cricket team.
ReGenUC's insight:
...but Cricket Australia is expected to announce its new alcohol sponsor shortly. It's a great shame the sport is so dependent on alcohol marketing dollars.
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Deadliest Place to Deal review – the carnage at the heart of Duterte’s war on drugs (Philippines/UK)

Deadliest Place to Deal review – the carnage at the heart of Duterte’s war on drugs (Philippines/UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Livvy Haydock trails the cops, vigilantes and victims caught up in the Filipino president’s drive to rid his country of drugs.

ReGenUC's insight:

This program promises to provide a powerful insight into the deep impacts of President Duterte's brutal drug policies. See today's related post on complaints that media coverage of the killings is bad for tourism in the country: http://sco.lt/7Yvi7t

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Port Hedland alcohol industry backs welfare card over restrictions (WA)

Port Hedland alcohol industry backs welfare card over restrictions (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police are pushing for restrictions on the sale of spirits and full strength beer in Port Hedland, but the alcohol industry wants a trial of the Commonwealth's cashless welfare card first.
ReGenUC's insight:

Obviously, whatever the alcohol industry advocates for will be the option that best protects industry profits.

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‘The rate of drug-related deaths is at scandalous proportions’ (UK)

‘The rate of drug-related deaths is at scandalous proportions’ (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

New psychoactive drugs will add to the problem if we don’t deal with them properly, says Lord Carlile, chairman of Addaction.

ReGenUC's insight:

Calling for changes in sentencing practices and increased treatment sector capacity.

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Police blitz nabs 'alarming' number of truck drivers under influence of drugs (Vic)

Police blitz nabs 'alarming' number of truck drivers under influence of drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One in 37 Victorian truck drivers tested positive to drug-driving, almost double the national figure, in a Victoria Police blitz this week.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not mentioned here is the workplace pressure that contributes to use of stimulants in this and other industries that require employees to work long hours to be able to make a living.

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'What drugs do to you': Concerned brother films disturbing video of drugged pair (NZ)

An Auckland man has posted a disturbing video of the impact drugs caused on his sister and a friend when they comatosed after taking what is being described as a "demon drug".
ReGenUC's insight:

As with other similar US examples that have received a lot of attention, this may be well-intentioned but is unlikely to dissuade many people from using synthetic cannabis products. We know that scare campaigns (whether govt funded or home made) are not effective and have often been found to actually increase the likelihood of future use. What these sort of videos (and the associated social media commentary) typically achieve is to further entrench the stigmatisation of people who use illicit drugs, and the two people featured here in particular. We're not posting the image here as we don't want to add to the feeding frenzy that occurs with this sort of content.

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Zero-alcohol Heineken is soon going to hit shelves (UK)

Zero-alcohol Heineken is soon going to hit shelves (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Deciding not to drink booze at a party is a totally normal thing to do nowadays.
ReGenUC's insight:

OK, the article is pure marketing spin for this particular product, but it is also an indicator of the apparent growth in demand for alcohol-free beer products. It will be interesting to see how this market segment develops. If you haven't seen it already, it's also worth looking at FARE Australia's campaign that calls bullshit on the alcohol industry's marketing claims about 'healthy' beer: http://beertheobvioustruth.com/

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What’s like to be 16 and addicted to ice (ACT)

What’s like to be 16 and addicted to ice (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
CANBERRA teenager Adam* has just returned to school after spending two years addicted to ice. He told his story to Kristen Henry.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a good example of how to report people's lived experience of AOD dependence: keep comment to a minimum, avoid sensationalism, treat people with respect and get out of the way and let them tell their story. Good to see inclusion of support service details too. The video also features Noffs Foundation's ACT Street University.

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Safe injecting room recommended in North Richmond, supported by Port Phillip councillors (Vic)

Safe injecting room recommended in North Richmond, supported by Port Phillip councillors (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A MELBOURNE council has backed the push to trial safe injecting rooms — just not in their own backyard.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of political and local community support for a Richmond MSIC. It's time for the Andrews govt to recognise that the tide has turned.

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