Public Health Research & Practice journal says not disclosing content of companies’ submissions may breach World Health Organisation convention
Citing Sydney Uni's Becky Freeman on the risks of alcohol and tobacco industry influence on future Australian drug policy. See our related opinion piece on the Federal Govt's neglect of our (now lapsed) national policy framework: http://sco.lt/5aoaxd.
WA has Australias highest rate of drinkers, and more of them have increased their alcohol consumption in the past year compared to drinkers in other States.
Local coverage of FARE's annual alcohol poll findings, providing a timely reminder that it's not only methamphetamine that poses a significant threat to public health and community wellbeing in WA. You can see the full FARE report here: http://sco.lt/5GR75t.
The Arsenal Emirates Stadium saw the launch of a new report, Foul Play? Alcohol marketing during UEFA Euro 2016, which highlighted how alcohol producers worked to circumvent legislation designed to protect children during the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament.
Analysis of broadcast footage found alcohol advertising appeared, on average, once every two minutes.
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.
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
“It’s a national disaster, you are not doing enough. The bodies keep mounting.”
If you haven't seen the video of Ms Dodd's call to President Trudeau for more (and more immediate) action to address Canada's overdose crisis, it's definitely worth a look. While there is much to praise in recent Canadian drug policy, there is also a clear and pressing need for greater resourcing of harm reduction services to save lives. This is what speaking truth to power looks like.
While tobacco consumption globally is decreasing, in the coming decades the number of smokers in Africa is anticipated to rise by nearly 40% from 2010 levels. This is the largest expected increase in…
Faced with increasing regulation (and reduced profitability), the tobacco industry has long sought to develop markets with less legislative restrictions. While the industry's focus on developing economies has helped maintain their bottom line, it has obvious public health implications for billions of people around the world. See this recent post on WHO data showing 1 million tobacco-related deaths a year in China alone: http://sco.lt/9KcO37.
A remarkable event went almost unnoticed over the Easter weekend – Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, introduced a Bill to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. Only one other country – tiny Uruguay in South America – has completely legalised cannabis as a consumer product, although eight US states have done so to various extents. Portugal decriminalised all drugs in 2001. There, drug use among the 15-24 year-old population has declined steeply, as have drug-related deaths.
Gary Mead on the Canadian changes, the global impacts of 'war on drugs' approaches and the need for change. See today's related post on the need for further action by the Canadian Govt to address its overdose crisis: http://sco.lt/5ThXBB.
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.
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.
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