Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Fast market for legal highs poses challenge for scientists (UK)

Legal highs that are novel psychoactive substances (NPS) have flooded Britain over the past few years and their use has increased drastically.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the difficulties of relying on bans to prevent use.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Perth loses title of Australia's meth capital

Perth loses title of Australia's meth capital | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PERTH has finally shaken its tag of Australias methamphetamine capital, with a report showing that Adelaide residents are now bigger consumers of the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Local coverage of the new national wastewater analysis data. You can see the ACIC report here: http://sco.lt/7KwfFh. Interesting to note that WA police have linked the drop in methamphetamine use with a reduction in crime.

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Drug consumption rooms ruled out by government (UK)

Drug consumption rooms ruled out by government (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The government's own advisory body had called for safe places for users to take drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Given Prime Minister May's record as Home Secretary, it's entirely understanding that her government would ignore the policy advice from the AMCD. The official response echoes the default language of the Andrews Govt: 'the government has no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms'. With fentanyl already well-established in UK illicit drug markets, they question is: How bad will things have to get before the UK govt supports evidence based harm reduction measures? The same question needs to be asked of the Victorian government.

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Labor aims to shut door on lockout laws (NSW)

Labor aims to shut door on lockout laws (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A LABOR mayoral candidate is leading an ALP push to repeal Sydneys controversial lockout laws.
ReGenUC's insight:

NSW Labor demonstrating that opposing evidence based alcohol and other drug policy is not concentrated on one side of politics. 

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The Media Needs More Than a New Style Guide to Get Them to Stop Stigmatising People Who Use Drugs (USA)

On May 31st, the AP announced over 200 changes to their Stylebook – including some guidance
ReGenUC's insight:

Sheila Vakharia highlights the significant attitudinal and cultural change that needs to happen within the media industry (and wider society) before we can start to make progress on the sort of language that is used to frame public discussions of AOD use and dependence.

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Don't call fatal psychoactive drugs 'synthetic cannabis' - expert (NZ)

Don't call fatal psychoactive drugs 'synthetic cannabis' - expert (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The warning comes as an eighth death is reported.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Chris Wilkins on the role language plays in increasing potential harm, creating false expectations about the likely effects of these products and uncertainty about how to respond effectively to overdose. See today's related coverage of the eighth death now linked to these products: http://sco.lt/9IVNhp.

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Synthetic cannabis linked to eighth New Zealand death 

Synthetic cannabis linked to eighth New Zealand death  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The chemical drugs mimic the effect of cannabis but are a lot more powerful and dangerous.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the impacts of synthetic cannabis products: http://sco.lt/5ufPnd

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Inside the One UK Lab Testing What's Really in Your Drugs

Inside the One UK Lab Testing What's Really in Your Drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Taking drugs in 2017 is more dangerous than it has ever been. If you're one of England and Wales' estimated 2.7 million drug users, you're essentially nothing more than a human guinea pig in an age of more than 300 new substances, triple-strength MDMA pills and high-purity classics, an entire class of deadly knock-offs and the corporeal roulette of long-term health consequences. The majority of recreational drug users don't have a bad time on a night out, of course, but some do – and the odds have never been so stacked against them. 

ReGenUC's insight:

A look at the operations of WEDINOS and the key role it plays in reducing potential drug related harm within the UK.

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What actually happened to violent crime after Washington legalized marijuana

What actually happened to violent crime after Washington legalized marijuana | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new report from a Department of Justice task force is expected to link marijuana use to violent crime. But in Washington state, which legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, violent crime rates have gone down.
ReGenUC's insight:

As in other areas, current White House policy on cannabis is not supported by the evidence.

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Harsh drug laws fail to deter users (WA)

Harsh drug laws fail to deter users (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
BEFORE the State Government actually introduces its new legislation making possession of comparatively small amounts of methylamphetamine punishable by life imprisonment, they might want to consider an event that took place in Singapore last Friday week.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tom Percy QC on the demonstrated ineffectiveness of increasing penalties for drug possession in preventing use.  

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For those who can't keep calm and carry on: England's unique mental health experiment

For those who can't keep calm and carry on: England's unique mental health experiment | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Behind the world's most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see the UK Govt increasing service accessibility and investing in evidence based treatment models.  If only they would do the same for AOD treatment.

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Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll (USA)

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Employers say they are having trouble filling jobs because too many applicants can’t pass screening, a factor depressing the labor participation rate.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the economic impacts of the US opioid crisis and the implications for Australia: http://sco.lt/8Up52f

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Calls for a heroin 'overdose antidote' to be made more available to addicts' families (N. Ireland)

Calls for a heroin 'overdose antidote' to be made more available to addicts' families (N. Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Naloxone may have saved 98 lives in Northern Ireland over five years.
ReGenUC's insight:

Making the obvious case for making naloxone as easily accessible as possible for those most likely to witness an overdose. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/5lj6On

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'Is this council insane?': Outrage over memorial planned for Melbourne heroin addicts

'Is this council insane?': Outrage over memorial planned for Melbourne heroin addicts | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A council in Melbourne has voted in favour of a memorial for people who have died from heroin overdoses in suburban Richmond.

ReGenUC's insight:

The media continue to pile onto this topic, unleashing the usual ignorant bile and unwillingness to consider the issue in any depth. See yesterday's related post: http://sco.lt/6QaUuv

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E-cigarettes linked to helping people quit smoking

E-cigarettes linked to helping people quit smoking | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Electronic cigarettes help people trying to quit smoking, according to a new study that helps to settle a long-running debate over the risks and benefits of e-cigs.
For the study, publishe
ReGenUC's insight:

New findings (based on analysis of 15 years' worth of data from 160,000 people) published in the BMJ show people using e-cigarettes tried to quit smoking more often and were more successful in doing so.

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Meth no excuse for violence (WA)

Meth no excuse for violence (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A leading domestic violence advocate in Rockingham has cautioned community leaders on blaming meth use for domestic violence, saying it takes responsibility away from the perpetrator and gives them an excuse.

ReGenUC's insight:

Lucy Saw Refuge Centre executive director Anne Moore warns that to 'link domestic violence with meth is quite dangerous'.

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Dad’s hard-hitting drug message to change young minds (WA)

Dad’s hard-hitting drug message to change young minds (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As he stands at the front of a room packed with more than 2600 students at his son’s former school, Rod Bridge knows the story he is about to tell is confronting.
ReGenUC's insight:

While Mr Bridge's response to his son's death is entirely understandable, the evidence tells us that this sort of approach is not effective in preventing use. While scare campaigns may help confirm the choices of young people who were already unlikely to consume this group of drugs, they have been consistently demonstrated to have little-to-no impact on those most at risk. We need to be providing young people with credible, practical information to help them identify potential risks, make informed decisions, understand harm reduction strategies and know how to help if their peers experience drug related harm.

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Rise in drug deaths due to 1980s inequality, study finds (UK)

Rise in drug deaths due to 1980s inequality, study finds (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rising inequality in the 1980s increased the risk of drug-related deaths among "Generation X", researchers claim.
ReGenUC's insight:

A useful look at the complex factors that contribute to and amplify AOD related harm. 

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'We haven’t seen deaths like this in ten years of synthetics' (NZ)

'We haven’t seen deaths like this in ten years of synthetics' (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Another death overnight has been attributed to the 'synthetic cannabis crisis' tearing through Auckland and New Zealand at large. But the situation isn't as clear as it seems, the Drug Foundation's Ross Bell tells Don Rowe, and hard facts are few and far between.

New Zealand Drug Foundation execu
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NZ Drug Foundatioin's Ross Bell on the need for a more informed public discussion of the potential risks associated with synthetic cannabis products. See today's related post on the rol the 'synthetic cannabis' label plays in increasing potential harm: http://sco.lt/4ylFGT

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Sport and sunshine fuel surge in UK supermarket alcohol sales

Sport and sunshine fuel surge in UK supermarket alcohol sales | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UK heatwave feeds extra £158m in sales of drink with huge leap in suncare and ice-cream purchases but signs emerge of consumers starting to tighten belts
ReGenUC's insight:

Mirroring similar patterns of summer alcohol consumption (and related harm) in Australia.

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Synthetic cannabis 'worse than meth' according to addiction specialist (NZ)

Synthetic cannabis 'worse than meth' according to addiction specialist (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An addiction specialist says synthetic drug keeps people up for days, creates psychosis.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the significant risks associated with the use of synthetic cannabis products and the role current drug policies play in driving their use. See this recent coverage of recent overdose deaths linked to synthetic cannabis: http://sco.lt/59kPXV

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Thousands of students in trouble for drugs in schools (Qld)

Thousands of students in trouble for drugs in schools (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 3000 Queensland state students have been suspended or expelled after being caught with illegal drugs in the past three years.
ReGenUC's insight:

Education Queensland data shows year 9 & 10 students most likely to be disciplined for illicit drug use/possession. Education Minister Kate Jones says that the new figures reflect growth in overall student numbers, not an escalation in illicit use amongst students. Interesting to note the continued decline in issues linked to tobacco & other legal substances.

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Could pharmacists dispense heroin in injecting rooms (ACT)

It’s time to put harm minimisation measures like prescription heroin back on the agenda, says one industry stakeholder

ReGenUC's insight:

Kate Haggan considers the Swiss model for Heroin Assisted Therapy in the light of the PHAA's Michael Moore seeking to reopen debate about HAT in Australia. See Monday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6JxQrh

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Oxycontin, Tramadol, Fentanyl: Will opioid crisis hit Australia?

Oxycontin, Tramadol, Fentanyl: Will opioid crisis hit Australia? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AMERICA’S opioid crisis is getting so bad, even the central bank is weighing in.
ReGenUC's insight:

Our problem with prescription opioids hasn't escalated to the same extent as the US, but we know they are responsible for more overdose deaths in Australia than heroin, especially amongst older people. NDARC's recent study highlights the need to change opioid prescribing guidelines and, more broadly, how me manage pain.There's no real mention of fentanyl in the article, but it seems that it's only a matter of time before it (or other powerful synthetic opioids) becomes more prevalent within illicit drug markets. As we've seen in North America, when this happens, we will see a spike in overdose fatalities. This begs the question: what are our political leaders doing to prepare? See today's related post on the economic & social impacts of the US opioid crisis: http://sco.lt/6PSwbp

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Philippines President Duterte Calls for the Death Penalty for Drug Possession

President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the introduction of the death penalty in the Philippines for a range of offences – including drug possession - as his co
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the ineffectiveness of increasing penalties in preventing use: http://sco.lt/5hOziL.

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'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses (N. Ireland)

'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses (N. Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Naloxone, which temporarily reverses the effects of heroin overdose, was introduced in 2012.
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