Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Energy stimulants could cause heart problems, warns Therapeutic Goods Administration (Aus)

Energy stimulants could cause heart problems, warns Therapeutic Goods Administration (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE medicines watchdog is warning of the dangers of energy supplements containing caffeine, and a bitter orange herbal supplement after reports of heart problems in teenagers.
ReGenUC's insight:

The most serious reported cases involved combination of energy drinks and alcohol.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, October 15, 2013 8:35 PM

Don't understand the logic of combining substances that counteract each other....

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Supplements's curator insight, November 9, 2013 12:21 AM

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Drug Policy Based On Fear Means Everyone Loses (Aus)

Drug Policy Based On Fear Means Everyone Loses (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The opposite of how it should be.
ReGenUC's insight:

Harm Reduction Australia's Gino Vumbaca on the political challenges of ensuring drug policies are based on evidence, not ideology. You can see a summary of the results from HRA's survey of parties' support of harm reduction here: http://www.harmreductionaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/HRA-2016-Election-Policy-Guide-2.pdf.

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A 'thriving' night-time culture in Canberra comes with costs from alcohol use

A 'thriving' night-time culture in Canberra comes with costs from alcohol use | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Who should pay for harmful effects of late-night drinking?
ReGenUC's insight:

David Caldicott and Michael Thorn respond to alcohol industry opposition to policy measures designed to reduce alcohol related violence.

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$10.7m to help fight ice scourge on Central Coast (NSW)

$10.7m to help fight ice scourge on Central Coast (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
CENTRAL Coast families devastated by the impact of drug addiction have welcomed the Federal Governments 10.7 million commitment to help fight the deadly ice scourge.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of PHN funding but, as with all previous announcements, no real detail about just how the money will be spent or how it is going to improve the accessibility of treatment services for people in need.

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Drug Users in Canada Are Being Trained as First Responders to Fentanyl Overdoses

As the crisis fuels a record number of emergency calls for Vancouver's official first responders, users are stepping in to save lives.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another great example of the importance of increasing access to naloxone by people who are likely to encounter opioid overdoses.

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Mexico is growing 61,000 new acres of opium

Mexico is growing 61,000 new acres of opium | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new report by Mexico and the United Nations estimates opium poppies were planted on about 61,000 acres in 2015.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new UNODC report on Mexican heroin production.

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Candidate a Chipp off the old block (Vic)

Candidate a Chipp off the old block (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A REFORMED heroin addict who launched a political party ahead of the last Federal election will now run for a seat in the Senate.
ReGenUC's insight:

Local media coverage of Greg Chipp's Senate candidacy for the Drug Law Reform Australia Party.

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Most children don’t take ecstasy – but we still need to teach them the dangers (UK)

Most children don’t take ecstasy – but we still need to teach them the dangers (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drugs are getting more potent and look more appealing to children. Although rare, events like those in Salford remind us of the importance of knowledge
ReGenUC's insight:

Max Daley highlights the need for providing children with appropriate, practical information to reduce the risk of potential drug related harm.

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Mexico's president may have been bluffing about his support for weed decriminalization

President Enrique Peña Nieto told the United Nations in April that he supported a “change of paradigm” in weed laws. He backed this with a proposal to the senate that his own, normally very disciplined, party has now blocked.
ReGenUC's insight:

Drug policy activists suggest the blocking of the legislation by the president's own party suggests that there was never an intention for it to pass.

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Teenagers in Australia are smoking during pregnancy 'so they have smaller babies'

Teenagers in Australia are smoking during pregnancy 'so they have smaller babies' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Teenagers in Australia are smoking in order to deliberately have smaller babies, research has found. A study has found that the girls, who are as young as 16, are actively trying to have smaller babies due to fears that their own young bodies will not be able to handle childbirth. The teenagers reportedly got the idea from health warnings on Australian cigarette packets which state that ‘smoking while pregnant can reduce the weight of your baby’ and rather than being deterred by the warning, actively sought the lower birth weights as they were afraid of labour. 
ReGenUC's insight:

There's no real detail about the ANU study (or how common this practice is) here, but the findings provide an example of unintended consequences of public health messaging.

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Vanuatu's kava cup runs low as thirst increases for drink of choice

Vanuatu's kava cup runs low as thirst increases for drink of choice | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pacific country’s trademark brew getting dearer – and weaker – as crops hit by drought and cyclone fail to meet demand
ReGenUC's insight:

Increased local demand for kava as a preferred alternative to alcohol driven by lower price and lower association with violence, population growth and reduced gender divisions in consumption.

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AFL season 2016: Beer company makes big cut to sponsorship (Aus)

AFL season 2016: Beer company makes big cut to sponsorship (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AFL clubs could win the power to negotiate their own beer deals after the competition's most enduring sponsor has significantly cut its multi-million dolla
ReGenUC's insight:

Just what Australian sport needs: an alcohol marketing bidding war.

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'Alcohol was there, always': Elspeth Muir on her brother's death and Australia's drinking culture

'Alcohol was there, always': Elspeth Muir on her brother's death and Australia's drinking culture | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After her 21-year-old brother jumped drunk into a river and drowned, the Brisbane writer reflects on a destructive force that Australia isn’t talking about
ReGenUC's insight:

Including extracts from her new book: 'Wasted: A story of alcohol, grief and a death in Brisbane' on our national relationship with alcohol, and its impacts.

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'Cowboy territory': e-cigarette suppliers accused of misleading 'non toxic' claims (Aus)

'Cowboy territory': e-cigarette suppliers accused of misleading 'non toxic' claims (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Consumer watchdog cracks down as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein are found in vaping products.
ReGenUC's insight:

ACCC case based on claims by two retailers that their products are 'free of carcinogens and toxins found in tobacco cigarettes'

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Switzerland to Get New Supervised Injection Facility in 2017

Switzerland to Get New Supervised Injection Facility in 2017 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Legislators in Lausanne hope to open the Swiss city’s first supervised injection facility (SIF) in 2017.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see the continued international growth in political support for evidence based harm reduction measures. Meanwhile, the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne remains a taboo subject for both major political parties. See our position statement: http://www.regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/Medically-Supervised-Injecting-Centre_Position-Statement_ReGen_v3.0.pdf

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Device behind ear could ease pain of drug withdrawal (USA)

Device behind ear could ease pain of drug withdrawal (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The device sends electrical feedback to the brain, blocking the pain of detox.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's obvious appeal here. Reducing the discomfort of physical symptoms of withdrawal would be welcomed by anyone who is going through the process. This article is clearly based on marketing claims by the device's developers, but we look forward to seeing more research on its effectiveness.

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Drug monitoring programs reduce opioid deaths, study finds (USA)

The implementation of state prescription drug monitoring programs was associated with the prevention of approximately one opioid-related overdose death every two hours on average nationwide, according to a new Vanderbilt-le
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence supporting the expansion of similar monitoring programs here.

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Plan to make prescription pills illegal for drug users ‘retrograde’ (Ireland)

Plan to make prescription pills illegal for drug users ‘retrograde’ (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Minister for Health says if gardaí ask for measure to deal with a problem ‘I feel obliged to act’
ReGenUC's insight:

While there's been lots of positive developments in recent Irish drug policy, this doesn't seem to be one of them. It's a step in the wrong direction and unlikely to significantly reduce non-prescribed use of medications.  It's also likely to contribute to increased harm to those who use them.

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Labor’s bold bid to lift state’s health (Tas)

Labor’s bold bid to lift state’s health (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
CHRONIC disease hot spots in Tasmania would be given consultants at local councils to encourage more physical activity and better eating under a plan put forward by the Federal Opposition.
ReGenUC's insight:

Bill Shorten's media release on these measures is here: http://www.billshorten.com.au/labor_s_plan_for_healthy_communities_chronic_disease_prevention. There's not much detail about the National Alcohol Strategy, but it's a step in the right direction. You can see Harm Reduction Australia's summary of parties' drug policy positions here: http://www.harmreductionaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/HRA-2016-Election-Policy-Guide-2.pdf.

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Michigan's drug-testing welfare program has yielded zero positive results so far (USA)

Michigan's drug-testing welfare program has yielded zero positive results so far (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Program and others like it may face renewed scrutiny over discriminatory nature of policies as none of 303 applicants in Michigan test positive for banned drugs
ReGenUC's insight:

'As we’ve seen time and time again, these misguided policies are devoid of any scientific credibility and have proven to be a colossal waste of our time and money.' It's a critique that could be made of many drug policy measures around the world. What this quote does not recognise is the role such policies play in driving the stigmatisation of already vulnerable people and creating additional barriers to change. Such ideologically-driven measures are dangerous and ineffective, but have proven to be increasingly popular in the US. We hope that the growing body of evidence will help to prevent their introduction elsewhere.

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Mandatory treatment not effective at reducing drug use, violates human rights (USA)

In an analysis recently published in BMJ, which coincided with the UN High Level Meeting on HIV in New York, Boston Medical Center (BMC) clinician researchers assessed current global evidence and found that mandatory treatmen
ReGenUC's insight:

Authors recommend focus on evidence-based measures such as community-based opioid treatment, including methadone and buprenorphine, harm reduction programs and education about overdose medications such as naloxone to people with substance use disorders, as well as to their friends and family members.

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The opium bulbs of Myanmar: drug crop or lifeline for poor farmers?

The opium bulbs of Myanmar: drug crop or lifeline for poor farmers? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rural development programmes to wean poppy farmers off their illicit crop contend with lack of roads, water and power in remote areas plagued by militias
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the complications in reducing the production of opium, coca and other drug crops by impoverished farmers.

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Teen marijuana use in Colorado found lower than national average

Teen marijuana use in Colorado found lower than national average | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since the state first permitted recreational cannabis use by adults, a new survey showed on Monday, contrary to concerns that legalization would increase pot use by teens.
ReGenUC's insight:

See related coverage of similar findings by a recent national study: http://sco.lt/79zGzJ.

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Ecstasy pills increasingly made with child-friendly logos, says expert (UK)

Ecstasy pills increasingly made with child-friendly logos, says expert (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Warning from government drugs adviser follows hospitalisation of three 12-year-olds in Salford after taking ‘teddy tablets’
ReGenUC's insight:

As indicated here, it is unlikely that manufacturers are deliberately trying to target young children with these product designs, but this episode does highlight the risk of uninformed use of ecstasy or any other drug. See recent coverage of 2016 Global Drug Survey findings on increasing MDMA concentration in ecstasy: http://sco.lt/8jHGt7.

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'Heroin antidote' naloxone over the counter cost a deterrent (Aus)

'Heroin antidote' naloxone over the counter cost a deterrent (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There has been a low uptake of the heroin-reversing drug Naloxone since it was made available over the counter, and experts say the cost is a barrier for drug users.
ReGenUC's insight:

We've noticed similar access barriers in setting up our naloxone program. In contrast to the pharmacists participating in the NDARC study, we've also noticed a distinct lack of interest amongst many local pharmacists in stocking naloxone, and confusion about its distribution amongst those who do stock it. Our program provides people who have used our services (or have a family member who has) with free naloxone from partner pharmacies and training in how to use it. Call us for more information (1800 700 514).

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FIFO partners more stressed and anxious (Aus)

FIFO partners more stressed and anxious (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Children of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers are more likely to suffer behavioural or emotional problems, according to new research by the University of Queensland.
ReGenUC's insight:

The increased mental health and AOD concerns associated with FIFO workers has long been recognised, but this study highlights the impact on other family members.

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