Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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The value of needle exchange: past, present & future (UK) - video

Mat Southwell from CoAct gives the final plenary at the National Needle Exchange Forum meeting in Bournemouth, September 2013
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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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Why Ben Cousins' drug addiction is no longer a laughing matter to people (WA)

Why Ben Cousins' drug addiction is no longer a laughing matter to people (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The media will continue to report on Ben Cousins' troubles because it's a matter of public interest. But the tide of public opinion has swung in sympathy wit
ReGenUC's insight:

There's a bit going on here: pathologising, stigmatising language, the assumption that a famous person's recovery journey needs to receive media attention and the reported shift in public attitudes towards the former footballer. It's the last bit that is perhaps the most galling: the idea that Mr Cousins is only deserving of sympathy once he begins to conform with public stereotypes of people who use drugs (or, as described here, 'a full-blown drug addict'). The real story is not Mr Cousins. There will be the usual ups and downs in his recovery as there are in most other peoples. The real story here is public attitudes to people who use drugs and our demand for media coverage like this that both feeds our need for celebrity gossip and confirms our misinformed stereotypes.

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Doctors propose 'supervised consumption rooms' (UK)

Doctors propose 'supervised consumption rooms' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Some drug addicts should be given access to "supervised consumption rooms", leading doctors have said.
ReGenUC's insight:

British Medical Association passes motion supporting 'evidence based treatment', including Heroin Assisted Treatment and supervised injecting centres

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Why won't politicians admit the truth: life is hard, and drugs are fun? (UK)

Why won't politicians admit the truth: life is hard, and drugs are fun? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
True, drugs can also be dangerous - but criminalising them makes them even more so.
ReGenUC's insight:

Laurie Penny makes the case for drug law reform: 'Nowhere is public policy more profoundly at odds with the sicentific and medical consensus'.

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Inside the world of drug users who mess with unregulated research chemicals in Alberta

Inside the world of drug users who mess with unregulated research chemicals in Alberta | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An Alberta man, who goes by the pseudonym RunTheDMT, often takes to Reddit to share snippets of his experiences with illicit and unregulated drugs, while offering expertise to other users seeking advice.
ReGenUC's insight:

Extended piece on individuals' exploration of NPS and implications for service providers, citing Monica Barratt.

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Missiondale drug rehabilitation centre fears bed closures without funding lifeline (Tas)

Missiondale drug rehabilitation centre fears bed closures without funding lifeline (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Northern Tasmania could lose half its drug rehabilitation beds without a government lifeline for the Missiondale centre at Evandale.
ReGenUC's insight:

See our piece from last year on the impacts of ongoing funding uncertainty on the viability of AOD treatment services: http://sco.lt/8hKirh.

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Last drinks in Queensland coming from July 1

Last drinks in Queensland coming from July 1 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Queensland's nightlife industry is gearing up for one last fight against the Palaszczuk Government's alcohol-fuelled violence legislation, with last drinks t
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing FARE Australia survey data showing community support for the measures.

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Liquor leaves bitter taste for Costco, ALDI (Aus)

Liquor leaves bitter taste for Costco, ALDI (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Supermarket challengers Costco and Aldi find it isn't always easy to sell alcohol in Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

Dominant players in Australian alcohol sales (Woolworths and the AHA) join forces to shut out competitor in SA. See other recent coverage of the inconsistencies in WA licensing decisions: http://sco.lt/5MtX9d.

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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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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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As Heroin Epidemic Rages, Nurses Who Treat Addicts Need Resources -- and Respect (USA)

As Heroin Epidemic Rages, Nurses Who Treat Addicts Need Resources -- and Respect (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

As a nurse in a busy Emergency Room, I’ve treated my share of addicts. But, in the ER — where we typically see overdoses and other emergencies — these patients are usually in and out.

I have a special respect for the nurses and health professionals who work with struggling addicts for the long haul.

ReGenUC's insight:

Patty Eakin highlights the impact of stigma on the AOD treatment sector, it's capacity to attract and retain quality staff and, most importantly, provide effective supports to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people within our communities. Anyone who works in the sector and has had to answer the 'So, what do you do?' question at a party or bbq knows how our services (and the people who use them) are perceived by the general public. It's important that all of us continue to challenge this stigma wherever we encounter it.

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NHS 'ill-equipped' to provide help for cannabis users, despite surge in numbers seeking help, experts warn (UK)

NHS 'ill-equipped' to provide help for cannabis users, despite surge in numbers seeking help, experts warn (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health experts have warned that the public health care system is unprepared and ill-equipped to provide help for cannabis users, despite a rapid increase in the number of people seeking treatment for problems relating to the drug. Researchers gathering at a conference at the University of York highlighted the discovery of “concerning, unexpected” new symptoms reported by intensive users of cannabis and synthetic alternatives, including agitation and impulse control problems, contradicting the perception of cannabis as a suppressive drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the lack of research and service development on the impacts of synthetic cannabis products (and other NPS) and the impact of competitive tendering processes on collaboration by treatment providers.

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Canada's opioid crisis: five areas the feds must lead

Canada's opioid crisis: five areas the feds must lead | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health Canada will speed the review of a more user-friendly anti-overdose drug, among other efforts to prevent opioid deaths.
ReGenUC's insight:

Prescription monitoring and intra-nasal naloxone named as key measures by Health Canada.

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Alcohol ads seen once a minute at Euro 16

Alcohol ads seen once a minute at Euro 16 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcohol marketing was viewed by soccer fans watching the England and Wales group stage matches of Euro 16 almost once a minute during game time, a UK charity says.
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This, in spite of French restrictions on alcohol advertising during sporting broadcasts.

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'Chase and hit' drug dealers: Jokowi (Indonesia)

'Chase and hit' drug dealers: Jokowi (Indonesia) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Indonesias president has called on people to chase, catch and hit drug dealers, saying they have found new ways to trick people and must be stopped.
ReGenUC's insight:

President Widodo taking a lead from the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte (http://bigstory.ap.org/58fc2315d488426ca2512fc9fc8d6427)? Encouraging vigilante justice is not the way to go.

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Strange bedfellows fight lockout laws (Qld)

Strange bedfellows fight lockout laws (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Queensland's upcoming lockout laws have led to an alliance between uneasy bed partners, as the industry and its supporters continue to rally against th
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the introduction of the statewide measures to reduce alcohol-related violence: http://sco.lt/7cgjrd.

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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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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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