Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Cannabis 'hikes schizophrenia risk' (NZ)

Cannabis 'hikes schizophrenia risk' (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Some heavy cannabis users are up to 11 times more likely to develop schizophrenia, a drug symposium in Auckland has been told.

ReGenUC's insight:

From the Cannabis and Health Symposium. Follow the #nzweed13 Twitter feed for discussion of this and other presentations.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Tax changes to stop the flood of cheap wine (Aus)

Tax changes to stop the flood of cheap wine (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WINEMAKERS have hailed tax changes in last night’s Federal Budget that will go some way towards stopping the flood of cheap wine into the Australian market.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing FARE's Michael Thorn on the announced budget measures and the missed opportunity to introduce volumetric taxation of alcohol. In spite of consistent evidence about its effectiveness and repeated recommendations for the introduction of alcohol tax to be based on alcohol content (and pre-budget suggestions that it was likely to be introduced), it seems that we'll need to wait for (at least) another year. See today's related post on the impact of a lack of focus on pricing in limiting the effectiveness of Scotland's alcohol strategy: http://sco.lt/8MhGRF

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Germany is about to legalize medicinal cannabis

Germany is about to legalize medicinal cannabis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Germany is to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes early next year, the health minister said on Tuesday.

ReGenUC's insight:

As with Australia (and other countries), Germany plans to develop its own domestic cannabis industry.

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U.S. Anti-AIDS Abstinence Efforts in Africa Fail to Prevent HIV

U.S. Anti-AIDS Abstinence Efforts in Africa Fail to Prevent HIV | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Washington spent more than $1 billion telling people in 14 African countries not to have sex before they get married. It didn’t work
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the failure of abstinence based policies to reduce harm and change behaviour. See today's related post for an Australian example of public policy that disregards the evidence for its own ineffectiveness: http://sco.lt/8LiEe9

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The Drugs Consensus Is Not Pretty - It's Been Ripped Apart at the Seams

The Drugs Consensus Is Not Pretty - It's Been Ripped Apart at the Seams | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
This UNGASS demonstrates the impact civil society pressure can achieve. The drug policy reform movement will continue to grow into a formidable global social movement towards 2019. The collective demand for change will grow ever louder leading to sustainable and seismic break-throughs at national, regional and ultimately UN levels.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ann Fordham considers the way forward for drug policy reform and the central role for civil society in driving change.

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A finishing school for crims

A finishing school for crims | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ONE of the conundrums of criminal justice today is that most offenders are simultaneously victims — of drugs and alcohol misuse, of acquired brain injury, of mental illness, of unemployment, of racism and of multiple chronic social disadvantages.
ReGenUC's insight:

Rob White cites the new Red Cross report to consider the need for a greater focus on Restorative Justice and addressing the various factors (including AOD use) that contribute to offending. You can see the report here: http://www.redcross.org.au/files/VulnerabilityReport2016.pdf

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Scientists want to study marijuana. Big Pot just wants to sell it (USA)

Scientists want to study marijuana. Big Pot just wants to sell it (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
When it comes to changing marijuana's federal status, medical researchers and the cannabis industry have very different goals.
ReGenUC's insight:

David T Courtwright warns of the emergence of Big Tobacco (and the likely ensuing harm to public health) if cannabis policy is left solely in the hands of politicians and not subject to rigorous research.

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Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens' access to drug (USA)

Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens' access to drug (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Despite concerns that legalizing marijuana use for adults would make it easier for adolescents to get ahold of it, a new study in Washington State shows that teens find it no easier now than before the law was passed in 2012.
ReGenUC's insight:

Researchers note that (during the same period) young people did report increased difficulty gaining access to other drug types.

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Australia's prohibition of e-cigarettes is out of step with the evidence

Australia's prohibition of e-cigarettes is out of step with the evidence | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A new report by the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom says electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are much safer than smoking and encourages their widespread use by smokers. It concludes that e-cigarettes have huge potential to prevent death and disease from tobacco use.

ReGenUC's insight:

Colin Mendelsohn considers the international evidence and the potential public health benefits likely to result from a greater uptake of e-cigarettes in Australia.

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Synthetic cannabis labelled intense incense being sold at Of Ya Tree in Northland Shopping centre (Vic)

Synthetic cannabis labelled intense incense being sold at Of Ya Tree in Northland Shopping centre (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SYNTHETIC cannabis is being sold over the counter in Darebin despite deaths linked to the mock pot.
ReGenUC's insight:

We can see what the Preston Leader is trying to do here but, essentially, this article serves as free advertising for the Northland shop and the Of Ya Tree chain. The only details missing were the prices of the synthetics on sale.

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Drinkers and smokers may be hit by price hikes (Aus)

DRINKERS and smokers may be slugged with hikes to the cost of cigarettes and alcohol in tomorrow’s budget.
ReGenUC's insight:

Budget likely to include removal of Wine Equalisation Tax and introduction of volumetric taxation of alcohol content.

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Northbridge brawl: State's top doctor calls for nightclub lockout trial (WA)

Northbridge brawl: State's top doctor calls for nightclub lockout trial (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A nightclub lockout trial is needed according to the state's top doctor following a vicious brawl that broke out in Northbridge on Sunday morning.
ReGenUC's insight:

The AMA calls for lockouts. The alcohol industry says there's no need for change.

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Youth homelessness is Australia's preventable $600m problem

Youth homelessness is Australia's preventable $600m problem | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ITS the serious social problem affecting more than 44,000 Australian children and young people, and costing us hundreds of millions.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Mission Australia research into the social cost of homelessness and the role it plays in entrenching disadvantage amongst young people.

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Queensland paramedics given power to chemically sedate violent patients

Queensland paramedics given power to chemically sedate violent patients | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
All Queensland paramedics will be able to chemically sedate violent patients as part of new powers announced on Thursday.
ReGenUC's insight:

While ensuring a safe work environment for paramedics is clearly important, the use of these new powers will need to be carefully monitored to ensure patients' rights are also respected.

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We can’t win war on ice, says Colin Barnett (WA)

We can’t win war on ice, says Colin Barnett (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Colin Barnett has suggested the war on the drug ice is all but unwinnable, saying its supply into the WA market is “not possible” to stop.
ReGenUC's insight:

An effective example of the illogicality of political drug policy discourse: Supply control is ineffective, so we're going to do more of it. It's good to see that the WA Govt is improving treatment access in remote areas (http://sco.lt/8nwkvR), but we'd encourage the Premier to increase the Govt's investment in harm reduction and treatment services across the state. See today's related post on the ineffectiveness of policy responses that ignore the evidence: http://sco.lt/55Odgf.

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WA budget gives more to mental health

WA budget gives more to mental health | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A record amount of state funding for mental health will boost treatment and awareness programs, and alcohol and drug services, the West Australian premier says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Incuding $19 million for AOD services in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Gascoyne regions (http://www.drd.wa.gov.au/projects/Health/Pages/North-West-Drug-and-Alcohol-Support-Program.aspx)

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Fantasy drug seizures on the rise (Qld)

Fantasy drug seizures on the rise (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Anti-bikie police have noted a worrying jump in seizures of the dangerous party drug fantasty.
ReGenUC's insight:

Hopefully, this indicator of increased avaialbility of GHB in Qld will not lead to an increase in overdoses. Please be aware that the difference between a safe dose and an overdose of this drug is very small.

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Greens MP John Kaye was preparing to introduce medicinal cannabis bill (NSW)

Greens MP John Kaye was preparing to introduce medicinal cannabis bill (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Greens MP's beliefs were strengthened by the "benefit he received from cannabis as pain relief," fellow MP says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Greens argue NSW Govt needs to bypass its medicinal cannabis trial and move straight to law reform.

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Report backs 'shift' away from criminalising drug possession for personal use (Ireland)

Report backs 'shift' away from criminalising drug possession for personal use (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New drugs strategy should have ‘realistic expectations’, panel says
ReGenUC's insight:

Report endorses increased use of diversion programs for personal possession and shift in police focus to supply.

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Medicinal cannabis users risk prosecution by telling their stories (NSW)

Medicinal cannabis users risk prosecution by telling their stories (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Medicinal cannabis users risked prosecution by publicly telling their stories at the 2016 Mardi Grass Hemposium.

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UNGASS 2016: Evolution Rather Than Revolution In The War On Drugs

UNGASS 2016: Evolution Rather Than Revolution In The War On Drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UNGASS 2016 was controversial by UN standards. While it stopped well short of a drug reform revolution, it has provided some very important first steps in the evolution of global drug policies.
ReGenUC's insight:

John Coyne considers the modest outcomes from the Special Sitting on drug policy and its implicit message that countries can continue to pursue reform without fear of sanctions.

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NT communities could regain more control over alcohol

NT communities could regain more control over alcohol | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Remote Northern Territory Indigenous communities could be on the cusp of regaining more control over alcohol management for the first time in a decade.
ReGenUC's insight:

NT Govt looks to develop consistent alcohol policy for the whole territory and return choice about alcohol management to Aboriginal communities.

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Evil of drugs and alcohol have medics and society on back foot (NSW)

Evil of drugs and alcohol have medics and society on back foot (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SATURDAY was really big on drugs and alcohol. The whole weekend we saw a lot of patients intoxicated, injured or badly drug-affected.
ReGenUC's insight:

Dr Gordian Fulde's regular summary of weekend AOD-related harms presenting at the Emergency Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.

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Drink at home partygoers prove drink laws target wrong end of the evening (Qld)

Drink at home partygoers prove drink laws target wrong end of the evening (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Labor Government is targeting the "wrong end of the evening" with drinking precinct legislation, with Griffith University research provin
ReGenUC's insight:

Griffith Uni study highlights the role of pre-loading in alcohol related harm.

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Path clears for pill testing at summer music festivals - outside NSW

Path clears for pill testing at summer music festivals - outside NSW | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Senior police and politicians are supporting a nationwide pill testing trial at music festivals - outside NSW
ReGenUC's insight:
Last weekend's festival overdoses provided another reminder of the need for introducing drug checking at such events. Good to see progress being made here and that authorities are willing to support harm reduction services to help save lives.
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Older drivers - not teens - a bigger risk of drug driving: new report (Aus)

Older drivers - not teens - a bigger risk of drug driving: new report (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE war on drugs has hit the road, but if the latest study is a guide drivers aren’t getting the message.
ReGenUC's insight:

Police data shows 25-34 year-olds the highest risk group.

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