Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Alcohol sends 30,000 Vics to hospital

Alcohol sends 30,000 Vics to hospital | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NEARLY 30,000 Victorians were hospitalised in a 12-month period due to the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, new data shows.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Turning Point data on the various harms related to alcohol.

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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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Is Australia really being flooded by new killer drugs?

Is Australia really being flooded by new killer drugs? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There is a potential for significant harm in Australia if we don't have adequate systems in place to monitor our drug markets and respond rapidly when specific dangers are detected.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice response by Stephen Bright and Monica Barratt on the latest round of media hysteria, making a clear call for evidence based (as opposed to fear driven) responses to actual harm. You can see our comments on recent coverage here: http://sco.lt/9KqrMv, http://sco.lt/8jZEjB

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Young foster girl carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died (NSW)

Young foster girl carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A GIRL who was allegedly repeatedly raped at a Sydney foster care facility by two youth workers carved ‘I hate feelings’ into her leg before she died, an inquest has heard.
ReGenUC's insight:
One example of the personal tragedies behind the overdose statistics and a powerful reminder that, for many, AOD use is a survival strategy, for dealing with the impacts of acute and ongoing trauma.
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Labor, Greens would consider drug law reform after election (ACT)

Labor, Greens would consider drug law reform after election (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Decriminalising drug use was the most obvious point of difference in Monday's debate.
ReGenUC's insight:
Good to see the two parties at least willing to have the debate and to see drug policy featuring as an election issue. Libs leader rules it out altogether. 
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No surprise the young support lock-out laws

No surprise the young support lock-out laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
If you're in my generation, you've probably seen the violence first-hand.
ReGenUC's insight:
Jennifer Duke recognises that legislation is a 'blunt tool' for reducing public violence, but it's still the most effective one available.
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How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians?

How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Around 2.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 15 years and over report using speed or amphetamine in the past year. This is similar to the general population.
ReGenUC's insight:
Nicole Lee and Sarah MacLean on the evidence of increasing use (consistent with the rest of the population) and treatment support options.
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Poll shows voters favour extending lockout laws (NSW)

Poll shows voters favour extending lockout laws (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A majority of NSW voters say controversial "lockout" laws should be extended across the state, an exclusive Fairfax poll has found.
ReGenUC's insight:
60% of those polled support statewide expansion of NSW Govt's measures.
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OD threat rises as antidote fails to work first time (USA)

OD threat rises as antidote fails to work first time (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alert: Naloxone isn't working on several recent ODs, which leads health officials to believe that stronger opioids are in heroin.
ReGenUC's insight:
It's important to note that it's the dosage of naloxone given that is the issue, not its effectiveness. The story highlights the overdose risks associated with these powerful synthetic opioids, and the importance of not using alone.
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Microaggressions in Recovery: More than a Concern with Political Correctness (USA)

Microaggressions in Recovery: More than a Concern with Political Correctness (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Members of historically disempowered and stigmatized groups (e.g., women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, religious minorities, etc.) have long been subjected to overt aggression from the dominant cultures in which they are nested.

ReGenUC's insight:

William White highlights the daily micro-aggressions, insults and invalidations experienced by people affected by AOD dependence, including those perpetrated by people within the recovery movement. He's looking for more examples, if you have experiences to share. See the bottom of the article for details.

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The Rejection Of Drug Testing Is A Hard Pill To Swallow (Aus)

The Rejection Of Drug Testing Is A Hard Pill To Swallow (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It is a case of the demand for perfection stifling any progress.
ReGenUC's insight:

Harm Reduction Australia's Gino Vumbaca on how 'the perfect is the enemy of the good' in the case of official barriers to implementing drug checking initiatives.

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Majority of US doctors discussing electronic cigarettes with their patients

A new survey of US doctors reveals they are frequently discussing electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) with patients in a clinical setting. A substantial proportion of physicians also recommend e-cigs to their patients who smoke despite some controversy around the devices.
ReGenUC's insight:

US study shows doctors recognise the harm reduction benefits associated with vaping over regular cigarettes.

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Pioneering methadone programme in Dar es Salaam gives hope to thousands (Tanzania)

Pioneering methadone programme in Dar es Salaam gives hope to thousands (Tanzania) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Mwananyamala is one of two hospitals in Dar es Salaam that now make methadone available as treatment for addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment is regarded by WHO as the most effective therapy for heroin users, and methadone was added to WHO’s model essential medicines list in 2005. In combination with psychosocial support, it can help to reduce addiction to opioids such as heroin, prevent infection with HIV and other diseases transmitted by sharing needles, and reduce the criminal behaviour that often accompanies illicit drug use.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the effectiveness of pharmacotherapies in preventing harm and supporting recovery.

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Blue light crews abused by drunk people (UK)

Blue light crews abused by drunk people (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Staff survey of police, fire and ambulance personnel reveals full extent of alcohol misuse in incidents attended by emergency crews.
ReGenUC's insight:

Two thirds of Emergency workers report being subjected to violence over the period of a four-week study. The majority of incidents were alcohol related.

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Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic calls for Victoria to rethink crime

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic calls for Victoria to rethink crime | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Victoria spends 25 times more to jail prisoners for a year than it does to fund community-based services to help would-be prisoners rebuild their lives.

ReGenUC's insight:

Ms Popovic calls for greater focus on justice reinvestment to address causal factors for offending e.g. AOD dependence, homelessness, education, employment...

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Prescription drug threat prompts fresh call for overdose treatment naloxone (Vic)

AN urgent campaign to promote the lifesaving qualities of overdose reversal drug naloxone has been called for in the wake of data showing a surge of accidental deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see public attention being drawn to the impacts of the withdrawal of naloxone minijets (the most accessible, affordable option currently available) from the Australian market. This will also be addressed at tomorrow's CREIDU colloqium. For more details (or to register) see the website: https://www.burnet.edu.au/events/200_creidu_colloquium. Thanks to VAADA for making the content of this article available from behind the NewsLtd paywall.

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The realities behind the homeless of Hosier Lane (Vic)

The realities behind the homeless of Hosier Lane (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The public backlash against the homeless fails to understand the problem's causes, explains Sam Biondo.
ReGenUC's insight:
Great response by VAADA's Sam Biondo to last week's demonisation (http://sco.lt/8rqppB) of people who are homeless. He rightly challenges our society's propsensity to 'blame the victim', rather than address the structural and social factors driving homelessness (and related issues).
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Mum turns life around from ‘rock bottom’ (Vic)

Mum turns life around from ‘rock bottom’ (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A LIFE skills and resilience course came along at just the right time for Sunbury single mother Michelle Ulm.
ReGenUC's insight:
Nice recovery story featuring the work of our friends at Sunbury Community Health.
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Common prescription drugs behind a wave of Australian overdose deaths

New data obtained by the Herald Sun reveals a surge in deaths among older Australians, with almost eight in 10 accidental overdose deaths now men and women aged 30-59. The figures challenge the traditional image of drug deaths being young people overdosing on illegal drugs in inner city drug hot spots.
ReGenUC's insight:
This shift in the demographics of overdose is likely due to two factors: 1. Our over-reliance on opioid painkillers, particularly amongst older people; & 2. an ageing cohort of people who are long-term users of heroin and other opioids. We need targetted policy and service responses to the needs of both groups. Sally Finn's suggestion is a good one: doctors should be prescribing naloxone for anyone on high doses of opioids. One thing is clear from the data: overdose prevention is a mainstream issue. Thanks to VAADA for bringing the content of this article (and the accompanying editorial) out from behind the NewsLtd paywall.
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Up to 15 Sydney venues affected by change to lockout laws

Up to 15 Sydney venues affected by change to lockout laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sydney city strip clubs and live music venues will be exempt from the state's lockout laws, in a win for opponents of the controversial regulations.
ReGenUC's insight:
Court decision deems restrictions don't apply. NSW Govt to appeal.
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Report claims lockout's impact exaggerated (NSW)

Report claims lockout's impact exaggerated (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The impact of the lockout laws on the health of Kings Cross has been greatly exaggerated, according to a report by an anti-alcohol lobby group whos
ReGenUC's insight:
FARE Australia findings indicate lockouts' impacts on local business have been inflated by opponents to the measures.
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Girl, 5, shot in Philippines drugs war

Girl, 5, shot in Philippines drugs war | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A five-year-old kindergarten girl is the latest victim of Philippines President Duterte's war on drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:
The sad reality is that the death of one five-year-old will probably be a greater cause of public outrage than the killings of nearly 2,000 adults under President Duterte's brutal policies. The stigmatisation of (& subsequent lack of public compassion for) people involved with illicit drugs is a global phenomenon, driven by misconceptions, ignorance and political opportunism. All lives have value, regardless of age or life events. Our challenge is to get people to look beyond the stereotypes to see the people behind them, and realise they they're just like the rest of us.
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Mike Baird's toughest test yet: whether to loosen restrictions on alcohol use (NSW)

Mike Baird's toughest test yet: whether to loosen restrictions on alcohol use (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Deputy Premier Troy Grant called a meeting of stakeholders in the lockout law debate on Tuesday, a week before the anticipated delivery to government of forme
ReGenUC's insight:

Sean Nicholls outlines the options for the Premier following the imminent release of the Callinan review report.

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Seattle’s Potential Solution for Heroin Epidemic: Places for Legal Drug Use (USA)

Seattle’s Potential Solution for Heroin Epidemic: Places for Legal Drug Use (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A city task force endorsed the idea of safe consumption facilities, which would allow addicts to take drugs without fear of being arrested.
ReGenUC's insight:

Often, it is only the public recognition of a 'crisis' that enables the introduction of evidence based harm reduction measures (such as medically supervised injecting centres or drug consumption rooms) that would ordinarily spark community outrage. See this recent post on the public response to a proposed methamphetamine inhalation centre in Liverpool: http://sco.lt/6tUXJ3.

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Few Homeless Shelter Workers Are Trained to Administer Heroin Antidote (USA)

Few Homeless Shelter Workers Are Trained to Administer Heroin Antidote (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Department of Homeless Services said that training staff members in all New York City shelters, where overdoses were the leading cause of death last fiscal year, is a top priority.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of training first responders in the use of naloxone. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/6aIfcP.

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Cincinnati just experienced a massive spike in heroin overdoses (USA)

Cincinnati just experienced a massive spike in heroin overdoses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cincinnati has become the latest American city to be hit by a huge wave of heroin overdoses in a single night, recording 20 mostly in a three-hour period. No-one died on Tuesday night and the victims were revived with Narcan, the anti-opiate medication that has become a frontline defence in the war on drugs. Authorities in the city say they have launched an investigation into whether the overdoses were connected, and whether a contaminated or super-strong consignment of heroin was to blame.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence for the importance of getting naloxone into the hands of those most likely to first encounter overdose: peers & family members.

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Ice in schools: 'My son is a drug addict ... that does not make him any less of a person' (Vic)

Ice in schools: 'My son is a drug addict ... that does not make him any less of a person' (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Schools must not impose zero-tolerance policies. Expulsion marginalises and ostracises, and renders desperate parents helpless.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a powerful and passionate response to recent coverage of reported methamphetamine use within school communities. It speaks straight to the heart of the issue: all those affected are people, with challenges and great opportunities, but their stigmatisation makes it more difficult to seek help. This mother's case also highlights how it increases families' vulnerability to unrealistic marketing claims by for-profit services. This mother's account highlights the need for a greater focus by schools on students' welfare (see this related piece: http://sco.lt/7Ew5q5) and the great capacity families have to support their loved ones through challenging times.

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