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Uruguay becomes first country to legalise marijuana trade

Uruguay becomes first country to legalise marijuana trade | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Montevideo: Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana on Tuesday, a pioneering social experiment that will be closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalization.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of yesterday's landmark senate vote. See more below.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Leading drugs charity DrugScope to close due to lack of funds (UK)

Leading drugs charity DrugScope to close due to lack of funds (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Organisation representing professionals tackling drug and alcohol abuse forced to shut after 15 years because of ‘worsening financial situation’
ReGenUC's insight:

It seems that it's not only Australian peak and advocacy bodies that are under funding pressure.  This is a big loss for the international AOD sector. See DrugScope's announcement: http://sco.lt/5cNGlN

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Kings Cross crime rates plummet as enforcement of pub lock-outs work (NSW)

Kings Cross crime rates plummet as enforcement of pub lock-outs work (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT was once seething with violence, where coward-punch assaults were all too common and young people put their lives at risk just to enjoy a night out.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the effectiveness of the lockout system in reducing alcohol related violence in public spaces.

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NT Government says police manning bottlos has brought down crime stats

NT Government says police manning bottlos has brought down crime stats | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Northern Territory Government says it has made big gains in the fight against problem drinking by placing police officers outside take-away bottle shops. In the town of Katherine, the Mayor is calling for a trial of the policy to continue, saying it is the best measure she's seen in the town. But critics argue the Government's claims of success are premature and come at a huge cost to policing resources.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage on Sydney's lockout system:http://sco.lt/7Q8pEH

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Cross clean-up is a victory for Sydney

Cross clean-up is a victory for Sydney | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Daily Telegraph’s campaign to clean up Kings Cross and other inner-city entertainment districts faced considerable opposition. Some even rejected the possibility that the Cross could be redeemed, pointing to the area’s many years of vice and criminality.
ReGenUC's insight:

Daily Telegraph editorial, claiming responsibility for the reduction in violent crime: http://sco.lt/7Q8pEH

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India halts tough cigarette packaging plan

India halts tough cigarette packaging plan | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
India has suspended plans for warnings on cigarette packets after demands for evidence of cancer risks.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's hard not to be cynical about the likely reasons behind this move.

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Colorado: Crime down since pot legalised, should we follow?

Colorado: Crime down since pot legalised, should we follow? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

us)CANNABIS advocates have renewed calls for the drug to be legalised after claims crime fell and taxes rose when it was legalised in the US state of Colorado.

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Police raids sweep state for synthetic drugs (Qld)

POLICE have today raided 19 shops across Queensland, closing a major investigation into the manufacture and sale of synthetic drugs.
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More on this story: http://sco.lt/6oAya9

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DrugScope to close UK)

It is with deep regret that the DrugScope trustees have taken the decision to close the organisation with effect from 31st March 2015. This has been brought about by a worsening financial situation for DrugScope.

ReGenUC's insight:

It seems that it's not only Australian peak and advocacy bodies that are under funding pressure.  This is a big loss for the international AOD sector.

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Ice in Australia: overseas crime gangs, not bikies, are the threat

Ice in Australia: overseas crime gangs, not bikies, are the threat | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
How does the ACC report help inform the debate around methylamphetamine, and what practical lessons can Australian society and law enforcement draw from it?
ReGenUC's insight:

Response to last week's ACC report: http://sco.lt/6XenvV

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Ice epidemic could bring nation to its knees, warns NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione

Ice epidemic could bring nation to its knees, warns NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE ice epidemic could bring Australia to its knees and police will be powerless to prevent it unless the whole community joins the fight, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

As we've said previously, this sort of hyper-inflated language does little to increase public understanding of the actual harms associated with methamphetamine use. Yes, there are serious issues to be dealt with, but let's try to stick to the evidence.

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Bust up looms over pub lockout (Qld)

BRISBANE City Council is on a collision course with the State Government over a ­planned 1am lockout, having labelled the plan “ill-advised and a disastrous outcome for the night-time economy”.
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NHS bosses ask shops to stop selling legal highs (Scotland)

NHS bosses ask shops to stop selling legal highs (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NHS chiefs are calling on shops to stop selling legal highs to curb an “alarming” strain on health services.
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Ticking timebomb: why ice could be the new drug scourge of the outback

Ticking timebomb: why ice could be the new drug scourge of the outback | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Concern is growing at the use of crystal meth, also known as ice, in remote communities, but services to keep the problem at bay have lost funding. And the ‘children of the intervention’ are the ones most at risk. A special report
ReGenUC's insight:

An extended piece on the impacts on remote communities of a reported resurgence of 'chroming', together with methamphetamine use and service funding cuts. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/8u5T3x.

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Drug rehab centres win last-minute reprieve from Federal Government cuts

Drug and alcohol centres around the country win a last-minute reprieve from funding cuts after an outcry from health groups.
ReGenUC's insight:

Following from yesterday's coverage (http://sco.lt/680hYP), these measures may do something to stem the immediate flow of experienced workers out of the AOD sector, but do little to provide them, or people who use their services, with any sense of security. This sort of drip-feed funding keeps programs in place for the short term, but limits their capacity to plan for the future or commit resources to developing innovative responses to emerging community needs.

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An injecting room worked for heroin. Let's have one to help beat ice (NSW)

An injecting room worked for heroin. Let's have one to help beat ice (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
To tackle ice, Australia needs brave leaders who understand that there will always be people who take meth, and no amount of law enforcement will ever change that
ReGenUC's insight:

Matt Noffs makes the case for harm reduction measures (and increased availability of treatment services) as part of any policy response to methamphetamines.

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Alcohol may be sold in Australian supermarkets under mooted changes to competition laws

Alcohol may be sold in Australian supermarkets under mooted changes to competition laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE sale of alcohol in supermarkets will be considered under a suite of recommended changes to Australia’s competition policy laws.
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On the Harper review, released yesterday.

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Drug and alcohol testing market will be worth $6.3 billion by 2019 shared in new research report (USA)

This research report covers the drug screening market by product and service, sample type, end user, and region.
ReGenUC's insight:

The growing demand for workplace/roadside drug testing is helping to drive an enormous market for companies. Regardless of the arguments for and against, it does raise potential concerns about future diversion of public funds from treatment and harm reduction services to expensive testing systems.

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Binge drinking costs UK £4.9bn a year

Binge drinking costs UK £4.9bn a year | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study has found that binge drinking in the UK costs the nation STG4.9 billion ($A9.49 billion) a year.
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20% of teens have accessed E-cigs (UK)

20% of teens have accessed E-cigs (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ONE in five British teenagers has tried e-cigarettes, a study has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds e-cigarette use 'strongly related' to drinking.

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Off Ya Tree, Happy High Herbs hit in synthetic cannabis sting (Qld)

Off Ya Tree, Happy High Herbs hit in synthetic cannabis sting (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police target Off Ya Tree, Happy High Herbs and Love Hearts stores.
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Health workers on front line in fight against drugs 'shocked' by $200m funding cut

Health workers on the front line in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse say they are shocked by the Federal Government's decision to cut millions in health funding.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing QNADA, the PHAA and Odyssey House (NSW) on the impacts of Federal funding cuts to service delivery and workforce retention.

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HIV outbreak in Indiana hits ’epidemic proportions’ (USA)

HIV outbreak in Indiana hits ’epidemic proportions’ (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HEALTH professionals are calling for radical changes after Indiana entered a public health emergency following a spike in HIV cases.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the obvious need for increased harm reduction measures (such as reliable access to clean injecting equipment) to reduce the harm to people who inject, their families and the broader community.

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WA courts see 50 per cent spike in drug driving cases

WA courts see 50 per cent spike in drug driving cases | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WA COURTS are dealing with more drug-affected drivers than ever before, prompting warnings it has become the new battleground in the fight to keep our roads safe.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NDRI's Steve Allsop.

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Time for smokers to butt out in all public places (Vic)

Time for smokers to butt out in all public places (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IF I had my way, smokers would suck their cancer-causing tar sticks in bunkers hidden deep underground.
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Council ban legislation creating 'bizarre' laws, campaigners say (UK)

Council ban legislation creating 'bizarre' laws, campaigners say (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A law that allows councils in England and Wales to ban certain activities in public is leading to "bizarre new criminal offences", campaigners say.
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