Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Medical journal slams Ottawa for cutting off post-trial heroin (Canada)

Medical journal slams Ottawa for cutting off post-trial heroin (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The federal health minister has breached international medical ethical standards by stopping participants in a Downtown Eastside clinical study from getting post-trial access to heroin, according to a scathing editorial in Canada’s leading medical...
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers (Aus)

Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Senate will vote on the change, following Labor's notice to move a disallowance motion.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a less-discussed aspect of the Turnbull Govt's punitive welfare reforms, but has the potential to harm far more people than the proposed drug testing pilot. Good to see leading health and welfare groups speaking out about these ill-informed and vindictive measures. Hopefully, they won't make it through the senate.

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Sue Paton: Why addiction practitioners must be registered (NZ)

Sue Paton: Why addiction practitioners must be registered (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
OPINION: People with drug and alcohol addictions are already highly vulnerable. The last thing they need is inadequate treatment by unqualified people.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post from the US about the unethical and exploitative practice within an unregulated for-profit treatment system: http://sco.lt/75vshN.

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Corruption watchdog warns of 'extraordinary' level of drug thefts from WA hospitals

Corruption watchdog warns of 'extraordinary' level of drug thefts from WA hospitals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The CCC's report acknowledges that both hospitals are developing new procedures to better secure their Schedule 8 drugs, but the watchdog said until these are i
ReGenUC's insight:

Obviously, this is not just a problem for WA hospitals. Easy access to drugs is a significant risk factor for health workers seeking to deal with a variety of workplace stresses.

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B.C. woman says drug users hold solution to growing overdose crisis (Canada)

B.C. woman says drug users hold solution to growing overdose crisis (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drug users are the solution to addressing overdose deaths and providing services to people before they die alone, says a woman who attended a meeting of health professionals in Vancouver trying to develop new strategies to deal with a growing crisis in B.C.
ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder of the importance of including people who use drugs in the development of responses to drug related harm. It also highlights the role MSICs play in reducing stigma and increasing the accessibility of treatment and support services.

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China announces scheduling controls of new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances

China’s National Narcotics Control Commission today announced scheduling controls against four new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances – U-47700, MT-45, PMMA, and 4,4’ DMAR. The scheduling controls will take effect on July 1, 2017.

ReGenUC's insight:

China has been a major producer of illicit fentanyl and NPS. It will be interesting to see if this decision reduces their availability in global markets, or whether other producers move to fill the gap. A third option is that Chinese producers will simply shift to new classes of NPS to avoid the new controls.

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Occasional smokers who vape smoke more cigarettes (USA)

Tobacco companies have been selling electronic cigarettes as a way to wean smokers off paper cigarettes, but a new study suggests the strategy could backfire.

ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post where Simon Chapman argues for strict regulation of e-cigarettes in Aus: http://sco.lt/86duKX

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'We're on to something good': Doctors learn how to prescribe medicinal cannabis (Vic)

'We're on to something good': Doctors learn how to prescribe medicinal cannabis (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Brisbane cancer survivor says medicinal cannabis helped heal a large ulcerating tumour eating into his neck as doctors prepare to meet in Melbourne to learn more about prescribing the newly available drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of this week's training course in Melbourne.

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Perth mum kicks 23-year drug habit with free program

Perth mum kicks 23-year drug habit with free program | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Natasha Bianchi was hooked on meth when she found Black Swan Health's program.
ReGenUC's insight:

This story is a bit on the shallow side, but it's at least good to see some public attention being given to the effectiveness of publicly funded treatment services. All too often, it's for-profit providers pushing their own marketing claims through mainstream media outlets, which creates the impression that, if you want successful outcomes, you need to pay large sums of money. See what we've had to say about this previously: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/781-decline-of-mainstream-media-a-boon-for-for-profit-drug-services-a-bust-for-informed-debate-11-08-16

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E-cigarette users less addicted than smokers, study finds (USA)

E-cigarette users less addicted than smokers, study finds (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
People who exclusively use e-cigarettes show lower levels of dependence than those who smoke cigarettes, although three-quarters of people who used e-cigarettes, which often contain nicotine, considered themselves addicted to them.
ReGenUC's insight:

The study's lead author says, "e-cigarettes are addictive, but not at the same level as traditional cigarettes.”

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Skye’s heartbreaking final words to mum (Vic)

Skye’s heartbreaking final words to mum (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SKYE Turner was a beautiful blonde with a loving family but she got caught in the scourge of heroin addiction in Melbourne.
ReGenUC's insight:

Now this is unexpected: A Current Affair running a story supporting the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne. You can see the ACA story here: https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2017/clip-cj4414gbo003a0hnt62tag1fi

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Injecting room: 'Richmond is crying out' (Vic)

Injecting room: 'Richmond is crying out' (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

It’s time Victoria followed NSW in setting up a safe place for heroin addicts to inject drugs, health professionals say While pharmacist Angelo Pricolo is planning a forum looking at how an injecting room could help minimise harm to the community, a Richmond doctor has penned a piece in the MJA calling for such a facility.

ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of clear health service and community support for the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond. See today's related post containing reference to the increasing presence of fentanyl in illicit drugs being purchased in Victoria, and the obvious implications this has for imminent risk of increased overdose deaths amongst people injecting opioids in Melbourne: http://sco.lt/5zVXPt

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Study aims to answer why growing numbers of young people are turning away from alcohol

Study aims to answer why growing numbers of young people are turning away from alcohol | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals a trend among teenagers to abstain from alcohol, unlike their parents. "Young people are generally drinking less, delaying their initiation to alcohol, and there are more abstainers," PhD student Sue Sharrad told ABC Radio Adelaide's Mornings program.

ReGenUC's insight:

It will be interesting to see what Ms Sharrad finds in her research. The overall reduction in young people's alcohol consumption is part of a wider international trend.

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Little-known illegal drug being sold to sick, desperate Australians

Little-known illegal drug being sold to sick, desperate Australians | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
South-east Asian drug dealers are targetting sick and vulnerable Australians with a little-known hallucinogenic drug they claim will alleviate chronic pain.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is pretty poor reporting. Kratom isn't that widely used in Aus, but it has been around for a long time. It has been the subject of much debate in the US, where it has been banned, with calls for it to be used in the treatment of opioid dependence. As with Khat, Coca and other plant-based drugs that have a long history of use in various parts of the world, there is much debate about appropriate policy responses at a local and international level.

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Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses (USA)

Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

It was the kind of afternoon that cold-weary tourists revel in as they sip mojitos near the beach — a dazzling sun, a sky so blue it verged on Photoshopped and weather fit for flip-flops. But the young visitor from Arkansas, curled up into a ball near the sidewalk, had a better reason to be grateful. He was alive.

ReGenUC's insight:

“The state of Florida licenses haircutters, yet we don’t license any of the people involved in the supervision of young adults suffering from substance abuse disorder, far away from home, without means,” said Cary Glickstein, the mayor of Delray Beach. “These desperate patients and family members are getting exploited and abused.” 

The US treatment system is very different to ours in Australia. It's dominated by private services and access is often determined by people's level of health insurance. However, similar issues exist here with the lack of regulation of such services and the exposure of desperate families to unethical and exploitative practice (see our article on this: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/781-decline-of-mainstream-media-a-boon-for-for-profit-drug-services-a-bust-for-informed-debate-11-08-16). See also today's related post, with similar calls for regulation coming from NZ: http://sco.lt/9ME7jl.

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Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster (Aus)

Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Their health effects are as yet uncertain but lifting controls on e-cigarettes would open the way for them be sold alongside groceries.
ReGenUC's insight:

Simon Chapman argues for strict regulation of e-cigarettes. See today's related post on US data indicating that e-cigarette use by occasional smokers increases health risks: http://sco.lt/7rxROj

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Montreal's supervised injection sites open, a first in Eastern Canada

Montreal's supervised injection sites open, a first in Eastern Canada | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After months of preparation and years of lobbying in hopes of preventing drug overdoses, Montreal's safe-injection sites are opening their doors to the public for the first time today.
ReGenUC's insight:

That's two centres and a mobile unit, with another centre due to open in the coming months.

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New data shows low risk nicotine product snus is 95 percent safer than smoking (EU)

New data analysis presented today at the annual Global Forum on Nicotone (GFN) meeting demonstrates the potential of the low risk tobacco product snus in reducing the impact of tobacco related disease and death in Europe. The latest evidence, presented by Peter Lee, epidemiologist and medical statistician, indicates that snus is at least 95 percent safer than smoking.

ReGenUC's insight:

The Swedish experience shows that snus has significant harm reduction potential, but the marketing of the product is banned in the rest of Europe. See today's related e-cigarette coverage: http://sco.lt/7rxROj

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Young people in Ireland are drinking less alcohol than their parents and this could be the reason why

Young people in Ireland are drinking less alcohol than their parents and this could be the reason why | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ireland is being hit by a wave of sobriety. The latest figures from the World Health Organisation show that our reputation for heavy drinking is now little more than a quaint historical
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the broad pattern of reduced alcohol consumption by young people, but worth noting the increase in drinking at home.

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Number of women in hospital for heroin and prescription opioids spikes 75% in one decade (USA)

Number of women in hospital for heroin and prescription opioids spikes 75% in one decade (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The number of women admitted to the hospital for using heroin or prescription pain relievers has jumped 75 per cent in 10 years, according to a new data analysis from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). 

ReGenUC's insight:

Rise linked to prescribing patterns. Rates of women's admissions reach parity with men.

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XXXX and the Maroons: rugby league’s second sponsorship split (Aus)

Queensland’s record-breaking Maroons are set to start a new slate in 2018, following last week’s unexpected – albeit partial – split from Lion’s XXXX.  It is the second recent alcohol sponsorship shake-up, and a significant one too.

ReGenUC's insight:

Product branding to be removed from both State of Origin teams' playing jerseys but alcohol industry to remain closely associated with NRL.

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Dangerous drugs just a click away (Vic)

Dangerous drugs just a click away (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRUG dealers are openly using online classifieds to peddle ice, cannabis and cocaine across Melbourne.
ReGenUC's insight:

This isn't exactly breaking news. Most social and other online platforms get used for this purpose at some point. While there is money to be made selling illicit drugs, people will always try to find new ways to make it.

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#Weed4Corbyn? (UK)

#Weed4Corbyn? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Whilst the shockwaves of last week’s General Election continue to rumble on, many reformers are turning their attention to what all this upheaval and uncertainty means for the future of drug policy in the UK. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Deej Sullivan considers Labor represents the most feasible candidate to achieve meaningful drug policy reform, but many questions still remain.

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Spanish party town publishes 64 rules for drunk tourists

Spanish party town publishes 64 rules for drunk tourists | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A SPANISH town is so fed up with the raucous behaviour of drunk tourists it has published a strict rule book.
ReGenUC's insight:

Once a drinking culture is established, it is hard to shift. The rules introduced last year 'appear to have done little to deter rowdy behaviour in the hot spots of Mallorca'.

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Police plan laws that let them search festivalgoers 'without reason' (Vic)

Police plan laws that let them search festivalgoers 'without reason' (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Victorian police and the state government are attempting to change the law in order to halt the amount of deaths and drug overdoses in recent years.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is the wrong approach from the Andrews Govt. We already know that policing at festivals often contributes to increased overdose risk, when people (fearing arrest) take all their drugs at once in order to avoid detection. Why 'double down' on an ineffective strategy when other evidence based measures (such as pill testing services) are available. It's also worth noting that Adriana Buccianti (Daniel's Mum) is a passionate supporter of pill testing and is upset that her son's name is being used here to support Minister Neville's announcement.

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Victorian schools swept up in drug epidemic as hundreds of children struggle with addiction

VICTORIAN students are being caught using and dealing drugs in alarming numbers. Police have warned that drug use among young Victorians is out of control, saying hundreds — including primary school-aged children — are now struggling with addiction.

ReGenUC's insight:

There's nothing in this article to support the 'hundreds of children struggle with addiction' in the headline. There is always more that can be done to prevent the uptake of licit and illicit drug use by young people and reduce the potential harm for those that do use. Apart from the usual claims that the situation is 'out of control', one genuine concern is police reporting that they are seeing fentanyl being cut into drugs like cannabis. This practice has been a significant contributor to the spike in overdose deaths in the US and Canada. It's emergence here underscores the need for much wider distribution of naloxone than only amongst those (knowingly) who use opioids. Thanks to VAADA for making the text of this article available.

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