Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Alarm over plan for needle vending machines in city's drug hot spots (Vic)

Alarm over plan for needle vending machines in city's drug hot spots (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

NEEDLE vending machines in the city's heroin hot spots will increase drug use and risk increasing the numbers of dangerous syringes discarded in the streets, residents and traders fear.

ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the headline, the article shows a range of opinions, particularly those of traders already familiar with the machines and who recognise their value.

It also highlights the risks associated with injecting in public places and indirectly makes the case for the proposed Yarra Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.  You can see our position on the proposal here: http://regen.org.au/advocacy

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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'The dogs don't work': NSW Greens say $66m 'wasted' on drug sniffer dog unit

'The dogs don't work': NSW Greens say $66m 'wasted' on drug sniffer dog unit | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
David Shoebridge says waste ‘extraordinary’ after figures show NSW police spent an average of more than $9m per year since 2010 on drug detection unit
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the need for a redistribution of Australian drug policy funding towards evidence based approaches, like treatment and harm reduction.

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Temptation grows to use drugs to stay awake in the workplace (Aus)

Temptation grows to use drugs to stay awake in the workplace (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The 24/7 economy is pushing so-called 'smart drugs' into the office
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Ian Hickie and Carl Hart on the use (and impacts) of drugs like Modafinil, ADHD medications and other stimulants (like caffeine) in the workplace. See yesterday's related post on the use of 'smart drugs' by students: http://sco.lt/6njAeX

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Australian man dies in Laos after suspected drink spiking

Australian man dies in Laos after suspected drink spiking | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A MELBOURNE man has died while travelling in Laos after his drink was reportedly spiked.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related post on methanol poisoning in Indonesia: http://sco.lt/9851RR.

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Two-thirds of young people who take legal highs intend to ignore incoming ban (UK)

Two-thirds of young people who take legal highs intend to ignore incoming ban (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Around two-thirds of young people who take legal highs intend to ignore the incoming ban on the substances, new research suggests.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder of the general ineffectiveness of banning particular drug types in reducing consumption.

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As more states legalize marijuana, adolescents' problems with pot decline (USA)

As more states legalize marijuana, adolescents' problems with pot decline (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A survey of more than 216,000 adolescents from all 50 states indicates the number of teens with marijuana-related problems is declining. Similarly, the rates of marijuana use by young people are falling despite the fact mor
ReGenUC's insight:

National study finds overall use increasing following legal reforms, but that use (and harm) amongst young people declines.

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Can a pricey implant to treat opioid addiction save lives? (USA)

Can a pricey implant to treat opioid addiction save lives? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The implant promises to treat opioid addiction without the hassle of a daily pill. But doctors and insurers are wary, especially about the cost.
ReGenUC's insight:

On the development of a buprenorphine implant. Buprenorphine is effective as an opioid replacement therapy, but is far from providing a silver bullet for the US 'opioid crisis'. As we've seen with naltrexone implants, there are very real dangers associated with implants being seen as a 'cure' for dependence, when they do nothing to address the cognitive and behavioural components of drug dependence. 

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Spate of deaths from bootleg liquor as Indonesia debates alcohol prohibition

Spate of deaths from bootleg liquor as Indonesia debates alcohol prohibition | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's an excruciating way to die. First comes nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headaches (often mistaken for normal drunkenness), followed by loss of vision
ReGenUC's insight:

Methanol poisoning is a common occurrence in Indonesia. A bill currently before parliament proposes a national ban on the production, distribution and sale of any products with more than 1% alcohol content.

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Opioid prescriptions drop for first time in two decades (USA)

Opioid prescriptions drop for first time in two decades (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—In a sign that the opioid epidemic might be waning, new data show that the number of opioid prescriptions has dropped for the first time in 20 years.
ReGenUC's insight:

New data indicates change in prescribing practice since 2013. It's important to note that this change has not yet resulted in lower overdose fatalities.

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This Is What the Future of Vaping Looks Like (USA)

This Is What the Future of Vaping Looks Like (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's a lot of hand-wringing over what the vaping industry will look like, but we already have some clues.
ReGenUC's insight:

On moves by Big Tobacco to control the future e-cigarette market.

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Critics stick needle into injecting vans (Vic)

Critics stick needle into injecting vans (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

This article was behind the News Ltd paywall in today's Herald Sun.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's a pity the paper doesn't question Drug Free Australia's and Dalgarno's assertions, which ignore the abundant evidence for the effectiveness of harm reduction measures in general, and MSICs in particular. FYI, our position statement (and supporting evidence) on the need to establish a MSIC in Melbourne is here: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action.  See some of last week's coverage here: http://sco.lt/7qnqkL, http://sco.lt/7Bvc13

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Opioids 'little benefit' to back pain (Aus)

Opioid painkillers, even at high doses, provide minimal benefit for people with low back pain, new research suggests. "People have the mistaken belief that opioids are strong pain killers," says Professor Chris Maher from The George Institute. "When you look closely at the evidence from the low back pain trials, a completely different picture emerges." 

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new Uni of Sydney findings.

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Children of Heroin Crisis Find Refuge in Grandparents’ Arms (USA)

Children of Heroin Crisis Find Refuge in Grandparents’ Arms (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Grandparents have long provided safe harbor for grandchildren for a host of reasons, but not since the crack epidemic of the 1990s, analysts say, have so many children appeared to be at risk because of parental drug addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

Grandparents becoming the primary carers for grandchildren is a common occurrence when their parents are unable to care for them due to AOD dependence. This article provides an insight into the impacts on US families.

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The teenagers who poison themselves (UK)

The teenagers who poison themselves (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of young women in the UK who are poisoning themselves is reportedly on the rise. Why do they do it?
ReGenUC's insight:

There's a common (but problematic) argument that problematic AOD use amounts to self harm. This article provides an insight into instances where self-harm is the intended outcome.

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Saying sorry isn't enough for Indigenous children (Aus)

Saying sorry isn't enough for Indigenous children (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More should be done to reduce the rate at which Indigenous children are removed from their families.
ReGenUC's insight:

On Sorry Day, Judy Cashmore and Teresa Libesman highlight the need for earlier interventions and support within our communities to address contribution factors (such as AOD use) to abuse and neglect of children and strengthen families.

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Scientists have figured out exactly how much fun it is to get drunk (UK)

Scientists have figured out exactly how much fun it is to get drunk (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Are the happiness boosting effects of alcohol fleeting or long-lasting?
ReGenUC's insight:

While the tone of this article is deliberately light the core arguments are sound: 1. People typically use alcohol (and other drugs because they enjoy the effect; 2. Public health campaigns that ignore this fact are unlikely to affect the behaviour of those already engaged AOD use; 3. It's important to be aware of the increased risk of harm (including emerging dependence) associated with higher levels of consumption. This initiative has obvious similarities to a recent project by a Brazillian photographer, who sought to capture the impacts of drinking three glasses of wine on people's mood: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/08/amazing-photos-capture-how-faces-change-after-1-2-and-3-glasses/

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SA Libs taunted over drug dealer laws

South Australia's attorney-general has challenged the Liberal opposition to "man up" and support a new crackdown on drug dealers.
ReGenUC's insight:

This sort of approach is not conducive to the development of effective, evidence based drug policy. Less chest thumping, more consideration of the evidence please.

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U.S. e-cigarette use stalls as health concerns grow: Reuters/Ipsos poll

U.S. e-cigarette use stalls as health concerns grow: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Use of electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices has stalled in the United States as more Americans question their safety, according to a new online Reuters/Ipsos poll.
ReGenUC's insight:

Poll shows that half of those who had ceased using e-cigarettes had returned to using tobacco products.

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Scotland now a 'nation of home drinkers'

Scotland now a 'nation of home drinkers' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Adults in Scotland increase their consumption of alcohol for the second year in a row, according to a report.
ReGenUC's insight:

NHS Scotland data shows 2015 alcohol sales were 20% than in England and Wales, with increases driven by supermarket and off-licence sales.

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City plans to fight heroin by allowing it

City plans to fight heroin by allowing it | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ithaca, New York, wants to allow heroin addicts to use the drug in a legal space, which some believe will help fight the epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the headline, this is not about drug law reform. The article provides more coverage of Ithaca's plan to establish a medically supervised injecting centre, and the local politics.

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Dads' age, alcohol intake can harm a foetus (USA)

Dads' age, alcohol intake can harm a foetus (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WANT to be a dad? Watch what you drink.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the impacts of parents' alcohol intake on the development of their babies. This study links fathers' drinking to FASD.

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Where people drink the most booze and do the most drugs (USA)

Where people drink the most booze and do the most drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's a particular group of states where people are most likely to drink too much alcohol and do too many drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mapping of SAMHSA data on state's consumption.

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The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses (USA)

The hefty price of 'study drug' misuse on college campuses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
College students who take stimulants such as Adderall to get an academic edge might be setting themselves up unknowingly to a vicious cycle of substance abuse and addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

This article doesn't use the term 'gateway drug', but it's hovering in the background. The pressures of study can contribute to the misuse of a variety of drug types (including alcohol). See our recent related post on why young people use Modafinil and other 'smart drugs': http://sco.lt/6T1qT3.

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The Rich Go To Rehab, The Poor Go To Jail (Aus)

The Rich Go To Rehab, The Poor Go To Jail (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Treatment is available, if you can afford it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Vernon White on the shortage of publicly funded treatment services in Australia and the booming market for for-profit services. See our recent release on unethical practice by for-profit providers: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/media-releases/717-regen-welcomes-the-ages-focus-on-for-profit-treatment-services-11-03-16

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Ice scourge: regional drug courts touted as possible answer in Warnambool drug fight (Vic)

Ice scourge: regional drug courts touted as possible answer in Warnambool drug fight (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One of south-west Victoria's top policemen says regional drug courts could be the key to breaking the cycle of drug use and incarceration.
ReGenUC's insight:

See also the recent announcement of the expansion of Melbourne's Drug Court: http://sco.lt/8R4LKb

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Legal high ban 'could force dealers onto the dark web' (UK)

Legal high ban 'could force dealers onto the dark web' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dealers of so-called legal highs could move to the "dark web" as a blanket ban on the drugs comes into force later this week, a senior police offic
ReGenUC's insight:

Any new drug policy measure will have unintended effects. The growth in appeal for synthetics has been driven, at least in part, by the legal (and social) sanctions applied to more established drug types. With the new legislation coming into effect in a couple of days, the extent of unintended harms will be remain to be seen. See today's related post on risk of prosecution for possession/dealing: http://sco.lt/5a84xd

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