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Drunk on moral superiority: public health lobby’s nonsensical alcohol policy (Aus)

Drunk on moral superiority: public health lobby’s nonsensical alcohol policy (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Demonising the alcohol industry ignores evidence from previous successful public health campaigns, warns a senior public health figure.
ReGenUC's insight:

Bernard Keane has a well-established position on what he deems as the 'nanny statist' approach by public health 'wowsers'.  We disagree with much of his argument, but he does highlight the need for public health advocates to avoid being perceived as the new incarnation of the Temperance movement.

Here is his response to recent criticisms of the DrinkWise campaign.

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Family violence, ice drive crime up in Vic

Family violence, ice drive crime up in Vic | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PUTTING more police on the beat won't fix Victoria's growing problem with family violence and the drug ice, the state's police chief says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see Commissioner Lay recognising that we need more than an a 'law and order' policy response to problems associated with the use of methamphetamines.  Earlier interventions (including treatment) are the key.  We hope our politicians are listening.

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Top medico Alex Wodak urges intervention to curb black market for illness marijuana (Aus)

Top medico Alex Wodak urges intervention to curb black market for illness marijuana (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The only way to protect people from questionable black market marijuana is to regulate the supply of medicinal forms of the drug that can be prescribed to suitable people, doctors say.
ReGenUC's insight:

See earlier post about fake cannabis oil being sold to parents of sick children.

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Bogus medical cannabis putting chronically ill children at risk (Vic)

Bogus medical cannabis putting chronically ill children at risk (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Desperate parents who believe they are using cannabis oil to treat chronically ill children could be administering nothing but methylated spirits, alcohol and water.
ReGenUC's insight:

Quality control is one of the arguments for regulation of illicit drugs.

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The rehab centres that lock up addicts (Guatemala)

The rehab centres that lock up addicts (Guatemala) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

In Guatemala, behind barred and locked doors, thousands of drug addicts are offered treatment by Protestant churches. Christianity offers salvation for some but many are held against their will, and some are swept off the street by "hunting" parties.

ReGenUC's insight:

Not good practice, obviously. But this approach is not only practised in Guatemala. We see too many stories of similar 'treatment' from around the world. It highlights the importance of improving public understanding of AOD dependence, treatment and recovery, and of recognising people's basic human rights.

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Modified yeast makes opiates for the first time (USA)

Modified yeast makes opiates for the first time (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Yeast that can make opiates from other molecules raise the prospect of tanks of drug-producing microorganisms replacing open fields of opium poppies
ReGenUC's insight:

What impact will this development have on the apparent rush by Vic and other states to join Tas in poppy production?

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The Muscular Elephant in the Room: Gay Men and Steroid Use

The Muscular Elephant in the Room: Gay Men and Steroid Use | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The title's muscular elephant is not a pun; it's purely proverbial: We don't talk about anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse in gay men, but we know it's there....
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NDARC research.

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Aussies are bigger boozers than the Brits, but Belarus tops the list

Aussies are bigger boozers than the Brits, but Belarus tops the list | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australian culture is marinated in alcohol, but where do we sit in the worldwide list of biggest boozers?
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NT Health Minister Robyn Lambley backs medical marijuana, CLP to consider

NT Health Minister Robyn Lambley says she supports legalising marijuana used for medical reasons and indicates the Country Liberals will consider the issue.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's looking like the political rush to get on board the medical cannabis train is gaining speed.

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SA Premier Jay Weatherill ready to look at medical marijuana

MOMENTUM to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes is growing, with South Australia joining Victoria and NSW in considering legislative change.
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Medical marijuana: Coalition MP to push for cannabis trials (Aus)

Medical marijuana: Coalition MP to push for cannabis trials (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Warren Entsch drafts bill to allow for legal trials of cannabis to treat patients with cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
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Fast Fire on Cannabis: Who's for legalisation? (NZ)

Fast Fire on Cannabis: Who's for legalisation? (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new survey shows that an emphatic majority of voters want to partially or fully legalise cannabis, but there is little appetite for change among most political parties. - New Zealand Herald
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The pot challenge: Legalize while keeping kids safe (Canada)

The pot challenge: Legalize while keeping kids safe (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are warning Canadians that Justin Trudeau wants to make weed “more accessible to kids” by displaying and selling it in neighbourhood stores. Nonsense, the Liberal leader replies. Canadian youth already have easy access to the prohibited substance despite the Conservatives’ hard-line approach to drugs. A regulated regime that legalizes cannabis, the Liberals claim, will actually make access tougher.
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Drugs found in 38% of homicide victims (Ireland)

Drugs found in 38% of homicide victims (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some 38% of victims of homicide had illicit drugs or medication in their system at the time of death, a study has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

Alcohol was only recorded if it was present with other drug types.

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Napthine government to overhaul law to allow clinical trials of medical cannabis (Vic)

Napthine government to overhaul law to allow clinical trials of medical cannabis (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Napthine government will overhaul the law to allow clinical trials  of medical cannabis.

Health Minister David Davis will announce an advisory committee, made up of  medical and regulatory experts, that will also work through the complex issues  to allow a trial examining the use of cannabis compounds in treating or  relieving symptoms for a range of illnesses and conditions.

ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage to follow.

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Labor promises 25-year jail terms for ice offences (Vic)

Labor promises 25-year jail terms for ice offences (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dealing the drug ice to schoolchildren would carry a 25-year jail term under a promised suite of offences related to crystal methamphetamine announced by Labor.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on yesterday's announcement by the Opposition leader.

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Newman confident Queensland will lead the way with Safe Night strategy

Newman confident Queensland will lead the way with Safe Night strategy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Premier Campbell Newman said he was "very confident" that the other states will soon be looking to the "Queensland model" to address their alcohol and drug fuelled violence problems, saying he didn't believe other jurisdictions went far enough in addressing the issue.
ReGenUC's insight:

So, that's an emphatic no to pricing and lockouts, two policy approaches that have plenty of evidence behind them.

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Lock out laws shut down Sydney's Oxford Street

Lock out laws shut down Sydney's Oxford Street | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Answering violence with a lockout is like answering a forest ambush with clear-felling. And Oxford Street is suffering.
ReGenUC's insight:

Obviously, not everyone's a fan of lockouts.

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Fears patients may be smuggling drugs into psychiatric hospital (Vic)

Fears patients may be smuggling drugs into psychiatric hospital (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PATIENTS on unsupervised leave from Victoria’s secure mental hospital are smuggling alcohol and drugs back inside, staff believe.
ReGenUC's insight:

No prison or secure facility is watertight.  Where there is a demand for drugs, some will always get in.  One issue not raised here is the likely pressure (from other patients) people going on leave may be under to bring drugs back with them. 

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Drug overdose deaths in Adelaide closing in on the road toll (SA)

ADELAIDE just trails Perth as the nation’s accidental drug death capital, with the state’s death toll now approaching the road toll.
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NSW govt targets rogue doctors after Nair

THE NSW government will move to tighten hospital complaint rules after reports a Sydney neurosurgeon was allowed to continue operating on patients despite health authorities suspecting he was a cocaine addict.
ReGenUC's insight:

Following from Monday's post.  Will this make it harder for people with previous histories of AOD dependence to find work?  We can see why authorities want to introduce such measures, but they create a workplace environment that increases the stigma associated with AOD use and increases the chances that people will feel that they have to hide their dependence, rather than seek help.

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Old dope, new tricks: the new science of medical cannabis (Aus)

Old dope, new tricks: the new science of medical cannabis (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Medicinal cannabis is back in the news again after a planned trial to grow it in Norfolk Island was blocked by the federal government last week. The media is ablaze with political rumblings and tales of…
ReGenUC's insight:

David Allsop & Ian McGregor look at the current state of evidence and politics on cannabis.

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Marijuana compound could be used to treat psychosis in young people (Vic)

Marijuana compound could be used to treat psychosis in young people (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A compound found in marijuana could soon be trialled on young Australians to prevent and treat psychosis after European research suggested it could treat schizophrenia with fewer side effects than other drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing OYHRC on their plan to run a trial comparing the effects of CBD to antipsychotic medications.

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Alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour ‘crisis’ prompts 24/7 police patrol parklands call (SA)

Alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour ‘crisis’ prompts 24/7 police patrol parklands call (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AN around-the-clock police presence is needed to combat growing safety fears in Adelaide’s southern parklands, city leaders have warned.
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Drink spiking: victims don't report and the crime goes unpunished (UK)

Drink spiking: victims don't report and the crime goes unpunished (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
With no official statistics and a culture that makes victims feel there's no point in telling anyone, drink spiking is going largely unchecked
ReGenUC's insight:

We've said it before, but it's important to remember that the drug most commonly used in drink spiking is alcohol.

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Who Has a Right to Pain Relief? (USA)

Who Has a Right to Pain Relief? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The legal, medical, and pharmaceutical industries have all struggled to locate the line between analgesia and drug abuse.
ReGenUC's insight:

As our populations age, how we deal with pain is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.  Predominantly, we use opioids.  Something needs to change.

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