Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Study: Canada's drinking-age laws have significant effect on youth mortality

A recent study by a University of Northern British Columbia-based scientist associated with the UBC Faculty of Medicine and UNBC's Northern Medical Program demonstrates that Canada's drinking-age laws have a significant effect on youth mortality.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Political leadership needed to save lives (Vic)

Political leadership needed to save lives (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UnitingCare ReGen urges the Andrews Government to establish a safe injecting centre in North Richmond to prevent heroin overdose deaths.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see Crosslight (the Uniting Church paper) picking up our response to Coroner Hawkins' recommendation that the Victorian Government prioritise the establishment of a MSIC pilot in Richmond. You can see our full release here: http://regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/media-releases/832-regen-backs-coroner-s-call-for-a-medically-supervised-injecting-centre-21-02-17. Our submission to the coronial inquiry and the Coroner's report are here (under 'Policy and inquiry submissions'): http://regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action

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Harm reduction the key to preventing future overdoses (Vic) - video

Following a spate of suspected GHB overdoses, Dr Stephen Bright calls for more harm reduction to be made available at festivals, including education and drug checking at festivals.

ReGenUC's insight:

Stephen Bright describes some of the likely contributing factors to the weekend's overdoses and what preventative measures could have been in place. Good advice here for the Vic Govt on how to respond. (6 mins)

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Melbourne overdoses 'could have been avoided' if drug testing was available

Melbourne overdoses 'could have been avoided' if drug testing was available | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The majority of Australians support legal drug-testing. But for many politicians, offering a service which tests illegal substances is a hard pill to swallow
ReGenUC's insight:

Johnboy Davidson and Alex Wodak on the urgent need for drug checking services to prevent overdose events such as the GBL overdoses in Melbourne last weekend: http://sco.lt/5uSyo5.

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Pill Testing May Have Helped Avoid Melbourne Overdoses, Advocates Say

Pill Testing May Have Helped Avoid Melbourne Overdoses, Advocates Say | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'Kids do dumb stuff, but it shouldn't be a death penalty.'
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David Caldicott and Alex Wodak on the need for a greater focus on harm reduction to reduce future overdose risk and the potential benefits of drug checking at festivals and other public events.

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Children and Duterte's drug war: Lessons from the past

Children and Duterte's drug war: Lessons from the past | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 30 children have been killed since the Philippine president launched his controversial war on drugs in June.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of the lasting social and psychological impacts of president Duterte's brutal policies (http://sco.lt/7aqgqH) and local opposition (http://sco.lt/689qmf).

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Thousands of Filipino Catholics march against death penalty, war on drugs 

Thousands of Filipino Catholics march against death penalty, war on drugs  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Thousands of Roman Catholics marched in the Philippines capital Manila on Saturday in the biggest gathering denouncing extra-judicial killings and a government plan to reimpose the death penalty for criminals.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of local opposition to President Duterte's brutal policies. See today's related coverage on the social and psychological impacts on those targetted by (http://sco.lt/7Z5WQT) and implementing (http://sco.lt/7aqgqH) these policies.

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Teen took fatal amount of MDMA in queue of O2 so dogs wouldn't find it (UK) 

Teen took fatal amount of MDMA in queue of O2 so dogs wouldn't find it (UK)  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Emily Lyon, 17, collapsed after taking two lots of the party drug MDMA. The teen from Middlesex took half a gram before going into a Red Bull Culture Clash DJ competition at London's O2 academy.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the role policing and the use of drug detection dogs can play in increasing harm.

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Ex-cop in Philippines says he led death squad at Rodrigo Duterte's behest

Ex-cop in Philippines says he led death squad at Rodrigo Duterte's behest | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A retired police officer wracked with guilt over the murders of two of his own brothers has reversed himself and confessed to leading the Philippine death squa
ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder that the brutality of President Duterte's policies affect not only those targetted, but also those carrying them out. The broader social impacts of this systematic campaign of human rights abuses will be felt in the Philippines for years to come. With self-medication through AOD use a globally common coping strategy for people who have experienced traumatic events, it is distinctly possible that these policies will only increase future levels of use within Philippines communities.

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Fact Check: Would shortening the length of Rainbow Serpent Festival reduce harm? (Vic)

Fact Check: Would shortening the length of Rainbow Serpent Festival reduce harm? (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Hannah Francis from The Age wrote a piece entitled “Police want to cut length of Rainbow Serpent Festival following death of 22-year-old”. How would a shorter festival have prevented this tragedy and might doing so actually increase harm?

ReGenUC's insight:

HRV's Steph Tzanetis on recent statements about risk at the festival and the likely impact of shortening the festival on AOD-related harm.

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Boozy admissions flood WA hospitals

Boozy admissions flood WA hospitals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRUNKS are flooding WA hospitals, with one in five admissions to emergency departments booze related, a snapshot survey reveals.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that it is alcohol (not methamphetamine) that is responsible for most violence within our hospital system.

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Striving on the front line of Melbourne's drug crisis

Striving on the front line of Melbourne's drug crisis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Almost 20 years have passed since Nicole Warr's cousin died from a heroin overdose. He had just turned 21.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing cohealth's support for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond.

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Illicit-Drug Use OK In 'Safe' Site Under Maryland Bill (USA)

Illicit-Drug Use OK In 'Safe' Site Under Maryland Bill (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Illegal-drug users in Maryland could partake in recreational use under a bill that would create legal, sanitary illicit-drug use facilities in the state.
ReGenUC's insight:

While Vic Minister Martin Foley has recently dismissed proposals for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne as a '90's idea', the need for such centres is greater than ever. Canada, Ireland, France and even the US are rapidly moving towards establishing multiple centres in response to the growing death toll from opioid overdoses. With the arrival of Carfentanil in Australia (http://sco.lt/5QKVc1), the situation here is only going to get worse. We need MSICs in Melbourne and other cities now.

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4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About 'New' Drugs (USA)

4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About 'New' Drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The media plays an essential role in shaping the public’s understanding and perception of drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Drug Policy Alliance's Stefanie Jones and Sara Qureshi highlight the impacts of inaccurate media reporting on public perceptions of AOD issues. To see examples of Aus sector response to this sort of reporting, check out the new AOD Media Watch project: http://aodmediawatch.com.au/

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Law changes are key to cutting drug harm (Vic)

Law changes are key to cutting drug harm (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
We believe the dangerous black market would be all but destroyed by decriminalising substances and regulating their production and sale.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great editorial in today's Age, calling on our political leaders to recognise the evidence for a greater focus on harm reduction measures to save lives and support change.

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Victoria’s coroner calls for legal drug-injecting room

VICTORIA’S coroner has asked the Andrews Government to set up a legalised drug-injecting room following the death of a 34-year-old mother of two.

ReGenUC's insight:

Thanks to VAADA for making the content of this article available. Our media release in response to Coroner Hawkins' recommendations is here: http://regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/media-releases/832-regen-backs-coroner-s-call-for-a-medically-supervised-injecting-centre-21-02-17.

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The drug that caused almost 40 overdoses in Melbourne

The drug that caused almost 40 overdoses in Melbourne | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A DRUG that melts plastic and has the nickname “coma in a bottle” has had a devastating impact on Melbourne’s party scene.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's some of the usual tabloid treatment here, but at least there's some sensible stuff from the ADF's Ilka Burnham-King on the need for a greater focus on harm reduction e.g. drug checking.

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Call to reform Australia’s alcohol laws

Call to reform Australia’s alcohol laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

An increase in alcohol taxation, a reduction in the hours of alcohol sales, and changes to how alcohol is promoted are all needed to reduce alcohol-related harm, a public health policy expert has argued.

ReGenUC's insight:

Wayne Hall calls for volumetric taxation and a floor price for alcohol to reduce harm within our communities.

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Sharp Rise Reported in Older Americans’ Use of Multiple Psychotropic Drugs

Sharp Rise Reported in Older Americans’ Use of Multiple Psychotropic Drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Almost half of these people were not diagnosed with any mood, chronic pain or sleep problem, researchers reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the increased overdose risk amongst older people on a mix of medications.This is not just a US issue.

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Theresa May's Religion Has Made Her A Drugs Policy 'Extremist', David Nutt Says

Theresa May's Religion Has Made Her A Drugs Policy 'Extremist', David Nutt Says | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Former government advisor hits out at PM.
ReGenUC's insight:

Prof Nutt claims the Prime Minister 'actively excluded evidence' from drug policy discussion during her time as Home Secretary.

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Deadly synthetic opioid hits streets (USA)

Deadly synthetic opioid hits streets (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Officials in southern Illinois are monitoring the use of a synthetic opioid they say was recently introduced in the area and poses a major threat of overdose.Authorities say U-47700 is eight times stronger than heroin and can be purchased online from Chinese manufacturers at a low cost.The drug, also referred to as “U,” ”U-4,” ”Pink,” [...]
ReGenUC's insight:

U-47700 is another of the emerging range of powerful synthetic opioids that are escalating overdose rates (and fatalities) in the US and Canada. As last week's detection of carfentanil has shown, it's only a matter of time before these drugs become more prevalent in Australia. Our governments need to act now to prevent future overdose deaths: http://regen.org.au/news-advocacy/regen-in-the-media/media-releases/832-regen-backs-coroner-s-call-for-a-medically-supervised-injecting-centre-21-02-17

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Coroner recommends trial of safe injecting room in North Richmond amid heroin deaths (Vic)

Coroner recommends trial of safe injecting room in North Richmond amid heroin deaths (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A coroner has recommended that the Victorian government trial a supervised injecting room in north Richmond, amid an unprecedented spate of heroin overdoses.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see Coroner Hawkins recognising the evidence of need for a MSIC in Richmond. With Fiona Patten's bill to be debated this week, will Minister Foley heed the Coroner's recommendation to 'take the necessary steps to establish a safe injecting facility trial in North Richmond'?

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On-Site Drug Checking: Reagents, Methods, Harm Reduction, and Politics (Aus)

On-Site Drug Checking: Reagents, Methods, Harm Reduction, and Politics (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

On January 20th, The Sydney Morning Herald published “Pill testing sounds like a great idea, but there’s a catch”, by forensic toxicologist Andrew Leibie, who reasoned that field testing is not very helpful, and might be worse than nothing. Leibie seemed to both not understand what he was talking about, and to ignore some of the key benefits of having on-site testing at events where illegal drugs might be consumed.

ReGenUC's insight:

Erowid folk consider some of the recent coverage of drug checking proposals and the capacity of such measures to reduce harm.

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More than 20 people treated for drug overdoses at Melbourne dance party 'awash with drugs'

More than 20 people treated for drug overdoses at Melbourne dance party 'awash with drugs' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

More than 20 people have been taken to hospital, many in a critical condition, after overdosing on drugs at a dance party in Melbourne.

ReGenUC's insight:

GHB is reportedly responsible for these overdoses. If you are planning to use it, please remember there is a very small difference between a safe dose and an overdose with this drug. That's why it is associated with so many overdoses.

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Bottle shops are open for too long, expert says (Qld)

Bottle shops are open for too long, expert says (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Queensland needs to reduce bottle-shop hours and accept an increase in alcohol tax to reduce alcohol-fuelled harm, a public health policy expert says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Wayne Hall and Megan Weier call for state and federal govts to take action on alcohol pricing and availability.

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The ‘only town’ in America where cops grant amnesty to drug addicts seeking help

Gloucester, Mass., police chief Leonard Campanella was upset about the increasing number of heroin overdoses in the coastal town, so he created a program to help addicts that is becoming a national model.
ReGenUC's insight:

While last week's episode of 'Ice Wars' showed police fully focussed on arresting their way out of the problem, this story provides an example of what a more enlightened approach can achieve.

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