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EDITORIAL: Newman Government’s tougher one-punch laws hit home (Qld)

EDITORIAL: Newman Government’s tougher one-punch laws hit home (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TODAY’S announcement by the Newman Government on tougher one-punch laws is long overdue and a testament to the courage of the current administration. It is also a poor reflection on the rabid, zealot-like civil libertarian lobby that has, until now, stopped reform of the laws around alcohol-fuelled violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Courier Mail makes its position pretty clear.  Pity it doesn't seem to have consulted any research on effective policy initiatives to reduce alcohol related violence before adopting it.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Time has come to talk about legalising drugs (Vic)

Time has come to talk about legalising drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT’S nearly three years since I used this literary real estate to provoke conversation on the decriminalisation of drugs. I didn’t know then if it was an appropriate response. I still don’t.
ReGenUC's insight:

By Eddie McGuire. Good to see the Herald Sun publishing this. The comments give a good indication of how far we have to go before we can have an evidence-based drug policy debate.

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Ice treatment – a balanced response from government (Vic)

The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) today welcomes the release of the Ice Action Plan which provides a balanced response to a highly complex and challenging problem. The Ice Action Plan details a number of priorities with allocations attached to those priorities.

ReGenUC's insight:

The plan's commitment to improve treatment accessibility for individuals and families is welcome, as is the support for harm reduction programs and workforce development.

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Ice Action Plan (Vic)

Ice Action Plan (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Across our state, good, smart kids are dropping out of school, running away from their families and falling out of society.

Workers are getting attacked. Innocent people are dying, in their homes and on the roads.

Ice is ruining lives, and the time to act is now.

ReGenUC's insight:

Released this morning by the Victorian Government, including a commitment of $18 million for treatment, $19.5 million for police & roadside testing, $1.8 million for NSPs, plus workforce development and community education.

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Alcohol consumption and related problems are way over the limit and it’s time to say no (NSW)

Alcohol consumption and related problems are way over the limit and it’s time to say no (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TONIGHT at a forum in Sydney, representatives from our major parties will announce their policies for the upcoming state election to reduce alcohol-related harm and ­violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

Longer piece by St Vincent's Health CEO Toby Hall on the need to extend the Sydney lockouts.

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New program aims to get serial drunk offenders on the straight and narrow (Vic)

New program aims to get serial drunk offenders on the straight and narrow (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
REPEAT drunk offenders will have the option of going into an alcohol diversion program as part of a new Victoria-first initiative launched in Dandenong last week.
ReGenUC's insight:

Our Alcohol: Considering Change program (http://www.regen.org.au/education/client-courses/acc) has been running as a de facto diversion program for some time now, but it's good to see a more systematic approach in Dandenong.

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UN drugs body warns US states and Uruguay over cannabis legalisation

UN drugs body warns US states and Uruguay over cannabis legalisation | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
International Narcotics Control Board report says US and Uruguay are breaking drug treaties and warns of huge rise in abuse of ADHD treatment Ritalin
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Clegg in drug law election pledge (UK)

Clegg in drug law election pledge (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Liberal Democrats' manifesto will include a pledge to hand drugs policy from the Home Office to the Department of Health, Nick Clegg has said.

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Here's One Simple Way We Can Change The Conversation About Drug Abuse (USA)

Here's One Simple Way We Can Change The Conversation About Drug Abuse (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The negative words we use to describe drug addiction -- "clean" vs. "dirty," "patient" vs. "addict" -- can drive some individuals away from the very help they so desperately need. To reduce that stigma, we need...
ReGenUC's insight:

An important reminder of the power of language to either stifle, or support change. There will probably always be debate about terminology, as long as we have competing concepts of addiction/dependence and whether it's a disease, disorder or something else.  But, one thing we can do is promote the use of person-centred language to help reduce stigma.  If we're able talk about people affected by AOD use as people first, we're well on the way to developing a better community understanding of the issues.

In Australia, Mindframe Media have done great work in improving media coverage of mental health issues (http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media).  We still have a long way to go to achieve similar progress for AOD. You can also see DrugScope's UK media guide: http://www.drugscope.org.uk/resources/Media+Guide 

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Police grilled over drug testing (WA)

Police grilled over drug testing (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Senior WA cop asked to explain why his officers conduct comparatively few roadside drug tests.
ReGenUC's insight:

Is SA the benchmark against which all roadside testing systems should be judged?

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Stronger police powers aimed at halting would-be drug dealers and gangsters from committing serious crime (NSW)

Stronger police powers aimed at halting would-be drug dealers and gangsters from committing serious crime (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WOULD-BE drug dealers and gangsters will be stopped before committing a crime, under new police powers promised by NSW Premier Mike Baird.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's not really any indication here of how these proposed measures are supposed to prevent dealing. From the article, the target is violent crime but, as with any legislation, the impact is really determined by how it would be implemented.

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We need to talk about ChemSex: risks of Hep C and HIV are high (UK)

More gay men in the UK are presenting to clinicians with complicated issues associated with drug use and consent to sex in ChemSex environments (taking recreational drugs during sex and attendance at sex parties). David Rowlands highlights the issues around this controversial topic based on responses to his February online poll.

ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder of the impact intoxication can have on decision making and risky behaviour, and the need for ongoing harm reduction programs.

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Drinks industry has no place in anti-alcohol campaigns (Ireland)

Drinks industry has no place in anti-alcohol campaigns (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
When young people are told to drink responsibly, the emphasis is always on ‘drink’
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UK government must vote against the United Nations’ ketamine control plan

UK government must vote against the United Nations’ ketamine control plan | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Letters: In developing countries ketamine is commonly used in caesarean sections and without it many women enduring difficult labours would die
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Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs (USA)

Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
ReGenUC's insight:

Looking at the example of Insite in Vancouver and policy resistance to supervised injecting facilities in the US. Unfortunately, it's not only experienced in the states. Successive Victorian governments have made clear their unwillingness to consider the establishment of what would be Australia's second Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne: http://sco.lt/58brLV 

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Ice crackdown: Andrews government's $45m spend to include more rehab, needle programs (Vic)

Ice crackdown: Andrews government's $45m spend to include more rehab, needle programs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tough new laws, more money for rehabilitation and a boost to needle programs form part of the Andrews government's $45 million crackdown on the drug ice.
ReGenUC's insight:

Early coverage of the Govt's 'Ice Action Plan': http://sco.lt/6k6UM5

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Why the CBD lockout should be rolled out right across NSW

Why the CBD lockout should be rolled out right across NSW | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE CBD’s late-night lockout laws could be rolled out across Sydney and NSW under a push from the state’s top hospital dealing with booze-fuelled violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

St Vincent's Health CEO says serious alcohol-related trauma has halved since the start of the lockout system.

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Joint Statement on the Death Penalty for Drug Offences

A new UN report on the global drug situation has highlighted the widening rift between countries on the issue of the death penalty for drug offences. These tensions are set to surface as Member States convene in Vienna next week at the annual meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UN policy making body on drug control issues.

ReGenUC's insight:

Joint statement by a range of international harm reduction and drug policy organisations.

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Bitcoin's use by Aussie 'mums and dads' to buy illicit drugs is hindering police investigations, senate inquiry hears

Bitcoin's use by Aussie 'mums and dads' to buy illicit drugs is hindering police investigations, senate inquiry hears | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's not only hardened criminals using virtual cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes. Mums and dads are too.
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The economic case for legalising cannabis (UK)

The economic case for legalising cannabis (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The public wants it and it would be good for the economy. Why has the law not been changed?
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Australian Rugby Union to conduct review of its illicit drugs policy

Australian Rugby Union to conduct review of its illicit drugs policy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Australian Rugby Union will conduct a detailed review of its illicit drugs policy regardless of Thursday’s outcome when Karmichael Hunt’s cocaine charges reach court.
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New study examines risk factors for use of synthetic marijuana among teens (USA)

Synthetic cannabinoids ("synthetic marijuana"), with names like Spice, K2, Scooby Doo and hundreds of others, are often sold as a "legal" alternative to marijuana. Often perceived as a safe legal alternative to illicit drug use, synthetic marijuana use was associated with 11,561 reports of poisonings in the United States between January 2009 and April 2012.
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Police predict number of drug drivers will skyrocket (Qld)

Police predict number of drug drivers will skyrocket (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SUNSHINE Coast police expect the number of drug drivers to skyrocket under new plans to ramp up roadside testing for illegal substances.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the announced increase in police capacity to conduct roadside drug testing in Qld.

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Renewed alert on heroin being sold as cocaine in Amsterdam

Renewed alert on heroin being sold as cocaine in Amsterdam | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ReGenUC's insight:

Renewed public health warning following the apparent retargetting of tourists. See our related post from December: http://sco.lt/8iv3Nx

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Queensland cops increase drug driver testing

Queensland cops increase drug driver testing | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drug drivers in Queensland are more likely to be caught by more than 200 extra police trained to undertake roadside testing, the state's top cop says.
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Tobacco industry accused of 'intimidation and interference' in Kenya

Tobacco industry accused of 'intimidation and interference' in Kenya | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Researchers suggest British American Tobacco has undue influence over the Kenyan government and is in breach of WHO tobacco convention
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