Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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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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Dodgy heroin batch kills eight (SA)

Dodgy heroin batch kills eight (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

HEALTH officials fear a deadly batch of super-strong or tainted heroin is being sold on Adelaide streets, following eight overdose deaths in the past month, including three in just two days.

ReGenUC's insight:

The rest of this article is behind the News Ltd paywall, but this sentence is enough to raise overdose concerns in SA and elsewhere in Australia. There's a little more detail here: http://sco.lt/6azLOb. Does anyone have intel on this 'dodgy batch' and whether it's effects are being experienced outside of Adelaide? The other possibility is that this is not the result of a 'bad batch', but another indicator of the continued increase in heroin use in Australia. We have certainly seen this within our services and are aware of two overdoses occurring amongst people connected with our services in the past two days.

It's worth noting that this article states that Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia are not aware of an increased overall level of opioid use within the state: http://www.abc.net.au/.../warning-issued-as.../7775542

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Qld's premier says alcohol laws are working

Qld's premier says alcohol laws are working | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the state's controversial liquor licensing laws are working.
ReGenUC's insight:

(Very) early data indicates the state's new laws are having an impact on alcohol related violence.

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Warning after spate of SA heroin deaths

A health warning has been issued by the South Australian government after a spate of heroin-related deaths in recent weeks.
ReGenUC's insight:

A little more detail on the recent overdose fatalities in SA: 8 from heroin, 2 from fentanyl.

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A Look Inside Cape Town’s Only Harm Reduction Project

A Look Inside Cape Town’s Only Harm Reduction Project | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Last month, I was lucky enough to take part in the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece by Ivan Varentsov on the work of the Step Up project, run by the TB/HIV Care Association.

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Smokers who switch to vaping may have fewer respiratory infections, study reveals (UK)

The majority of smokers who successfully switch to vaping say they have fewer respiratory infections, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.
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How a Brisbane schoolgirl became a drug addict, then made her way back

How a Brisbane schoolgirl became a drug addict, then made her way back | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A mother finally has her daughter back after her descent into a decade of drug addiction, sparked by a prescribed pain killer.
ReGenUC's insight:

The author gets a bit carried away with his imagery (and hyperbole) at times, and makes far too frequent use of the usual derogatory terms for people battling AOD dependence, but the story does provide an effective account of a typical family's experiences, and the reality of recovery. 

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'I still hear corruption': Philippines president lays off thousands

'I still hear corruption': Philippines president lays off thousands | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rodrigo Duterte sacks thousands of appointed government officials without producing any evidence against them.
ReGenUC's insight:

President Duterte moves from summary executions to summary dismissals. Meanwhile, the death toll since June now stands at over 1,500.

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Around midnight seems to be the danger period for weekend injuries (NSW)

Around midnight seems to be the danger period for weekend injuries (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IN pagan times it was referred to as the Witching Hour but it seems in modern times it is the Injury Hour and our emergency departments know nothing good happens after midnight.
ReGenUC's insight:

Dr Gordian Fulde's regular summary of AOD-related presentations at St Vincent's Emergency Department.

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Calls for nationwide roll-out of drug consumption centre's (Aus)

Calls for nationwide roll-out of drug consumption centre's (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A doctor, youth worker, politician and former top cop have united to call for medically supervised drug usage centres in all major Australian cities as a way to stem the nation's ice epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:
The fact that This story is appearing on ACA (and the fact that Senator Lambie is on board) is a testament to Alex Wodak's and Matt Noffs' advocacy on this issue. Getting public endorsement from Senator Lambie (who, last year, was calling for forced treatment for young people who use methamphetamine) is proof of their powers of persuasion. It's great to see evidence based policy ideas getting traction in public debate.
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Proposed 'N-bomb' drug law change too harsh, contends Drug Foundation (NZ)

Proposed 'N-bomb' drug law change too harsh, contends Drug Foundation (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Under proposed new legislation, use of the drug would be penalised under the misuse of drugs act.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NZ Drug Foundation's Ross Bell.

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Scientists Engineer An Opioid That May Reduce Pain With Less Risk (USA)

Scientists Engineer An Opioid That May Reduce Pain With Less Risk (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Opioids lock to a receptor in the brain that controls pain relief, pleasure and need. A new compound may offer relief without as much risk of addiction or overdose. But it's only been tested in mice.
ReGenUC's insight:

We've seen claims about 'addiction-proof' medications before. We'll remain skeptical about this one until more evidence is available.

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Philippines president calls UN 'stupid' for criticising drug war

Philippines president calls UN 'stupid' for criticising drug war | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rodrigo Duterte says ‘only 1,000 died’ in crime crackdown and warns organisation not to meddle in the country’s politics
ReGenUC's insight:

A clear indicator of President Duterte's concern about international opinion. The key to overcoming his brutal policies will be domestic opposition. See our recent post on criticism by the Philippines Catholic Church: http://sco.lt/8lIOPJ

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Alcohol named as worse ‘gateway’ drug than cannabis (USA)

Alcohol named as worse ‘gateway’ drug than cannabis (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cannabis is often credited as being the worst gateway drug into stronger things, but a new study has shown that alcohol is much worse.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/7tVDbV

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Killings soar in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown

Killings soar in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 1,700 Filipinos have been killed in seven weeks since Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte pledged to wipe-out his country's illegal drugs trade.
ReGenUC's insight:

New figures emerge during senate hearings into the wave of extrajudicial executions resulting from President Dutuerte's policies. The national police chief says: "I admit many are dying but our campaign, now… we have momentum." How many will die when they hit top speed?

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VICE Asks: What Are The Ethics of Getting High? (Aus) - video

Taking drugs isn't a fringe activity, it's one of the most common illegal things we do. But in our eagerness to either celebrate or criticise drugs, we often sweep the ethics aside.
ReGenUC's insight:

Video footage of the recent panel discussion run by VICE and the Ethics Centre.

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Australian cigarettes to cost more; Smokers Down Under filling government coffers with taxes

Australian cigarettes to cost more; Smokers Down Under filling government coffers with taxes | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Aussie smokers are helping the government to fill up tax coffers. Cigarettes in Australia already cost a bomb and they are set to become more expensive. Currently, a cigarette contributes 53.7 cents to the Federal Government. In another five years, this figure will go up to 80 cents per cigarette, thanks to a series of planned tax increases.
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After 14 Years Undercover, Ex-Cop Reveals He Only Made Drug Gangs 'Nastier And Nastier' (UK)

After 14 Years Undercover, Ex-Cop Reveals He Only Made Drug Gangs 'Nastier And Nastier' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'I only caused harm'.
ReGenUC's insight:

Neil Woods (now chairman of LEAP UK) on the futility of the war on drugs and the need for drug law reform.

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Viewpoints: is addiction a disease? (Aus)

Viewpoints: is addiction a disease? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some think labelling it a disease is a helpful way to think about addiction; others think this makes the addict helpless in their fight against addiction. Two academics debate both sides of the coin.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece by Nicole Lee and Femke Buisman-Pijlman on the relative merits (and flaws) of the disease model for AOD dependence. Also, check out this good account of the barriers to consistent practice (and new research) in the US created by the competing understandings: http://chronicle.com/article/What-if-Addiction-Is-Not-a/237383/

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Alcohol ads to be banned on public transport (SA)

Alcohol ads to be banned on public transport (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ADVERTISING beer, wine and spirits on the sides of buses, trains or trams will be banned from next year.
ReGenUC's insight:

The rest of this article is behind the News Ltd paywall, but this paragraph probably gives you a reasonable synopsis.

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'It's become a joke':  MoVida chef bemoans the decline of Hosier Lane (Vic)

'It's become a joke':  MoVida chef bemoans the decline of Hosier Lane (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'I think the homeless problem in the city is getting out of hand completely.'
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the increasing problems associated with homelessness in Melbourne. It's a depressing (but very common) reality that vulnerable people are simply framed as a problem by local businesses, without any consideration of the broad, systemic factors that are driving homelessness in our city. People who are homeless are not simply a problem to be moved elsewhere (where they won't be seen and won't be seen to pose a threat to business) they are people with very basic needs and a clear indicator of what we are getting wrong as a society. See this afternoon's follow-up coverage: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/we-are-homeless-not-terrorists-hosiers-homeless-speak-out-as-lord-mayor-robert-doyle-reignites-prospect-of-cameras-20160822-gqy4rs.html

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Most comprehensive booze injury study ever undertaken in Australia

Most comprehensive booze injury study ever undertaken in Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Study to examine how we drink, and the devastating impact.
ReGenUC's insight:

Outlining the multi-site study to be led by Peter Miller.

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NT Aborigines 'most policed' in Australia

Indigenous people in the Northern Territory are the most policed in the country, a land council representative said.
ReGenUC's insight:

Central and Northern Land Council members highlight the disporportionate focus of NT alcohol measures on Aboriginal people.

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How South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga beat crystal meth to win an Olympic medal

How South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga beat crystal meth to win an Olympic medal | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The long jumper had help from a former Coney Island strongman in overcoming his addiction problems to make it to the Rio Olympics.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mr Manyonga joins another high profile current Olympian as a celebrated recovery story. While it's important not to place too great an emphasis on celebrity stories (which can sometimes serve to reinforce the stigmatisation of people not deemed to be achieving similar levels of 'success'), hopefully both Manyonga's and Michael Phelps' stories will serve as inspiration for some people struggling with recovery from AOD dependence.

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Reduced US cocaine and methamphetamine use linked to controls on commercial chemicals

Reduced US cocaine and methamphetamine use linked to controls on commercial chemicals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study by University of Arizona-led team finds that disruptions in access to sodium permanganate, used in cocaine production, and pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor chemical, which occurred in 2006 and 2007, were associated with the reductions.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new study links restrictions on precursor chemicals to reduced availability and use.

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Raves migrate from LA to the desert as drug-related deaths spur crackdown

Raves migrate from LA to the desert as drug-related deaths spur crackdown | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Events have found new homes in cash-strapped areas amid lawsuits in LA, but after a new wave of fatalities, some observers say it’s time for change
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the need for harm reduction measures such as drug checking and the potential increased harms associated with intensive policing at such events.

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