More than 470 Victorians died of a drug overdose in 2016, figures released by the Coroner's Court on Wednesday show.
Chloe Booker on the ongoing growth in overdose fatalities (mostly involving opioids and benzos, but also MDMA, methamphetamine and other drugs) and the clear need for a greater investment in treatment services and harm reduction measures, such as a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. You can see State Coroner Hinchey's opinion piece here: http://sco.lt/7oY87F.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines relishes his image as a defiant crusader, willing to encourage the slaughter of thousands in the name of saving his nation from the scourge of drugs. More than 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers, witnesses and bystanders — including children — have been killed by the police or vigilantes in the Philippines since last July.
NY Times editorial on the rising domestic opposition to President Duterte's brutal drug policies.
When Canadians have expressed concerns about upcoming cannabis legalization, the government has assured them that the legal cannabis industry will be strictly regulated to protect public health.
Michael Devillaer raises some genuine concerns about the impacts of cannabis law reform. When it becomes just another consumer product, it is subject to the same market forces and predatory business practices as alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. Our experience with the impacts of these industries indicates the potential harms from a Canadian 'greenrush'.
Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s findings on mortality rates have made waves. A new paper looks deeper at a divided America – and its crisis of suicide, overdoses, and drug- and alcohol-fueled diseases
A powerful reminder of the role social and economic factors play in contributing to AOD use and related harms. It's important to remember that problematic AOD use is typically a symptom of a deeper problem, as people seek for a way to cope with an otherwise intolerable situation.
Ben Cousins was in court, just another drug addict jailed for a year on just another day in courts across Australia. A drug addict like any other. Except he wasn't.
This is why sports reporters should (as a rule) stick to reporting on sport. Michael Gleeson here uses the phrase 'drug addict' eight times (not counting the headline) to describe Mr Cousins. While this is a particularly odious example of the deliberate use of derogatory terms to dehumanise a person who is alcohol or other drug dependent, the practice is as common as it is insidious. It undermines our ability to see people within this group as anything but a stereotype and as less deserving of our support. Due to his previous sporting success, Mr Cousins has received far greater attention than most other people struggling with similar issues, but the impact of this sort of stigmatising language and attitudes is universally felt. This experience of stigma has been repeatedly shown to contribute to AOD related harm and make it harder for people to seek support and maintain hard-won changes. Mr Cousins' case helps sell papers, but journalists need to be aware of the impact of their words on the lives of those who are directly affected by AOD dependence, both those people who are dependent and their loved ones.
A Wagga former ice addict has pleaded for a focus on medical treatment of drug users.
Mr Morris and the Wagga Police Superintendent Bob Noble explain the importance of treatment services, as opposed to imprisonment. You can also see Mr Morris' response to the ABC's recent 'Ice Wars' series, published by AOD Media Watch: http://aodmediawatch.com.au/.
Medical groups mounted a new legal bid Monday to break a US pharma giant's hold on a hepatitis C drug whose price—costing thousands of dollars for a typical course—has unleashed a fierce patent battle.
The latest example of Big Pharma players fighting over who gets the biggest share of the spoils while those in need of treatment are denied access to potentially life saving medications.
A Victorian school has axed an assignment which asked students to create "attractive" packaging for an illegal drug.
Not really that controversial. It's easy to see what the school is doing, and why a parent complained. There is certainly a debate to be had about age-appropriate discussion of AOD issues, but simply seeking to prevent discussion of the topic is unlikely to produce positive outcomes. If a year 10 student can work out the profit-making opportunities provided by the illicit drug market, it's an opportunity to discuss the impacts of our current policy framework, how it enables criminal (and, increasingly, terrorist) networks and how it contributes to increased harm amongst people who use illicit drugs.
A so-called 'Good Samaritan' bill that wouldn't criminally charge a person who is either having or observing a drug overdose and calls police for help has failed to advance in the Oklahoma Legislature.
This is a failure in political leadership. Given the overdose crisis affecting all levels of US society, political leaders should be removing barriers to people seeking assistance when a peer or loved one's life is in danger.
WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio — An Ohio community is endangering drug addicts by criminally charging people revived by an overdose antidote, which could discourage calls for help, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday.
See also our post on Tuesday on the failure of the Oklahoma legislature to pass a 'Good Samaritan' bill. This sort of approach costs lives.
We tested party drugs in eight cities around Australia.
Nice work by the Vice crew and those who assisted with this project to highlight the need for accessible drug checking services to reduce harm and save lives. Interesting (but not surprising) to note that only 1/3 of the tested samples contained MDMA. Also worth noting is the finding that only 1/3 of participants purchased their drugs from a 'dealer', with the most common mode of supply being amongst friends.
A team of reporters armed with $20 lab kits have conducted the most thorough pill testing survey in Australia since 2005, highlighting the lack of anything better, according to drug expert Dr David Caldicott.
Highlighting both the clear need for drug checking services to prevent overdose deaths and the inaction of State and Federal Governments on this key public health issue.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is reportedly planning to announce legislation that will legalise recreational marijuana use across the country.
The proposed measures, 18 would be the legal age for purchases, but provinces could set a higher limit. They would also allow for home production, with a limited number of plants. See today's related brief summary of Australian senate commentary on Cannabis policy reform: http://sco.lt/4sfeWP
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