Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Thousands of syringes left on street (Scotland)

Thousands of syringes left on street (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

More than 3,900 discarded needles were reported in nine of Scotland's largest towns and cities over two years.

ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the slightly breathless opening, this is a reasonably balanced article.  Interesting to note that the pictures with the article show that people have taken some measures to prevent needlestick injuries to others.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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This is why schools don't want to talk about drugs (Vic)

This is why schools don't want to talk about drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's always a school that parents shun because it has a perceived drug problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the impact stigma has on stifling informed public discussion and making it harder for those affected to get the support they need.

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Philippines cannot build a nation over the bodies of 100,000 dead in Duterte's 'war on drugs'

Philippines cannot build a nation over the bodies of 100,000 dead in Duterte's 'war on drugs' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
To understand Rodrigo Duterte’s rise to power and the public support for killing drug dealers and users, we need to distinguish the empirical from the normative – the 'what is' from 'what should be'.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nicole Curato considers the implications of President Duterte's brutal drug policies for the future of democracy in the Philippines.

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Researchers question DrinkWise objectives

Researchers from a Perth university have questioned the objectives of DrinkWise, an independent not-for-profit organisation funded by the alcohol industry.
ReGenUC's insight:

These findings should come as a surprise to no-one. DrinkWise provides the equivalent of 'GreenWash' for the alcohol sector. Their past 'how to drink properly' campaign is a great example: http://sco.lt/6jykNd.

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Most drug users stop without help, so long as they’re not poor (USA)

Most addicts just stop using in time, without needing costly treatment. Why do some people walk away while others can’t?
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the role disadvantage plays in contributing to problematic AOD use and obstructing people's efforts to change.

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Promises and Pitfalls of Cannabis Taxes (USA)

Promises and Pitfalls of Cannabis Taxes (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Setting the cannabis tax should not be considered a one-time event. Smart jurisdictions will revise their decisions over time to incorporate new data about taxes, testing, and the cannabis plant itself — without being influenced by those seeking to maximize profits.
ReGenUC's insight:

Beau Kilmer on the complexities of cannabis taxation.

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Trudeau Talks Tough on Cannabis Legalisation (Canada)

Trudeau Talks Tough on Cannabis Legalisation (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Justin Trudeau has boldly re-iterated that, when it comes to legalising cannabis, safety is a top priority for Canada. In an interview with CTV news earlier this week, the Canadian PM discussed the importance of legalising cannabis as a protective measure for public health: The reason why legalizing marijuana is the right step for us is because of two things: … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

The Prime Minister argues legalisation is a greater protective measure for Canadian public health than decriminalisation

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Experts say stronger MDMA and ecstasy is causing 'more mental issues' (UK)

Experts say stronger MDMA and ecstasy is causing 'more mental issues' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

There's a warning that increasingly strong ecstasy and MDMA is causing the biggest risk to users' mental health in decades.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the increased risks for people using ecstasy recreationally, and the need for harm reduction services like drug checking at festivals.

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Stanford University is banning spirits on campus following Brock Turner sexual assault case (USA)

Stanford University is banning spirits on campus following Brock Turner sexual assault case (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The policy change has led to accusations that the university is providing an excuse for sexual assault.
ReGenUC's insight:

Critics suggest removing spirits (in isolation) will not prevent future assaults. Without addressing the underlying causes (including men's attitudes towards women), they are probably right.

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Designer death: new killer drugs to flood local market (Vic)

Designer death: new killer drugs to flood local market (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia is set to be flooded with new strains of deadly synthetic designer drugs with new versions entering the market virtually on a daily basis according t
ReGenUC's insight:

As with today's other Age story (http://sco.lt/9KKge9), this one gets a bit hysterical about the scale and severity of risks.  The emergence of increasingly potent synthetics is a genuine cause for concern. Their reduced volume makes them easier to traffick and their potency increases overdose risks in the context of uncertain concentrations in illicit products. One factor that is regularly ignored in discussion of how to respond to new and emerging psychoactives is the role that current drug policy has played (and continues to play) in driving demand for drugs that are not detected by current testing regimes or covered by local legislation. Legislative bans will only ever be playing catch up, in response to identified new substances. They will not prevent their production. We need a greater focus on harm reduction (including drug checking services) and treatment services for people (and families) experiencing related harms.

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Pub drunks set to face no-go zones (Tas)

Pub drunks set to face no-go zones (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRUNKS can be banned from pubs, clubs and entertainment precincts under tough new laws from next week.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tas Hotels Association taking pre-emptive measures to keep lockouts, restricted trading hours at bay?

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Tourists warned about drink spiking on our favourite party island (Aus/Indonesia)

Tourists warned about drink spiking on our favourite party island (Aus/Indonesia) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FOR many Aussies, a trip to Bali is a rite of passage. Just six hours from Sydney, the call of cheap beer, massages, idyllic surf breaks and raucous partying is something all of us heed to eventually.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's important to remember that most cases of alcohol poisoning in Indonesia result from the substitution of locally produced bootleg alcohol. Whether this would be reduced by Indonesia's proposed alcohol ban (http://sco.lt/8mrJ9F) in Bali remains to be seen.

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Ramen surpasses cigarettes as most valuable commodity in US prisons

Ramen surpasses cigarettes as most valuable commodity in US prisons | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ramen noodles are supplanting tobacco as the most valuable commodity among prisoners in the US, according to a study released on Monday.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not so much an indicator in improvements in public health, but more of an indictment of the quality of care provided for people in US prisons. Cost-cutting sees prisoners (and their families) increasingly forced to provide for basic provisions. 

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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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Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic calls for Victoria to rethink crime

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic calls for Victoria to rethink crime | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Victoria spends 25 times more to jail prisoners for a year than it does to fund community-based services to help would-be prisoners rebuild their lives.

ReGenUC's insight:

Ms Popovic calls for greater focus on justice reinvestment to address causal factors for offending e.g. AOD dependence, homelessness, education, employment...

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Trial of cannabis withdrawal spray sativex popular with middleaged pothead dads (NSW)

Trial of cannabis withdrawal spray sativex popular with middleaged pothead dads (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New father Tristin Jones*, 35, has smoked marijuana for so long that it was the only way he felt normal.
ReGenUC's insight:

Unfortunately, the headline for this article contributes to the very stigma Mr Jones says he wishes to avoid. However, the article (featuring Nick Lintzeris) itself provides a good account of the Sativex trial and its impact for a couple of participants.

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Healthy Harold called up to teach dangers of ice (Vic)

Healthy Harold called up to teach dangers of ice (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Life Education van is updating its repertoire to teach primary school students about the dangers of the drug ice.
ReGenUC's insight:

Whoever is providing AOD education in our schools, the key is that the information provided is credible, evidence based and provides children and parents with information about where to seek professional help. See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/9KKge9

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'Drug dealers are terrorists': Rotorua mayoral candidate promises crackdown (NZ)

'Drug dealers are terrorists': Rotorua mayoral candidate promises crackdown (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rotorua mayoral candidate John Rakei-Clark vows to launch NZ's biggest drug crackdown if elected.
ReGenUC's insight:

'Tough on drugs' rhetoric is unfortunately commonplace in political campaigns around the world, but this example is more extreme that usual. Is this an example of the wider influence of Philippines' President Duturte's brutal policies?

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Among veterans, painkiller misuse strongly linked to starting heroin (USA)

Among veterans, painkiller misuse strongly linked to starting heroin (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study of nearly 3,400 military veterans over 10 years found that when participants began to misuse opioid painkillers, they had a very high likelihood of also beginning to use heroin, researchers reported in the journa
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the impacts of our reliance on opioids to manage pain.

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Cannabis arrests, charges fall by almost 50% since 2010 (UK)

Cannabis arrests, charges fall by almost 50% since 2010 (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Just one in four people caught with cannabis are charged by police across England and Wales, new figures reveal, while arrests and cautions have fallen by almost half and charges have fallen by a third since 2010. Some police forces have said they are not looking to “seek out” people who use cannabis and one police force said officers are no longer targeting those who grow cannabis for personal use.
ReGenUC's insight:

While police showing initiative to reduce punitive measures for AOD use is welcome, such disparities in practice highlight the need for drug law reform to enable consistent practice. Whether you end up with a criminal record (or not) shouldn't depend on where you live.

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Phantom policies fly before NT poll

Phantom policies fly before NT poll | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As the Northern Territory election inches closer, both sides of politics have taken to accusing one another of scare campaigns over policies they say they have no intention of implementing.
ReGenUC's insight:

When AOD policy becomes a stick for beating your political opponents, we're all worse off. Hopefully, whoever forms the new NT Govt will introduce sensible, evidence based measures.

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Liverpool community members express unease with plans for Australia's first ice inhalation room (NSW)

Liverpool community members express unease with plans for Australia's first ice inhalation room (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A plan to place Australia's first ice inhalation room in Liverpool, in Sydney's south-west, has received a cool reception from local businesses and residents at the first community meeting on the proposal.

ReGenUC's insight:

The usual fears and myths raised by community members and local businesses in opposition to the proposal provide a good indicator of the challenges when advocating for evidence based responses to AOD use.  The 'honeypot effect' has been repeatedly shown to be a myth (but a very resilient one), as have the notion that such centres will increase local crime. Nice work by Matt, Alex and Marianne to keep putting the evidence forward.

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Ice scourge strikes schools (Vic)

Ice scourge strikes schools (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The devastating impact of the drug ice has hit Victorian schools, with agencies fielding calls from desperate principals wanting help.
ReGenUC's insight:

If someone you care about is struggling with the impacts of metahmphetamine (or other drug) use, our free services can help. We work with individuals and families to reduce immediate harms, develop integrated treatment plans and support affected family members. Give us a call to discuss your options (1800 700 514) or see our website for more info on our family services (http://www.regen.org.au/treatment-support/family-services) or methamphetamine education programs for individuals and family members (http://www.regen.org.au/education-training/client-courses).

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We love our gritty city laneways ... until they're a bit too gritty (Vic)

We love our gritty city laneways ... until they're a bit too gritty (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The world's most liveable city apparently – not for the growing number of those without shelter.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice response by Meg Mundell to Monday's focus on the presence of homeless people in Hosier Lane: http://sco.lt/8rqppB.

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New drug target could prevent tolerance and addiction to opioids, neuroscience study finds (USA)

New drug target could prevent tolerance and addiction to opioids, neuroscience study finds (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Researchers have identified a brain mechanism that could be a drug target to help prevent tolerance and addiction to opioid pain medication, such as morphine, according to a study by Georgia State University and Emory University.
ReGenUC's insight:

Researchers target immune response to release of cytokines to reduce necessary dosage of opioids.

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Spirits Industry on Offensive Over Health Warnings

Spirits Industry on Offensive Over Health Warnings | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The alcoholic-drinks industry is waging a multimillion-dollar battle to confront a rapid shift in global government policy based on new research warning that even moderate drinking may be linked to possible cancer risks. Photo: Getty Images.
ReGenUC's insight:

Expect a wave of industry sponsored research claiming health benefits from alcohol consumption and associated 'Big Alcohol' advocacy. What we'd expect to see is the same sort of approach used by Big Tobacco and climate change deniers: pump out counter claims (evidence based, or not) to muddy public debate and create the impression that experts aren't clear about the nature of the problem, or what to do about it. Given our concerns about declining editorial standards in mainstream media (http://sco.lt/5aHsnJ), we'd expect this industry advocacy to receive a lot of unquestioning coverage. 

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