Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Inadequate services adding to Mildura mental health crisis (Vic)

Inadequate services adding to Mildura mental health crisis (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Endemic unemployment, low levels of education and a lack of health services are contributing to a mental health crisis in Victoria's north-west.
ReGenUC's insight:

Part of a longer piece on chronic mental health concerns around Mildura, including the impacts of methamphetamine use.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Former top police officer joins doctors in calling for more drug injecting centres (Aus)

Former top police officer joins doctors in calling for more drug injecting centres (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The former head of the AFP Mick Palmer has joined medical experts in calling for more drug injecting centres and for a trial of a new version called consumption rooms Mr Palmer says the idea is t
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing MSIC's Marianne Jauncey, MSIC client Tony, Alex Wodak and Mick Palmer on the need to expand the service to other areas.

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Late night industry hits back with Keep Canberra Open campaign

Late night industry hits back with Keep Canberra Open campaign | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Canberra's late night venues have launched a co-ordinated campaign against the ACT government's proposed 3am last drinks for bars and nightclubs.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's an interesting indicator of the state of the current public debate that labelling the ACT Govt's proposal as 'a lockout law in disguise' is considered to be an effective tactic by those opposing it.

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Better Parked Than Dead (UK)

Better Parked Than Dead (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A version of this article was originally published in June 2015 on LEAP UK – one year on, little has changed: There was a familiar and tragic story in the news on the 14th June 2015, about six heroin-related deaths in Nottinghamshire Events like this are generally reported the same way, with some public official, or … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

LEAP UK's Neil Wood reflects on the impacts of the recent reforms to the UK's AOD treatment sector, particularly the role of recovery-based models on limiting harm reduction efforts and increasing risk to clients. FYI, our position statement (and supporting evidence) on Recovery Oriented Practice is here: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action

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Hepatitis C named No. 1 infectious disease killer in U.S.

Hepatitis C named No. 1 infectious disease killer in U.S. | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More people now die from hepatitis C in the United States than 60 other infectious diseases—including HIV and tuberculosis—combined. Two new reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyze hepatitis C disease and death. The virus now infects and estimated 3.5 million Americans, and in 2014, it killed 19,659.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of improving the accessibility of new Hep C treatments and ongoing investment in harm reductioin measures to prevent transmission.

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Casey council rules out taking its objection to huge new Dan Murphy's bottle shop to supreme court (Vic)

Casey council rules out taking its objection to huge new Dan Murphy's bottle shop to supreme court (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
CASEY Council has ruled out taking its objection to a huge Dan Murphy liquor store in Cranbourne East to the Supreme Court.
ReGenUC's insight:

Council opposition to the proposal based on evidence linking alcohol retail outlet density to incidence of family violence.

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Germany is about to legalize medicinal cannabis

Germany is about to legalize medicinal cannabis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Germany is to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes early next year, the health minister said on Tuesday.

ReGenUC's insight:

As with Australia (and other countries), Germany plans to develop its own domestic cannabis industry.

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WA budget gives more to mental health

WA budget gives more to mental health | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A record amount of state funding for mental health will boost treatment and awareness programs, and alcohol and drug services, the West Australian premier says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Incuding $19 million for AOD services in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Gascoyne regions (http://www.drd.wa.gov.au/projects/Health/Pages/North-West-Drug-and-Alcohol-Support-Program.aspx)

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Fantasy drug seizures on the rise (Qld)

Fantasy drug seizures on the rise (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Anti-bikie police have noted a worrying jump in seizures of the dangerous party drug fantasty.
ReGenUC's insight:

Hopefully, this indicator of increased avaialbility of GHB in Qld will not lead to an increase in overdoses. Please be aware that the difference between a safe dose and an overdose of this drug is very small.

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Greens MP John Kaye was preparing to introduce medicinal cannabis bill (NSW)

Greens MP John Kaye was preparing to introduce medicinal cannabis bill (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Greens MP's beliefs were strengthened by the "benefit he received from cannabis as pain relief," fellow MP says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Greens argue NSW Govt needs to bypass its medicinal cannabis trial and move straight to law reform.

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Report backs 'shift' away from criminalising drug possession for personal use (Ireland)

Report backs 'shift' away from criminalising drug possession for personal use (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New drugs strategy should have ‘realistic expectations’, panel says
ReGenUC's insight:

Report endorses increased use of diversion programs for personal possession and shift in police focus to supply.

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Medicinal cannabis users risk prosecution by telling their stories (NSW)

Medicinal cannabis users risk prosecution by telling their stories (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Medicinal cannabis users risked prosecution by publicly telling their stories at the 2016 Mardi Grass Hemposium.

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UNGASS 2016: Evolution Rather Than Revolution In The War On Drugs

UNGASS 2016: Evolution Rather Than Revolution In The War On Drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UNGASS 2016 was controversial by UN standards. While it stopped well short of a drug reform revolution, it has provided some very important first steps in the evolution of global drug policies.
ReGenUC's insight:

John Coyne considers the modest outcomes from the Special Sitting on drug policy and its implicit message that countries can continue to pursue reform without fear of sanctions.

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NT communities could regain more control over alcohol

NT communities could regain more control over alcohol | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Remote Northern Territory Indigenous communities could be on the cusp of regaining more control over alcohol management for the first time in a decade.
ReGenUC's insight:

NT Govt looks to develop consistent alcohol policy for the whole territory and return choice about alcohol management to Aboriginal communities.

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Alice Springs meeting to battle self-harm

Alice Springs meeting to battle self-harm | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks has questions about the way people she loved ended their lives that might never be answered.
ReGenUC's insight:

Early reporting on the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference. See http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/2875934/ATSISPEP-ConferenceProgram.pdf for more info, or follow the live discussion on Twitter (#ATSISPEP)

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Pushing Naltrexone as the Answer to Our Heroin Problems Is Unscientific and Unethical (USA)

Pushing Naltrexone as the Answer to Our Heroin Problems Is Unscientific and Unethical (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
May 2nd, 2016
Recently the neuroscientist Marc Lewis, a friend of mine, gave Percy Menzies, president of treatment provider Assisted Recovery Centers of America, the chance to guest-post on his blog as part of a series on the “response to the heroin epidemic.” Menzies’s post suggested that naltrexo
ReGenUC's insight:

We have our own advocates for naltrexone based treatment in Australia. Shaun Shelly reviews some of the reasons, such an approach is not supported by the majority of Australian treatment providers.

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Safe Space for Opioid Addicts Reveals Changing Views (USA)

Safe Space for Opioid Addicts Reveals Changing Views (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A Boston homeless center has started a new program allowing people who use opioids to be in a safe space where they can be supervised after taking the drugs. The program joins a growing number of places which aim to use "harm reduction" strategies -- leading people toward treatment and reducing the risk of overdose -- in the difficult fight against a rapidly growing opioid epidemic

ReGenUC's insight:

More signs of growing support for harm reduction in the US. See today's related post on the latest call for the establishment of new Medically Supervised Injecting Centres in Australia: http://sco.lt/7Ouk5J.

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California raises legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21

California raises legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday approved raising the legal age to buy tobacco for smoking, dipping, chewing and vaping from 18 to 21.
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We can’t win war on ice, says Colin Barnett (WA)

We can’t win war on ice, says Colin Barnett (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Colin Barnett has suggested the war on the drug ice is all but unwinnable, saying its supply into the WA market is “not possible” to stop.
ReGenUC's insight:

An effective example of the illogicality of political drug policy discourse: Supply control is ineffective, so we're going to do more of it. It's good to see that the WA Govt is improving treatment access in remote areas (http://sco.lt/8nwkvR), but we'd encourage the Premier to increase the Govt's investment in harm reduction and treatment services across the state. See today's related post on the ineffectiveness of policy responses that ignore the evidence: http://sco.lt/55Odgf.

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Tax changes to stop the flood of cheap wine (Aus)

Tax changes to stop the flood of cheap wine (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WINEMAKERS have hailed tax changes in last night’s Federal Budget that will go some way towards stopping the flood of cheap wine into the Australian market.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing FARE's Michael Thorn on the announced budget measures and the missed opportunity to introduce volumetric taxation of alcohol. In spite of consistent evidence about its effectiveness and repeated recommendations for the introduction of alcohol tax to be based on alcohol content (and pre-budget suggestions that it was likely to be introduced), it seems that we'll need to wait for (at least) another year. See today's related post on the impact of a lack of focus on pricing in limiting the effectiveness of Scotland's alcohol strategy: http://sco.lt/8MhGRF

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U.S. Anti-AIDS Abstinence Efforts in Africa Fail to Prevent HIV

U.S. Anti-AIDS Abstinence Efforts in Africa Fail to Prevent HIV | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Washington spent more than $1 billion telling people in 14 African countries not to have sex before they get married. It didn’t work
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the failure of abstinence based policies to reduce harm and change behaviour. See today's related post for an Australian example of public policy that disregards the evidence for its own ineffectiveness: http://sco.lt/8LiEe9

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The Drugs Consensus Is Not Pretty - It's Been Ripped Apart at the Seams

The Drugs Consensus Is Not Pretty - It's Been Ripped Apart at the Seams | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
This UNGASS demonstrates the impact civil society pressure can achieve. The drug policy reform movement will continue to grow into a formidable global social movement towards 2019. The collective demand for change will grow ever louder leading to sustainable and seismic break-throughs at national, regional and ultimately UN levels.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ann Fordham considers the way forward for drug policy reform and the central role for civil society in driving change.

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A finishing school for crims

A finishing school for crims | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ONE of the conundrums of criminal justice today is that most offenders are simultaneously victims — of drugs and alcohol misuse, of acquired brain injury, of mental illness, of unemployment, of racism and of multiple chronic social disadvantages.
ReGenUC's insight:

Rob White cites the new Red Cross report to consider the need for a greater focus on Restorative Justice and addressing the various factors (including AOD use) that contribute to offending. You can see the report here: http://www.redcross.org.au/files/VulnerabilityReport2016.pdf

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Scientists want to study marijuana. Big Pot just wants to sell it (USA)

Scientists want to study marijuana. Big Pot just wants to sell it (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
When it comes to changing marijuana's federal status, medical researchers and the cannabis industry have very different goals.
ReGenUC's insight:

David T Courtwright warns of the emergence of Big Tobacco (and the likely ensuing harm to public health) if cannabis policy is left solely in the hands of politicians and not subject to rigorous research.

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Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens' access to drug (USA)

Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens' access to drug (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Despite concerns that legalizing marijuana use for adults would make it easier for adolescents to get ahold of it, a new study in Washington State shows that teens find it no easier now than before the law was passed in 2012.
ReGenUC's insight:

Researchers note that (during the same period) young people did report increased difficulty gaining access to other drug types.

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Australia's prohibition of e-cigarettes is out of step with the evidence

Australia's prohibition of e-cigarettes is out of step with the evidence | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A new report by the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom says electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are much safer than smoking and encourages their widespread use by smokers. It concludes that e-cigarettes have huge potential to prevent death and disease from tobacco use.

ReGenUC's insight:

Colin Mendelsohn considers the international evidence and the potential public health benefits likely to result from a greater uptake of e-cigarettes in Australia.

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