With the latest spate of overdoses in Queensland fulfilling the predictions of many health experts in Australia of a summer of multiple overdoses of unknown substances, attention has inevitably turned again to the issue of "pill testing" or "drug checking", to inform drug users of the substances they're ingesting.
David Caldicott highlights the limitations of commercially available DIY kits and the need for the introduction of more reliable testing at festivals to help people make informed decisions about their drug use and prevent overdose deaths (such as that of Riki Stephens last week: http://sco.lt/65bMkj).
ACE and Sheila* are a married couple who say they are tasked with killing drug users and drug dealers as part of the Philippine President’s war on drugs.
A depressing insight into the economics of President Duterte's brutal drug policy: this couple claim performing outsourced extrajudicial executions for cash is the only way to support their four children.
The cultivation of opium poppy in Afghanistan, the world's main source of heroin, has risen to its third-highest level in more than 20 years, the United Nations says, as the Taliban insurgency gains ground.
Citing UNODC data on a 10% increase in poppy cultivation.
October 20th, 2016 Women’s health is an essential piece of harm reduction and drug-user health. Last week’s news that Vancouver is planning a supervised injection facility just for women is inspiring. But far too often, we lump services together and fail to see the importance of specific programmin
A great piece by Louise Beale on the need for services that cater to the specific needs of women who use drugs. See last week's related post about the proposal to establish a women-only injecting facility in Vancouver: http://sco.lt/5sAGxN.
By casting a light on the spiritual requirement in recovery, legal actions in Toronto and Vancouver
Are this case (and other legal challenges) forcing change within the North American recovery movement? If nothing else, these cases highlight the need for a variety of treatment and support options to be available, to meet people's different recovery needs.
In 2012, in the early days of the rise of e-cigarettes, Kingsley Wheaton, Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at British American Tobacco, said “Our core business is, and will remain in, tobacco…
Simon Chapman argues that Big Tobacco see e-cigarettes as an opportunity to gain new customers, not transition tobacco smokers to lower risk products.
NOT a single dollar of the $300 million the Turnbull Government promised to tackle the ice scourge has been spent a year after the government announced its national strategy to tackle the drug.
The headline is a bit misleading (money has been spent by PHN's in developing their plans to utilise the Federal funds, but not on delivering new services), but it does echo the AOD sector's concerns about the Government's decision to allocate these funds to service networks that (in general) had only limited experience and expertise in the delivery of drug treatment services. It's good to see the article also highlighting the Government's apparent neglect of drug policy, as it has allowed the National Drug Strategy to lapse, with no clear signs of when a new strategy will be in place and no AOD sector peak body (following the defunding of ADCA by the Abbott Govt) to advocate for evidence based policy measures. This article provides a useful comparison to Justice Minister Keenan's rhetoric yesterday about the Govt's commitment to addressing methamphetamine use: http://sco.lt/6KCLlx. See also Chloe Booker's response to yesterday's stigmatising and inflammatory coverage: http://sco.lt/5OX2wb.
A MAN was taken to hospital overnight following a suspected overdose of the hallucinogenic drug flakka which left 16 people hospitalised over the weekend.
Whether this incident involved flakka or not (but evidence to date suggests it wasn't: http://sco.lt/8C7bCD), isn't the real point here. The young woman here reports she thought she had purchased ecstasy and it is reasonable to assume the other people who experienced overdoses on the weekend probably thought the same. The real issues at the heart of this story are the role our drug policy systems are playing in driving demand for emerging synthetics and the need for ready access to drug checking services to help people make informed choices about their drug use and prevent such incidents from happening.
Following the cooperation of my state and territory counterparts, I am pleased to announce a new national plan to cut off the supply of chemicals and equipment used in clandestine laboratories that make ice and other dangerous drugs.
Minister Keenan announces a national approach to precursor chemicals.
Adults over the age of 25 increased their use of marijuana after their home states made changes to medical marijuana laws, according to new research by scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Citing Columbia University research shows small increase in adults but no impact on use by people 25 and under.
(HealthDay)—Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults have higher rates of substance use and mental illness than their straight counterparts, a U.S. government report shows.
As in Australia, experiences of stigma and discrimination contribute to higher rates of AOD use and mental health concerns within LGBTI communities. What's interesting to note here is that, while they have increased risk of AOD related harm, they are also more likely to seek support.
The toxicology result has come back negative for flakka, police say.
That's zero evidence of flakka being involved in the weekend's overdoses. From what's reported here, it appears they were the result of a mixture of various amphetamines, MDMA and NBOMe. From what we hear from people who use our services (and other Victorian service providers), the return of heroin is driving an increase in overdose fatalities in Melbourne and (amongst people who use recreationally) GHB remains a significant overdose risk, particularly when used with other drugs.
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