Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Deakin University professor Peter Miller says closing all Adelaide pubs by 3am will cut violence, save money

Deakin University professor Peter Miller says closing all Adelaide pubs by 3am will cut violence, save money | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A BLANKET 3am closing time on pubs and clubs in Adelaide would further reduce drunken violence and anti-social behaviour and lessen the cost on the community, a leading researcher says.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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'Is this council insane?': Outrage over memorial planned for Melbourne heroin addicts

'Is this council insane?': Outrage over memorial planned for Melbourne heroin addicts | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A council in Melbourne has voted in favour of a memorial for people who have died from heroin overdoses in suburban Richmond.

ReGenUC's insight:

The media continue to pile onto this topic, unleashing the usual ignorant bile and unwillingness to consider the issue in any depth. See yesterday's related post: http://sco.lt/6QaUuv

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Harsh drug laws fail to deter users (WA)

Harsh drug laws fail to deter users (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
BEFORE the State Government actually introduces its new legislation making possession of comparatively small amounts of methylamphetamine punishable by life imprisonment, they might want to consider an event that took place in Singapore last Friday week.
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Tom Percy QC on the demonstrated ineffectiveness of increasing penalties for drug possession in preventing use.  

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For those who can't keep calm and carry on: England's unique mental health experiment

For those who can't keep calm and carry on: England's unique mental health experiment | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Behind the world's most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
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Great to see the UK Govt increasing service accessibility and investing in evidence based treatment models.  If only they would do the same for AOD treatment.

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Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll (USA)

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Employers say they are having trouble filling jobs because too many applicants can’t pass screening, a factor depressing the labor participation rate.
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See today's related post on the economic impacts of the US opioid crisis and the implications for Australia: http://sco.lt/8Up52f

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Calls for a heroin 'overdose antidote' to be made more available to addicts' families (N. Ireland)

Calls for a heroin 'overdose antidote' to be made more available to addicts' families (N. Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Naloxone may have saved 98 lives in Northern Ireland over five years.
ReGenUC's insight:

Making the obvious case for making naloxone as easily accessible as possible for those most likely to witness an overdose. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/5lj6On

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Rally to push for North Richmond safe injecting room (Vic)

FAMILY and friends of heroin overdose victims will lead a community street rally next month in support of a trial for a safe injecting room in North Richmond.

ReGenUC's insight:

Victoria Street Drug Solutions' Judy Ryan is spot on: the ongoing refusal of both the Andrews Govt and the Opposition to seriously engage with the clear and pressing risks associated with public injecting in the North Richmond area means that it has been left to local residents to show leadership. It's time our political leaders started listening. Thanks to VAADA for making the text of this article available. You can find out more about the March to Save Lives here: https://www.facebook.com/events/491449194537392/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A%22[%7B%5C%22surface%5C%22%3A%5C%22page%5C%22%2C%5C%22mechanism%5C%22%3A%5C%22page_upcoming_events_card%5C%22%2C%5C%22extra_data%5C%22%3A[]%7D]%22%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D 

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ACT's methadone guidelines years overdue for review when indigenous man died in custody

ACT's methadone guidelines years overdue for review when indigenous man died in custody | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A review of the guidelines for opioid prescribing in the ACT was more than three years overdue when an indigenous man died in custody last year.
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Jokowi downplays call to 'shoot' dealers (Indonesia)

A spokesman for Indonesian President Joko Widodo has rejected comparisons between him and Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte over calls to shoot drug dealers, saying while police were hunting criminals it was not an order for them to kill.
ReGenUC's insight:

President Widodo has shown signs of seeking to follow President Duterte's drug policy example for a while now. Hopefully, he can resist the urge to unleash a wave of extrajudicial executions to try to 'solve' Indonesia's AOD issues. Instead, he should try focusing on the factors driving increased demand for illicit drugs within the country. See more coverage here: http://sco.lt/5NwM2j.

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British American Tobacco to acquire Reynolds as activists decry merger

British American Tobacco to acquire Reynolds as activists decry merger | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Shareholders approved buyout to make BAT the world’s largest listed tobacco company amid concerns over industry pushing back on government regulations
ReGenUC's insight:

The latest move by Big (now even bigger) Tobacco: the 'industry with the deepest pockets'. 

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Should People Who Overdose on Drugs Be Saved? (USA)

Should People Who Overdose on Drugs Be Saved? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In two Ohio communities, officials have proposed different plans that would reduce the efforts by emergency responders to revive people who have overdosed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece by Jessica Wakeman in response to recent statements by local officials in Ohio, highlighting the role stigma plays in framing such debates (or the fact that such debates happen at all). See today's related post on community outrage at a proposed memorial to overdose victims in Richmond: http://sco.lt/6QaUuv.

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'No smoking' also applies to e-cigarettes on planes: US court

Vaping is smoking, a US federal appeals court ruled, upholding regulation that adds e-cigarettes to an existing ban on the use of traditional tobacco-burning products on commercial flights in th
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'Monumentally stupid': Richmond locals furious at planned memorial to overdose victims (Vic)

'Monumentally stupid': Richmond locals furious at planned memorial to overdose victims (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Council plans to install a memorial for people who have died from heroin overdoses in Richmond.
ReGenUC's insight:

So, it's a case of two steps forward, one step back in the quality of public debate about injecting drug use in Richmond. We have seen real progress lately in community willingness to consider evidence based responses to the harms associated with public injecting and recognise the need to prevent overdose deaths, but debate on this issue appears to have reverted to the usual simplistic stereotypes. It is possible to have a considered debate about the merits (or otherwise) of the public memorial to those who have died in the area, but the issue here appears to have been polarised local community members. We need discussions that bring people together to identify their common concerns and find a way towards an effective, practical response. We also need greater recognition for the value of the lives lost and the wider community impacts of overdose deaths. The stigma surrounding this issue is a clear barrier to achieving this sort of recognition. Attitudes like those cited here that overdose victims 'died from their own stupidity' are ignorant but unfortunately common. It begs the question, would there be a similar response to a memorial for car crash victims at a know black spot? This article shows how far we have to go to improve public understanding of the issues and build support for evidence based policy.

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'90 tablets a day': The pain med killing more Australians than heroin

'90 tablets a day': The pain med killing more Australians than heroin | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More Australians are dying from painkiller overdoses each year, and calls are growing for governments to act.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NDARC's Amanda Roxburgh and Scriptwise's Bee Mohamed on the need to address opioid prescribing practice and our broader approach to pain management. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6qfhbd

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Thousands of students in trouble for drugs in schools (Qld)

Thousands of students in trouble for drugs in schools (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 3000 Queensland state students have been suspended or expelled after being caught with illegal drugs in the past three years.
ReGenUC's insight:

Education Queensland data shows year 9 & 10 students most likely to be disciplined for illicit drug use/possession. Education Minister Kate Jones says that the new figures reflect growth in overall student numbers, not an escalation in illicit use amongst students. Interesting to note the continued decline in issues linked to tobacco & other legal substances.

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Could pharmacists dispense heroin in injecting rooms (ACT)

It’s time to put harm minimisation measures like prescription heroin back on the agenda, says one industry stakeholder

ReGenUC's insight:

Kate Haggan considers the Swiss model for Heroin Assisted Therapy in the light of the PHAA's Michael Moore seeking to reopen debate about HAT in Australia. See Monday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6JxQrh

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Oxycontin, Tramadol, Fentanyl: Will opioid crisis hit Australia?

Oxycontin, Tramadol, Fentanyl: Will opioid crisis hit Australia? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AMERICA’S opioid crisis is getting so bad, even the central bank is weighing in.
ReGenUC's insight:

Our problem with prescription opioids hasn't escalated to the same extent as the US, but we know they are responsible for more overdose deaths in Australia than heroin, especially amongst older people. NDARC's recent study highlights the need to change opioid prescribing guidelines and, more broadly, how me manage pain.There's no real mention of fentanyl in the article, but it seems that it's only a matter of time before it (or other powerful synthetic opioids) becomes more prevalent within illicit drug markets. As we've seen in North America, when this happens, we will see a spike in overdose fatalities. This begs the question: what are our political leaders doing to prepare? See today's related post on the economic & social impacts of the US opioid crisis: http://sco.lt/6PSwbp

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Philippines President Duterte Calls for the Death Penalty for Drug Possession

President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the introduction of the death penalty in the Philippines for a range of offences – including drug possession - as his co
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the ineffectiveness of increasing penalties in preventing use: http://sco.lt/5hOziL.

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'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses (N. Ireland)

'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses (N. Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Naloxone, which temporarily reverses the effects of heroin overdose, was introduced in 2012.
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After years of attempting to quit drugs, it took a house fire for Erin to get clean (NSW)

After years of attempting to quit drugs, it took a house fire for Erin to get clean (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Erin, 31, "hit rock bottom at least 30 times" and after 14 years of attempting to quit ice, it took a fire to finally get her clean.
ReGenUC's insight:

Erin's story is a powerful one, providing a clear account of the complex and interrelated factors that contribute to alcohol and other drug dependence, and to recovery. However, it's important to remember that the concept of 'rock bottom' is a fallacy. If you're still alive, there's always further you can fall. Everyone has a different point at which the impacts of their use (and their circumstances) prompt them to seek help, but it's important to remember that, the earlier you start making change, the easier it is to do it. It's never too early, but it's never too late either. Where there's life, there's hope and hope is something we can work with. 

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Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates (Aus)

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing CYSAR's Gary Chan on the centre's analysis of Global Drug Survey data finds use of butane hash oil is linked to high levels of anxiety, depression on poly-drug use.

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'If you continue to use, you will have a psychotic episode' (Qld)

'If you continue to use, you will have a psychotic episode' (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health workers are facing a new battle in the war against ice addiction, with severe mental illness complicating treatment methods.
ReGenUC's insight:

Sunshine Coast treatment providers highlight some of the common impacts of dependent methamphetamine use and the challenges for services with treatment retention. There is a clear need for treatment providers to adapt their practice for people who have been using methamphetamine to ensure that they are best place to engage them in treatment and keep them engaged. Here's a summary of what we've been doing in this area (and what else we hope to do): http://www.regen.org.au/images/reports/ReGen_Methamphetamine_Treatment_Model_Briefing_Paper_DC1.pdf

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‘Five friends go out and take ecstasy, one doesn’t come home’: the rise of super-strength pills (UK)

‘Five friends go out and take ecstasy, one doesn’t come home’: the rise of super-strength pills (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Why are ecstasy deaths at their highest level in a decade?
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the risks associated with the emergence of high-potency MDMA products in the UK.

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Seven deaths in Kiwi synthetic cannabis epidemic this month

Seven deaths in Kiwi synthetic cannabis epidemic this month | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Seven people have died after using synthetic cannabis in the past 21 days.
ReGenUC's insight:

The risks about new and emerging synthetic cannabis products are well documented, as is the role current drug policies have played in driving demand for 'legal highs'. We need a more evidence informed response from policy makers, not just catch-up bans.

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Indonesia’s call to shoot drug dealers sounds familiar

Indonesia’s call to shoot drug dealers sounds familiar | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MOVE over Rodrigo Duterte, there’s a new tough guy in town this one isn’t not holding back.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/8GCRjF

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Top policeman inspects overseas injecting rooms on drug study tour (Vic)

Top policeman inspects overseas injecting rooms on drug study tour (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drug decriminalisation and heroin injecting rooms around the world are being studied first-hand.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's encouraging to see Assistant Commissioner Nugent joining members of the Legal and Social Issues Committee on their study tour, but he only had to travel to Sydney to speak with his NSW Police colleagues, who openly endorse the state's Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. Hopefully, Mr Nugent (and the other members of the delegation) will recognise the evidence for a Richmond MSIC upon their return.

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