At the moment the National Ice Taskforce is consulting around the country with Assistant Minister for Health Senator the Hon Fiona Nash MP in Dubbo this week. We hear that the nation is in the grip of an ice epidemic. I have two thoughts on this. Firstly, does the data support calling the ice problem an ‘epidemic’? What do the numbers say?
DrinkTank post by the Mayor of Dubbo encouraging a greater recognition of alcohol related harms within our communities and broader focus on the impacts of all drug types, not only methamphetamine. We'd suggest his proposed 'two-fold attack' plan needs some work, but welcome his challenge to the usual 'Ice epidemic' rhetoric.
Though the process of overcoming addiction is a personal one, this generation and those ahead may have some new, innovative options to help with recovery — due to technology and the mobile app phenomenon.
Jenna Shapiro summarises a variety of apps, wearables and Johann Hari's TED talk, emphasising the importance of connection and the role that apps can play in reducing isolation and supporting recovery.
I should be able to write their full names. But because we have made so little progress when it comes to opiate abuse, because we cling to the stereotypes, feeding the stigma, there will be no last names, no identifying details.
Nice piece by Yvonne Abraham on the ongoing stigmatisation of people who use evidence based pharmacotherapies to manage &/or recover from opioid dependence. Good to see recognition of the stigmatisation of this group by some within recovery communities and the impact of the 'double shame' on those who deserve and need support.
USA-DRUGS/NEEDLES (FEATURE, PIX):FEATURE-Drug needle exchanges gain ground after Indiana HIV outbreak
While it is encouraging to see an increase in political support for harm reduction measures, it is a tragedy that it required a major public health crisis to cut through the usual opposition to evidence based drug policy.
Australians are drinking more alcohol than they were 15 years ago with teenagers drinking significantly more, according to a new study.
More coverage of the ABS' 'apparent consumption' data that indicates a 13% growth in overall alcohol consumption since 2001: http://sco.lt/7qg2NN. One finding that is consistent with previous self-report studies is the narrowing gender differences in drinking.
If I'm being perfectly honest, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin would not be my favourite politician.
Interesting to see Melbourne getting a mention in this story. Unfortunately, its as an example of the typically uninformed arguments that get raised in opposition to evidence based harm reduction measures. Our position statement (and supporting evidence) on the establishment of a MSIC in Melbourne is here: http://www.regen.org.au/advocacy.
It must be acknowledged that the "vibe" in Newtown is changing. It's clear the law and order response that imposed lockouts on Kings Cross has had a significant impact on Sydney's nightlife.
State MP Jenny Leong proposes scrapping alcohol restrictions and focusing on a more diverse night time economy to address alcohol related violence. We'd suggest it's not an either/or scenario. Both approaches together would have a positive impact.
FAMILIES are the invisible victims of ice. They are torn apart by addiction-fuelled violence, anxiety and debt. Maggie (surname withheld) was shocked last year to learn her son was using ice.
Another reminder of the impacts on family members, not just of methamphetamine dependence, but of any problematic AOD use by a family member. Good to see discussion of treatment and support options included: citing YoDAA's Dom Ennis, SHARC's Angela Ireland and Turning Point's Matthew Frei. If you (or someone you care about) are affected by AOD dependence, give us a call: 1800 700 514.
Patrons will be locked out of Newtown bars from 3am on weekends after publicans agreed to trial a suite of self-imposed restrictions designed to ward off late-night revellers and improve safety in the precinct.
Good to see venues taking active steps to reduce the incidence of alcohol related violence.
Lack of support for underage users of 'ice' was the main concern raised at a forum about the drug in Port Augusta last night.
Nicole Lee spoke at this forum too, but doesn't get a mention here. While 'just say no' may have received a standing ovation, preventing use and responding to the harms being experienced in communities like Port Augusta is much more complicated. It's understandable that families are looking for simple solutions, but it's important to remember that alcohol and other drug use doesn't occur in isolation, but as part of a range of complex and interrelated issues. Dealing with a complex issue requires a holistic and multi-layered approach. This has been recognised by the National Ice Taskforce: http://sco.lt/7WH48f.
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