Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Challenge to Australia tobacco law could have vast impact

Challenge to Australia tobacco law could have vast impact | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Geneva (AFP) - A landmark challenge to Australia's plain-packaging law for cigarettes and cigars at the WTO could have vast implications for how governments square the rules of trade with radical public health measures.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
Topics being covered in the media that are of interest to us
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Coroner recommends trial of safe injecting room in North Richmond amid heroin deaths (Vic)

Coroner recommends trial of safe injecting room in North Richmond amid heroin deaths (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A coroner has recommended that the Victorian government trial a supervised injecting room in north Richmond, amid an unprecedented spate of heroin overdoses.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see Coroner Hawkins recognising the evidence of need for a MSIC in Richmond. With Fiona Patten's bill to be debated this week, will Minister Foley heed the Coroner's recommendation to 'take the necessary steps to establish a safe injecting facility trial in North Richmond'?

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On-Site Drug Checking: Reagents, Methods, Harm Reduction, and Politics (Aus)

On-Site Drug Checking: Reagents, Methods, Harm Reduction, and Politics (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

On January 20th, The Sydney Morning Herald published “Pill testing sounds like a great idea, but there’s a catch”, by forensic toxicologist Andrew Leibie, who reasoned that field testing is not very helpful, and might be worse than nothing. Leibie seemed to both not understand what he was talking about, and to ignore some of the key benefits of having on-site testing at events where illegal drugs might be consumed.

ReGenUC's insight:

Erowid folk consider some of the recent coverage of drug checking proposals and the capacity of such measures to reduce harm.

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More than 20 people treated for drug overdoses at Melbourne dance party 'awash with drugs'

More than 20 people treated for drug overdoses at Melbourne dance party 'awash with drugs' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

More than 20 people have been taken to hospital, many in a critical condition, after overdosing on drugs at a dance party in Melbourne.

ReGenUC's insight:

GHB is reportedly responsible for these overdoses. If you are planning to use it, please remember there is a very small difference between a safe dose and an overdose with this drug. That's why it is associated with so many overdoses.

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Bottle shops are open for too long, expert says (Qld)

Bottle shops are open for too long, expert says (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Queensland needs to reduce bottle-shop hours and accept an increase in alcohol tax to reduce alcohol-fuelled harm, a public health policy expert says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Wayne Hall and Megan Weier call for state and federal govts to take action on alcohol pricing and availability.

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The ‘only town’ in America where cops grant amnesty to drug addicts seeking help

Gloucester, Mass., police chief Leonard Campanella was upset about the increasing number of heroin overdoses in the coastal town, so he created a program to help addicts that is becoming a national model.
ReGenUC's insight:

While last week's episode of 'Ice Wars' showed police fully focussed on arresting their way out of the problem, this story provides an example of what a more enlightened approach can achieve.

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The ‘most dangerous drug Australia has ever seen’ is here

The ‘most dangerous drug Australia has ever seen’ is here | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A deadly drug being passed off as MDMA and heroin has hit Australian shores, authorities have warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of today's announcement by Qld Police that small amounts of carfentanil have been detected. The article cites David Caldicott on the difficulties of detecting the presence of carfentanil with usual testing options and the extreme overdose risk associated with this very powerful opioid. Typically, this sort of headline would be an indicator of a tabloid beatup. In the case of carfentail, the danger is very real. If/when it becomes commonly available in Aus, overdose rates will soar. All the more need for services that have been shown to be effective in preventing overdose deaths, like Medically Supervised Injecting Centres.

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Australia's looming e-cigarette ban robs smokers of a chance to quit

Australia's looming e-cigarette ban robs smokers of a chance to quit | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The recent decision to effectively ban e-cigarettes will hurt poor and disadvantaged smokers the most.
ReGenUC's insight:

Colin Mendelsohn on the potential public health impacts of restricting access to e-cigarettes.

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Former Rep. Frank Guinta seen as possible Trump 'drug czar' (USA)

Former Rep. Frank Guinta seen as possible Trump 'drug czar' (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ex-congressman, who lost his re-election race in November, made the opioid crisis a central focus in his most recent term.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post about the potential impacts of changes to US healthcare on treatment accessibility: http://sco.lt/723qfh

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Is it harder to smuggle drugs into high security prisons? (UK)

Is it harder to smuggle drugs into high security prisons? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

After BBC Panorama found "chaos" in one of the biggest prisons in England, Newsbeat spoke to an ex-prison officer about how easy it is to smuggle illegal goods into different categories of prisons..

ReGenUC's insight:

Prison officers say levels of contraband entering prisons linked to staffing levels.

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Matthew Meiser's curator insight, February 15, 3:58 PM

The prison in UK is split up into 4 categories of prisoners from A being the worst group of inmates to D at which the inmates are getting ready to be released soon.  BBC's reporter Panaroma was threatened by an inmate for filming him in his cell where he had contraband

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Turning a blind eye to drug abuse is getting us nowhere (Vic)

Turning a blind eye to drug abuse is getting us nowhere (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
On June 10, 2016, Victoria's Chief Health Officer published a notice indicating a risk of Hepatitis A contagion associated with a particular store in Victoria
ReGenUC's insight:

VAADA's Sam Biondo says Vic Police and political leaders need to recognise the evidence for harm reduction and implement measures (like a MSIC in Richmond) to reduce immediate risks and save lives.

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Top cop calls for alcohol reduction in Broome (WA)

Top cop calls for alcohol reduction in Broome (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Kimberley District police superintendent says the status quo of record rates of alcohol-fuelled violence and self-harm cannot continue.
ReGenUC's insight:

Superintendent Adams calls for restrictions on alcohol supply in Broome and Derby.

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A Recent Spike In Cocaine Overdose Deaths Has Been Linked To The Opioid Epidemic (USA)

A Recent Spike In Cocaine Overdose Deaths Has Been Linked To The Opioid Epidemic (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
While cocaine use has been declining in recent years, overdoses are up — largely due to dangerous opioids lik
ReGenUC's insight:

US data shows deaths linked to use of cocaine and opioids, particularly fentanyl.

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'Legalise cocaine to beat drug gangs' says Brazilian Supreme Court judge

Justice Roberto Barroso said the war on drugs had failed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Justice Barroso makes the argument that legalisation will remove criminal organisations from drug production and supply.

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Fact Check: Would shortening the length of Rainbow Serpent Festival reduce harm? (Vic)

Fact Check: Would shortening the length of Rainbow Serpent Festival reduce harm? (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Hannah Francis from The Age wrote a piece entitled “Police want to cut length of Rainbow Serpent Festival following death of 22-year-old”. How would a shorter festival have prevented this tragedy and might doing so actually increase harm?

ReGenUC's insight:

HRV's Steph Tzanetis on recent statements about risk at the festival and the likely impact of shortening the festival on AOD-related harm.

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Boozy admissions flood WA hospitals

Boozy admissions flood WA hospitals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRUNKS are flooding WA hospitals, with one in five admissions to emergency departments booze related, a snapshot survey reveals.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that it is alcohol (not methamphetamine) that is responsible for most violence within our hospital system.

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Striving on the front line of Melbourne's drug crisis

Striving on the front line of Melbourne's drug crisis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Almost 20 years have passed since Nicole Warr's cousin died from a heroin overdose. He had just turned 21.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing cohealth's support for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond.

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Illicit-Drug Use OK In 'Safe' Site Under Maryland Bill (USA)

Illicit-Drug Use OK In 'Safe' Site Under Maryland Bill (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Illegal-drug users in Maryland could partake in recreational use under a bill that would create legal, sanitary illicit-drug use facilities in the state.
ReGenUC's insight:

While Vic Minister Martin Foley has recently dismissed proposals for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Melbourne as a '90's idea', the need for such centres is greater than ever. Canada, Ireland, France and even the US are rapidly moving towards establishing multiple centres in response to the growing death toll from opioid overdoses. With the arrival of Carfentanil in Australia (http://sco.lt/5QKVc1), the situation here is only going to get worse. We need MSICs in Melbourne and other cities now.

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4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About 'New' Drugs (USA)

4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About 'New' Drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The media plays an essential role in shaping the public’s understanding and perception of drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Drug Policy Alliance's Stefanie Jones and Sara Qureshi highlight the impacts of inaccurate media reporting on public perceptions of AOD issues. To see examples of Aus sector response to this sort of reporting, check out the new AOD Media Watch project: http://aodmediawatch.com.au/

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Guild backs safe injecting facility call (Vic)

Guild backs safe injecting facility call (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A coalition of health professionals and community leaders, including the Pharmacy Guild, have backed Sex Party leader Fiona Patten’s bid for a safe injecting facilit
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the broad coalition of support for a MSIC in Richmond. Hopefully, we'll soon be able to add the Andrews Govt to the membership list.

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The Obamacare repeal 'could be a disaster' for states fighting the opioid epidemic (USA)

The Obamacare repeal 'could be a disaster' for states fighting the opioid epidemic (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

One day in 2014, Steve Pullins made a phone call that saved his life. At the time, he was bumming on friends’ couches in Cincinnati without a job and suffering his worst relapse in years. When he wasn’t drinking, he was smoking crack cocaine, and when he wasn’t doing either of those he was using heroin to stave off cravings.

ReGenUC's insight:

Potential changes to US healthcare by the Trump administration could impose significant new barriers to treatment. See today's related post about the man considered likely to be the new US 'drug czar': http://sco.lt/8JXX5l.

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Concern over drug use by fishermen (UK)

Concern over drug use by fishermen (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Investigators say 15% of fishing vessel accidents in the last two years have involved drug use.
ReGenUC's insight:

See similar issues raised by research into AOD use within the Australian farm and fishing industries: http://sco.lt/5NQvjN

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South Australia sets up ice task force

South Australia sets up ice task force | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The South Australian government has established an ice task force to combat the escalating use and devastating impacts of the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Hopefully, the SA Govt will also be increasing resources for treatment and harm reduction services and addressing the broader social and structural factors that drive demand for methamphetamine in the state. Any approach that relies solely on supply reduction is doomed to failure. See more coverage of the task force announcement here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-14/ice-taskforce-established-sa/8268792

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Rodrigo Duterte's statements suggest he's battled an addiction to painkillers (Philippines)

Rodrigo Duterte's statements suggest he's battled an addiction to painkillers (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
RODRIGO Duterte has once again admitted to abusing a powerful opioid drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

So, the president who (reportedly) has a history of fentanyl dependence adopts a policy that sees thousands of his constituents with similar issues murdered. 

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Why Every Generation Freaks Out About a New Drug (USA)

The cycle of outrage Americans have over whatever drug is fashionable hasn't gotten us any closer to figuring out why people abuse narcotics.
ReGenUC's insight:

Maia Szalavitz looks at the role media coverage plays in driving moral panic and the obvious need for a greater focus on harm reduction in the US.

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Ireland to legalise cannabis for specific medical conditions

Ireland to legalise cannabis for specific medical conditions | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Patients with multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, or undergoing chemotherapy could be given drug despite safety fears
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on plans for an expansion of UK medicinal cannabis markets: http://sco.lt/6Hzreb.

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