In a brief moment alone between the hugs, tender words and tears, Cherie Short tips her head back and looks up towards the heavens. Ahhh. The sigh slips out.
One of thousands of events that will be happening around the world today to remember those lost to overdose, the families left behind and advocate for action to prevent future overdose deaths and injuries. For information on events near you, see the OAD website: http://www.overdoseday.com/.
FORMER ice addicts are visiting schools to tell children aged just seven years old about their experiences with crystal methamphetamine.
We can appreciate the good intentions behind this initiative but there is abundant research demonstrating that this sort of approach does not work and can, in fact, increase the likelihood of future use. This is not the way to protect our children.
CONCERNS drug abuse is a growing problem in Tasmanian workplaces has moved the states peak business body to ask its members for the first time about illicit substance and alcohol use.
It's important to remember that workplace drug testing is not (on its own) a solution. It may help employers manage immediate risk but does nothing to address the factors driving employees' AOD use. As with schools and other institutions, businesses need practical supports (such as clear links to appropriate treatment and support services) for responding to the often complex needs of their employees.
There is a potential for significant harm in Australia if we don't have adequate systems in place to monitor our drug markets and respond rapidly when specific dangers are detected.
Nice response by Stephen Bright and Monica Barratt on the latest round of media hysteria, making a clear call for evidence based (as opposed to fear driven) responses to actual harm. You can see our comments on recent coverage here: http://sco.lt/9KqrMv,http://sco.lt/8jZEjB.
Alert: Naloxone isn't working on several recent ODs, which leads health officials to believe that stronger opioids are in heroin.
It's important to note that it's the dosage of naloxone given that is the issue, not its effectiveness. The story highlights the overdose risks associated with these powerful synthetic opioids, and the importance of not using alone.
Members of historically disempowered and stigmatized groups (e.g., women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, religious minorities, etc.) have long been subjected to overt aggression from the dominant cultures in which they are nested.
William White highlights the daily micro-aggressions, insults and invalidations experienced by people affected by AOD dependence, including those perpetrated by people within the recovery movement. He's looking for more examples, if you have experiences to share. See the bottom of the article for details.
A trial giving heroin users' family members and friends a drug to prevent overdoses has been hailed a success, and may even reduce overall heroin use, WA researchers say.
Coverage of the NDRI evaluation of WASUA's naloxone program. Another great eample of the importance of peer distribution in preventing overdose deaths and injuries. You can see the full report here: http://sco.lt/5pFpSr.
The Swedish government has launched an inquiry into why Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy.
International evidence indicates that the high death rate (particularly from overdose) is a direct result of Sweden's 'zero tolerance' policy. The way forward is clear: a greater focus on harm reduction
Greens propose pill testing trial, saying it will save lives.
A predictable response from the libs, but a little puzzling from Labor, given yesterday's commitment to discussing the merits of decriminalisation: http://sco.lt/7qtZ2n. Monica Barratt (as ever) provides a voice of reason (and research evidence) in response to ideological opposition.
DRINKING alcohol at home is the most dangerous place to enjoy a beverage.
Highlighting a range of research that identifies the need for a policy approach that doesn't just address public drinking, but the range of harms associated with alcohol consumed at home. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5y2ZLl.
AN urgent campaign to promote the lifesaving qualities of overdose reversal drug naloxone has been called for in the wake of data showing a surge of accidental deaths linked to prescription painkillers.
Good to see public attention being drawn to the impacts of the withdrawal of naloxone minijets (the most accessible, affordable option currently available) from the Australian market. This will also be addressed at tomorrow's CREIDU colloqium. For more details (or to register) see the website: https://www.burnet.edu.au/events/200_creidu_colloquium Thanks to VAADA for making the content of this article available from behind the NewsLtd paywall.
The public backlash against the homeless fails to understand the problem's causes, explains Sam Biondo.
Great response by VAADA's Sam Biondo to last week's demonisation (http://sco.lt/8rqppB) of people who are homeless. He rightly challenges our society's propsensity to 'blame the victim', rather than address the structural and social factors driving homelessness (and related issues).
New data obtained by the Herald Sun reveals a surge in deaths among older Australians, with almost eight in 10 accidental overdose deaths now men and women aged 30-59. The figures challenge the traditional image of drug deaths being young people overdosing on illegal drugs in inner city drug hot spots.
This shift in the demographics of overdose is likely due to two factors: 1. Our over-reliance on opioid painkillers, particularly amongst older people; & 2. an ageing cohort of people who are long-term users of heroin and other opioids. We need targetted policy and service responses to the needs of both groups. Sally Finn's suggestion is a good one: doctors should be prescribing naloxone for anyone on high doses of opioids. One thing is clear from the data: overdose prevention is a mainstream issue. Thanks to VAADA for bringing the content of this article (and the accompanying editorial) out from behind the NewsLtd paywall.
A five-year-old kindergarten girl is the latest victim of Philippines President Duterte's war on drugs.
The sad reality is that the death of one five-year-old will probably be a greater cause of public outrage than the killings of nearly 2,000 adults under President Duterte's brutal policies. The stigmatisation of (& subsequent lack of public compassion for) people involved with illicit drugs is a global phenomenon, driven by misconceptions, ignorance and political opportunism. All lives have value, regardless of age or life events. Our challenge is to get people to look beyond the stereotypes to see the people behind them, and realise they they're just like the rest of us.
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