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Kerala, one of the highest consumers of alcohol, to bid goodbye to booze (India)

Kerala, one of the highest consumers of alcohol, to bid goodbye to booze (India) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) will close down 10 % of its outlets every year. Bevco has 338 outlets while the Consumerfed has 46 outlets.
ReGenUC's insight:

Presumably, this will see a shift towards consumption of other drugs.  It will be interesting to see just what happens in Kerala and other states adopting similar measures.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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NT mandatory alcohol rehabilitation has 'little evidence' to justify it, say health experts

NT mandatory alcohol rehabilitation has 'little evidence' to justify it, say health experts | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Medical Journal of Australia article says it is ‘disquieting’ that $27m annually is spent on a ‘potentially discriminatory program lacking in evidence’
ReGenUC's insight:

MJA article highlights the Act's criminalisation of alcohol dependence, clear targetting of Aboriginal people and inefficiency. You can see the full text article here: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/203/1/alcohol-mandatory-treatment-act-evidence-ethics-and-law.

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NT's forced alcohol rehab scheme 'potentially discriminatory', report says

NT's forced alcohol rehab scheme 'potentially discriminatory', report says | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The NT's policy of dealing with so-called problem drunks is potentially discriminatory, lacking in evidence and expensive, a new report finds.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the MJA article. See related story, with link to full text article: http://sco.lt/5lqdhB. 

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More families affected by ice abuse (Aus)

THE man tasked with arresting Australia's ice epidemic says he has no immediate answer to what is an increasingly grave and complicated problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

The usual sensible stuff from Taskforce head Ken Lay as the public consultations come to a close.  Here's our summary of AOD sector recommendations to the Taskforce: http://sco.lt/7qGr4L. We hope the Federal Govt is listening.

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Three-year-old suffers alcohol poisoning after drinking hand gel (Vic)

Three-year-old suffers alcohol poisoning after drinking hand gel (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Doctors are warning people to be careful with alcohol-based hand sanitisers after a three-year-old suffered severe alcohol poisoning while playing with a bottle at home.
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Call to make ecstasy legal and sell it at pharmacies (VIC)

Call to make ecstasy legal and sell it at pharmacies (VIC) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Most of bad consequences from use are due to impurities in illicitly manufactured drug and it being illegal, expert says.
ReGenUC's insight:
Citing Josh Donnelly, David Penington and Matthew Frei on reducing potential harms related to illicit MDMA use, with reference to David Nutt's work.
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Understanding is the key in dealing with Harley Bennell (Vic)

Understanding is the key in dealing with Harley Bennell (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Harley Bennell needs support from people who understand him, not people who are looking to lecture him.
ReGenUC's insight:

Emma Quayle's piece is a much better example of responsible media coverage of AOD use by AFL players than today's Herald Sun editorial (and most of the coverage on this story): http://sco.lt/8gk5Uv.

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Powedered alcohol likely to be banned before reaching Qld shores

Powedered alcohol likely to be banned before reaching Qld shores | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Just add water and shake. Or stir. Mixing powdered alcohol doesn't seem to be the problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related post on the Victorian ban on this product group: http://sco.lt/53LXDl. 

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Peer urges import ban on powdered alcohol (UK)

Peer urges import ban on powdered alcohol (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ministers are urged by a Labour MP to ban imports of powdered alcohol as part of a crackdown on so-called legal highs.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on proposed Qld legislation: http://sco.lt/5sJa4H

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10 hospitalised in past year after using synthetic cannabis (NT)

10 hospitalised in past year after using synthetic cannabis (NT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TEN people have presented at Royal Darwin Hospital’s emergency department in the past year after smoking synthetic marijuana, including a teenager who is believed to have stopped breathing before being revived by his father.
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Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT)

Zero tolerance drug drive laws leads to conviction of unimpaired motorcyclist (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An unimpaired motorcyclist has been suspended and fined for drug-driving after tests found traces of cannabis in his system from four days earlier.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David McDonald on the need for a review of Australian drug driving laws. The distinction between current impairment and detectable presence of drugs (particularly cannabis, which is typically detectable for a month after consumption) is a common cause for criticism of the current regime.

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Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced

Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Abbott government does not believe there needs to be a federal ban of powdered alcohol, despite pleas from Victoria.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Victorian bans are in place from July 1st. In the absence of a uniform policy approach to this product, it will be interesting to see if interstate/international online sales become an issue.

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Tamper-resistant opioids will not solve opioid addiction problem, study suggests (Canada)

Governments in Canada and the United States are promoting tamper-resistant drugs, which are more difficult to crush, snort or inject, to prevent addiction and other harms. Opioid users may tamper with prescribed tablets, capsules or patches for a faster "high." However, a research group argues, tamper-resistant formulations of drugs will not solve the problems of opioid addiction and overdose.
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More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT)

More support needed for pregnant women who use alcohol, drugs: report (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Early engagement with women who take drugs and drink during pregnancy and access to support and treatment that also addresses mental health problems, domestic violence and homelessness are vital.
ReGenUC's insight:

This report draws attention to the need to remove access barriers (such as those highlighted in yesterday's post: http://sco.lt/4zn281) for women who are pregnant or who have young children to relevant services. In related news construction of the 'Mother & Baby' unit at our residential withdrawal service in Ivanhoe is due to commence soon, with the unit opening in mid-2016.

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Hospitals’ ice violence sees staff having to restrain patients in emergency departments and wards (Tas)

Hospitals’ ice violence sees staff having to restrain patients in emergency departments and wards (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A GROWING number of ice-affected patients has led to episodes of uncontrollable, unpredictable and violent behaviour in the state’s hospitals. Doctors and nurses are reporting ice-fuelled rages in emergency departments and even in general hospital wards.

ReGenUC's insight:

While the role of methamphetamine use in violent incidents in hospitals and other settings does need to be addressed, it's worth noting that, as our Director of Clinical Services noted recently, we've never had higher numbers of people undertaking methamphetamine withdrawal at our residential withdrawal service, yet the rates of violent incidents are at an all time low. Here's a summary of what we've been doing to respond to the needs of people using our services and ensure that they remain a safe environment for everyone: http://www.regen.org.au/images/Meth_Treatment_-_Building_on_successful_strategies_to_enhance_outcomes_v1.0.pdf 

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War on synthetic drugs: Dead teen’s dad takes fight to classroom (WA)

War on synthetic drugs: Dead teen’s dad takes fight to classroom (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE father of a Perth teenager who died after taking synthetic drugs will visit high schools to warn students about the dangers of narcotics.
ReGenUC's insight:

While family members can be powerful advocates for change and Mr Bridge is to be commended for his efforts to prevent harm to other people's children, the weight of Australian and international evidence shows that his 'in your face' approach is unlikely to be successful. 

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Queensland plans crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence

Proposed changes to liquor licensing laws in Queensland are ruffling the feathers of venue owners and drinkers alike, but data following strict changes in NSW correlate with a sharp fall in assault rates.
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A physician enters rehab. What happens next should disturb you (USA)

A physician enters rehab. What happens next should disturb you (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
I’m sure some physicians are happy with their cure, but many others have privately expressed their anguish.
ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting insight into the US treatment system that highlights inconsistencies within recovery-oriented systems, the need for evidence based drug policy and flexible treatment models. FYI, our updated position statement (and supporting evidence) on Recovery Oriented Practice is here: http://www.regen.org.au/advocacy. 

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Heroin heroine: Saving lives in Sydney's public housing

Heroin heroine: Saving lives in Sydney's public housing | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Sara Adey lives in housing commission and has saved the lives of seven heroin users thanks to a Narcan kit she has been trained to use.
ReGenUC's insight:

A terrific example of the role that naloxone training and distribution can have in saving lives. What also shines through here is Ms Adey's refusal to resort to the usual stereotypes about people who inject drugs. The extent to which she has become a recognised resource within her community is a clear indicator of the need for wider availability of naloxone and ongoing advocacy to challenge the stigma around overdose.

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Australian Hotels Association wants lower excise rate for wine and spirits consumed in pubs and bars

Australian Hotels Association wants lower excise rate for wine and spirits consumed in pubs and bars | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TAX on wine and spirits sold at pubs should be cut because they provide a safer drinking environment, the hotels lobby says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Wow. That's quite the audacious argument from the AHA.

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The Adelaide councillors who want to ban alcohol before official meetings

The Adelaide councillors who want to ban alcohol before official meetings | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TEA Tree Gully Council may consider banning alcohol consumption before official gatherings after claims its deputy mayor appeared intoxicated at Tuesday night’s meeting.
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A Bolivian town banned alcohol for a month to stop sexual abuse

A Bolivian town banned alcohol for a month to stop sexual abuse | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After three minors were raped in less than one week, the residents of a small town of cocoa farmers in Bolivia decided to take the law into their own hands.
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Kicking the drug scourge (Aus)

Kicking the drug scourge (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Herald Sun’s exclusive photographs of Gold Coast Suns player Harley Bennell lining up five lines of white powder in a hotel room has prompted AFL boss Gillon McLachlan to admit drugs are an issue confronting all AFL clubs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Herald Sun editorial typefies the general coverage of this story: stating player welfare as the primary concern while driving a fervid 'name & shame' campaign. The assumption underpinning the ongoing insistence by media outlets for change in the AFL's drug policy is that only a 'zero tolerance' approach will be effective, in spite of the overwhelming research evidence to the contrary. While blanket coverage of the 'scandal' may help sell papers, it does nothing to improve player welfare and, for those directly affected, is likely to do harm. See Emma Quayle's piece for an example of better coverage: http://sco.lt/7Y85qL.

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Khat ban: One year on (UK)

Khat ban: One year on (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
On the 24th of June 2014, the United Kingdom, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, passed a law to legally ban the use and importation of stimulant Khat (Miraa), naming it as a Class C drug. Khat is ...
ReGenUC's insight:

Experiences within the UK Somali community indicate mixed results for the Khat ban and highlight the need for greater support for those affected.  As we know with other drugs and other jurisdictions, simply banning a substance will not, on its own, solve the problems associated with its use and can create a new set of problems.

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Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus)

Employers now wary of serving alcohol at Christmas parties (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The work Christmas party may become an alcohol-free zone after a landmark Fair Work Commission decision.
ReGenUC's insight:

While employees do have a responsibility to behave appropriately at work events, providing 'unlimited drinks' is not responsible behaviour by employers.

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Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up

Oregon crowds count down to the legalisation of marijuana - then light up | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Joints lit up at midnight on the streets of Portland as marijuana became legal in the fourth western US state.
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