UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis participated in the recent Prevention and Treatment roundtable sessions of the National Ice Taskforce hearings in Sydney. With Taskforce public consultations having now closed, the following provides a summary of his notes on the key issues raised by roundtable participants. Overall, the roundtable participants stressed the need for comprehensive, long-term [...]
Our summary from the recent Taskforce roundtable sessions and response to Monday's Senate estimates revelations: http://sco.lt/7DcusD.
Positive Life NSW (PLNSW) and the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) have voiced criticism at “sensational” media reports demonising users of methamphetamine (ice). Meth is commonly described in the mainstream media as a "highly addictive" scourge on society, with people using the drug often portrayed as ice-crazed psychotics (pictured).
Good stuff from PLNSW & NUAA challenging the hyperbole of much media reporting on the impacts of methamphetamine use. FYI, here's what we've had to say on this topic: http://sco.lt/7aXiNd.
AT JUST 12 years old, Emily Lee considered using ice to get over her depression after hearing friends at school talk about buying the drug.
A useful reminder that many people use illicit (and licit) drugs to self-medicate. People's choice of drug will often be influenced by what their peers are using, but it's encouraging to see consideration here of the broader factors contributing to problematic AOD use, and information about where people can get help.
Private home in Uruzgan province is the only drug rehabilitation centre in Afghanistan’s impoverished southern region
While we often complain about the level of funding for Australian AOD treatment services, it's important to remember that the majority of people in the world seeking treatment do not have access to anywhere near the same resources or support. Treatment systems need more than good will to provide quality care. See also today's related post on the 'world's toughest rehab' in Thailand: http://sco.lt/4vZFR3.
A new study by Boston University and Boston Medical Center researchers reveals that US states with stronger alcohol policies have lower rates of youth overall drinking and binge drinking. The study's results, published in the journal Pediatrics, further suggest that the link is largely a result of policies intended mostly for adults and their effects on reducing adult binge drinking.
MIKE Bruce’s article, A Losing Battle (The Sunday Mail, 24/5) prosecutes the argument well why Australia’s policy on illicit drugs needs to change.
By former AFP Commissioner (now Australia 21 Director) Mick Palmer, providing another powerful voice from within law enforcement on the limitations of policing in dealing with AOD related harms. People in Mr Palmer's position have the capacity to shift public attitudes towards drug policy. It's great to see him continuing his efforts to inform public debate and increase awareness of the need for a greater focus on treatment (as opposed to punishment) to reduce AOD related harm and save lives.
ASK any parent from country Victoria about their greatest fears for their children and you will almost certainly hear the word “ice” . No, they’re not worried about them catching a cold. They’re worried their kids might fall to the drug that has gripped rural areas and outer suburbs. A drug sold by outlaw bikies known to prey on vulnerable teenagers.
This sort of stuff is not helpful. Seeking an informed public debate about the impacts of methamphetamine use does not mean minimising the very real harms experienced by many Australians, in regional, rural and urban areas. It means looking at the evidence and responding to what it tells us. What we know is that there is no 'epidemic', but a shift in previous patterns of amphetamine use towards Ice. We know that there is a common experience of rapid escalation of harms amongst some people who use it (and their families). What we also know is that many people are able to use Ice without experiencing anywhere near that level of harm. This drug does pose genunine challenges for our communities but, if we're to develop effective responses, we need to dispense with the hyperbole and deal with the evidence. FYI, our submission to the National Ice Taskforce is here: http://regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/ReGen_National_Ice_Taskforce_submission_v1.0.pdf.
An unprecedented rise in methamphetamine trafficking is fuelling a new epidemic across Asia and Oceania, warns a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), published Tuesday.
Patrick Tibke looks to Aus examples, citing Marianne Jauncey and Matt Noffs.
THERE has been a whopping 39 per cent fall in the number of violent incidents at venues on the government’s “violent venues” list in the wake of the introduction of lockout laws — the lowest number of incidents since the list system was introduced in 2008.
More evidence for the effectiveness of lockouts in reducing alcohol related violence.
Tham Krabok, Thailand's monastic equivalent to the Betty Ford Clinic, helps people overcome their addictions by living like monks and drinking a "cleansing" brown liquid that makes them vomit excessively each day.
It's terrific if this approach helps some people in their recovery, but we're unlikely to be adopting their methods. In particular, the ban on repeating is something we'd have issue with. In our experience, working with people following a lapse or relapse and getting them back into treatment quickly can produce powerful change. The opportunity for people to repeat our Catalyst and Torque programs is consistently seen as a great strength, allowing people to reinforce the skills they've learned to support their long term recovery. See also today's related post on treatment in Afghanistan: http://sco.lt/5WFLtp.
Drug dealers don’t like the cold, with street deals less likely to occur in winter.
mX isn't usually the greatest source for informed AOD coverage, but this piece cites some interesting NDLERF findings, including more evidence on the shift to Ice use from other forms of amphetamines. Good too to see space given to QNADA's calls for ongoing harm reduction.
DRUG addicts in WA prisons are to be surgically implanted with blocker pellets to cure their cravings in an Australian-first.
Dr O'Neill is a long term advocate for the use of Naltrexone implants. They can have clear benefits for some people but we'd caution against their widespread adoption. In isolation from behavioural interventions and ongoing supports for recovery, they do not provide a 'cure' for opioid dependence.
THE Queensland parliamentary inquiry into FIFO (fly in fly out) work has begun and already submissions are being made on the impact of and issues facing FIFO workforces.
Interesting piece by Xavier Toby, particularly his presentation of the contrasting 'types' of AOD issues for FIFO workers. One is well recognised, those who start, or escalate, AOD use to cope with the stresses of the lifestyle. The other much less so: those who use FIFO as a version of 'doing a geographical' to remove themselves from their regular (high risk) environments as a way of avoiding use. It would be interesting to know how many FIFO workers fit into that category, and how effective this approach is for them. We'd suspect that it would be moving from one high risk environment to another, without the benefits of a support network.
A study published today in The Lancet by US researchers and NDARC NHMRC postdoctoral fellow Dr Sarah Larney has provided further evidence for the effectiveness of methadone maintenance treatment in prisons.
Study finds people exiting prison on methadone are seven times more likely to engage with treatment services. Currently 90% of people on pharmacotherapy are forced to discontinue while in prison.
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