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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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Doctor Drug Czar - Give Public Health a Voice in Drug Policy (USA)

The world is used to identifying the drug war as a US project. A long-time bankroller and cheerleader for punitive drug policies, the United States is typically viewed as a defender of the status quo.
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Atlantis Virtual Black Market Shutting Down: Why eBay For Drugs Is Going Belly Up

Atlantis Virtual Black Market Shutting Down: Why eBay For Drugs Is Going Belly Up | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Atlantis virtual black market is shuttering its website and giving users one week to retrieve their Bitcoins. Was its splashy advertising campaign to blame?
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Future of National Preventative Health Agency under a cloud (Aus)

Future of National Preventative Health Agency under a cloud (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Federal Government is refusing to rule out the closure of a national preventative health body.  The National Preventative Health Agency researches policy and runs initiatives aimed at reducing deaths and illness caused by smoking, alcohol and obesity.

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State government tells accused criminals: kick the drugs, get help for mental illness or go to jail (Qld)

State government tells accused criminals: kick the drugs, get help for mental illness or go to jail (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ACCUSED criminals face being jailed or slapped with more charges if they fail to kick their drug habit or get help for their mental illness.
ReGenUC's insight:

While mandated treatment can have a beneficial impact for people, it is essential that justice systems avoid punishing people because of their AOD dependence.  Treatment should be about reducing harm and supporting change, not punishment.

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Watchdog targets growth and sales of bottle shops (NSW)

Watchdog targets growth and sales of bottle shops (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The spread of shops selling alcohol next to other goods must be reined in and bottle-shop sales should be monitored to track links to domestic violence and other harm, the state's liquor watchdog says.
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Impulsivity in bipolar disorder unrelated to substance abuse (USA)

Trait impulsivity is elevated and neurocognitive functioning is impaired in patients with bipolar disorder irrespective of whether they have a substance abuse history, research shows.
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Booze outlets ‘out of control’ (NSW)

THE spread of shops selling alcohol next to other goods must be reined in and bottle-shop sales should be monitored to track links to domestic violence and other harm, the NSW liquor watchdog says.
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Mother's little helper (Aus)

Mother's little helper (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Has alcohol become the busy woman's crutch? Ann Dowsett Johnston looks at her own drinking dependency, and why she's not alone.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting similar concerns raised about middle aged, middle class drinking by last year's Global Drug Survey.

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For bub's sake, a pregnant pause for both from alcohol (Aus)

For bub's sake, a pregnant pause for both from alcohol (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Former Olympic swimmer Elka Whalan and her husband Thomas have a rule - coffee, dessert and alcohol are the three things that should never be enjoyed alone.
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Kratom may be taken off narcotics list (Thailand)

Kratom may be taken off narcotics list (Thailand) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Kratom may be taken off narcotics list The Nation Justice minister pushes for legalisation of the herb, citing medicinal properties
ReGenUC's insight:

The flipside of this week's warning for travellers to Thailand.

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Call for crackdown on doctors abusing drugs (Vic)

Call for crackdown on doctors abusing drugs (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health authorities urged to consider more measures to prevent anaesthetists abusing drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Interesting choice of language: workplace drug testing presented as 'protecting' doctors from misuse of medications.  We'd suggest the need to look elsewhere for protective factors.  Perhaps start with asking why they are using them in the first place.

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Public health researcher examines link between discrimination and drug abuse (USA)

In the study titled, "The Relationship between Perceived Discrimination and Psychotherapeutic and Illicit Drug Misuse in Chicago, IL, USA," Dr. Hunte and Finlayson found that more experiences of discrimination by a person are related to higher levels of drug use.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the impact of stigma in both contributing to problematic AOD use and the difficulties experienced by those trying to change.  Here's the link to the original abstract: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11524-013-9822-y

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Music festivals 'a snapshot' of wider Australian drug culture (Aus)

Music festivals 'a snapshot' of wider Australian drug culture (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A national youth support group believes music festivals are unfairly targeted as drug-taking events because most organisers take their duty of care seriously.
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Phillip J Noel's curator insight, November 4, 2013 6:07 PM

I'm not sure what's wrong with the world today that they need something to enhance what everybody been enjoying for a long period of time. The industry gets blame because its where it happens most of the time. But drugs wars been goin on for the longest time.

Peety Peterson's curator insight, September 14, 2014 12:29 AM

I find it very unfortunate that music festivals are recognized as a drug infested play ground. Music festivals for many are an escape just for the music and experience alone. The fact that the music festivals are becoming more visually enhanced, makes kids even more excited to try it on drugs. This is ver unfortunate for the people who take their jobs seriously and want to make a fun environment.

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Doctors: Irish people 'do not need another reason to drink'

Doctors: Irish people 'do not need another reason to drink' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Doctors have launched a scathing attack on an annual event that promotes Guinness, claiming alcohol-related illnesses in Ireland have reached “epidemic” proportions.
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Smoking bans could challenge human rights in prisons and cause riots, ministers warned (UK)

Smoking bans could challenge human rights in prisons and cause riots, ministers warned (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Smoking could be banned across all prisons in England and Wales by 2015, amid fears that prisoners could begin rioting over the change.
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Sentenced to rehab (Qld)

A new court in Queensland is trialling a 'carrot and a stick' approach with criminals who have drug or mental health issues. Offenders can earn themselves bail if they agree to get help.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on this morning's post about court-mandated AOD and mental health treatment in Queensland.

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'Hippy crack' party drug warning amid fears Australians will follow UK spike in nitrous oxide use

'Hippy crack' party drug warning amid fears Australians will follow UK spike in nitrous oxide use | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DRUG experts have warned of the risks associated with the laughing gas nitrous oxide, dubbed 'hippy crack', amid fears Australians will follow the British trend of using the legal inhalant as a common party drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

Has anyone seen evidence of emerging nitrous-related harms in Australia?

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OPINION: Crime is lower when pubs close earlier (NSW)

OPINION: Crime is lower when pubs close earlier (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There is now clear evidence that the Newcastle solution works.
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Giving up smoking improves sleep, new research finds (USA)

As the NHS prepares to launch Stoptober 2013, new research published in Psychology, Health & Medicine has found another reason to quit smoking - giving up smoking improves sleep.
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Alcohol interlock law backed (Tas)

Alcohol interlock law backed (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TASMANIA'S new alcohol interlock laws are proving controversial on two fronts, with the state government conceding this week they might need some rejigging.
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Distraught mum's speech moves crowd to tears (NSW)

Distraught mum's speech moves crowd to tears (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The mother of Kings Cross assault victim Thomas Kelly has recounted in detail the final 48 hours of her son's life, in a speech that left much of her audience in tears.
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A couple of drinks a day likely to earn you a later ailment (Aus)

A couple of drinks a day likely to earn you a later ailment (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The few glasses of wine some women have each night pose hidden health risks, experts warn.
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Legal highs back on sale (NZ)

Legal highs back on sale (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 20 untested brands of synthetic cannabis are now legally on sale and likely to stay on the shelves well into next year. - New Zealand Herald
ReGenUC's insight:

This is an odd one: they're likely to be banned, but deemed 'low risk' before the've been tested under the new NZ legislation.

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Now the election’s over, let’s get back to the evidence –

Many thanks to James Beckford Saunders (UnitingCare ReGen’s Director of Education and Advocacy) for his reflections on the absence of drug policy from election coverage and the challenges facing advocates for evidence based policy and treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

Our take on the absence of drug policy from the recent Federal election debate and the need for evidence based drug policy and treatment services.  Thanks to the good folk at Croakey for giving us a platform for our advocacy.

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Drug spike prompts call for education (Vic)

A JUMP in drug offences across the Latrobe Valley has been used as the basis for a State Opposition push to see drug awareness staff reinstated in the education system.
ReGenUC's insight:

Given our experience with school programs, any additional resources to support evidence based Drug Education in schools would be more than welcome.

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