Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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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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NT plans to give police greater stop and search powers in crackdown on ice

NT plans to give police greater stop and search powers in crackdown on ice | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Proposed powers would allow the force to declare a road a drug transit route – letting officers search any vehicle on it without a warrant
ReGenUC's insight:

As we've seen in the US and UK, 'stop and search' powers often contribute to increased discrimination against already vulnerable and marginalised groups. There is every chance that the NT powers will be disproportionately used against Aboriginal people.

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How far should work drug testing go? (Aus)

How far should work drug testing go? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Does your boss have the right to sack you after you've tested positive for booze or drugs on the job?
ReGenUC's insight:

Tony Featherstone considers some of the complexities of the growing demand for workplace testing. Establishing a link between a positive test and evidence of current impairment is a particularly difficult one and a common cause for criticism for roadside and other drug testing regimes.  See yesterday's post on a Colorado man whose sacking for use of medicinal cannabis has been upheld by State courts: http://sco.lt/9MTkyf. FYI, our submission to the National Ice taskforce is here: http://www.regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/ReGen_National_Ice_Taskforce_submission_v1.0.pdf. 

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Spike in first time homelessness as property prices pinch: Vinnies

Spike in first time homelessness as property prices pinch: Vinnies | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time has spiked as rent increases tip a new group of people - low income workers - on to the streets or into shelters. Leading welfare group Vinnies is alarmed by the number of working people facing homelesness.
ReGenUC's insight:

The impact of financial stress (and subsequent homelessness) is a major contributor to problematic AOD use and a significant barrier to people making sustainable changes in their lives.

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France in denial over alcohol abuse, says health minister

France in denial over alcohol abuse, says health minister | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Marisol Touraine says wine lobby promotes unproven idea that drink is good for health, and smoking rates are also a concern
ReGenUC's insight:

Wherever there is a legal product to be sold, there will be marketing and industry opposition to evidence of the product's harm to consumers. Challenging industry tactics is one challenge, changing people's awareness of alcohol-related harms is another.

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NHS accused of delaying access to 'highly tolerable' hepatitis C drugs over cost concerns (UK)

NHS accused of delaying access to 'highly tolerable' hepatitis C drugs over cost concerns (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The NHS has been accused by leading health charities of attempting to “severely limit” the introduction of new drugs to treat hepatitis C because they are too expensive – despite the cost of them being cleared by officials.
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Illegal synthetic drugs, ‘grass clippings sprayed with chemicals’, destroying lives (Vic)

Illegal synthetic drugs, ‘grass clippings sprayed with chemicals’, destroying lives (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE torrent of thoughts roaring through Matthew’s mind is gathering pace.
ReGenUC's insight:

We hear of many similar experiences with synthetics: very unpredictable results and typically not as enjoyable as the established drugs they try to mimic. See yesterday's related post on synthetics-related violence in UK prisons: http://sco.lt/8btKBl.

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Colorado court rules fired medical marijuana patient can't get job back

Colorado court rules fired medical marijuana patient can't get job back | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Brandon Coats is a quadriplegic who was fired by Dish Network after failing a drug test in 2010. The company said it has a zero-tolerance drug policy
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting some of the challenges for implementing drug policy reform and the remaining risks for people who use drugs within the provisions of new laws.

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US marijuana legalisation has not led to rise in use by adolescents, study finds

US marijuana legalisation has not led to rise in use by adolescents, study finds | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Data on one million teenagers shows marijuana use did not increase in US states where it was legalised, with fall among youngest children, authors of study find
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/7jDMK9. 

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Rosie Batty endorses plan for alcohol levy to fund family violence programs (Aus)

Rosie Batty endorses plan for alcohol levy to fund family violence programs (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A levy should be applied to alcoholic drinks to fund responses to family violence, according to a call to arms to be launched by Australian of the year Rosie Batty on Wednesday.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of FARE's National Framework for Action to Prevent Alcohol-related Family Violence: http://sco.lt/6iUHcv. 

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Imagine if the media covered alcohol like other drugs (USA)

Meet alcohol, the drug making people run around nude and collapse in the streets. What if the media covered alcohol like it does other drugs? This was a question that came up in my coverage of flakka, a synthetic drug that made headlines after law enforcement blamed it for people running in the streets naked in delusional paranoia. What follows is a satirical attempt at capturing that same type of alarmist reporting, but for a substance that really causes widespread and severe problems.


Via Lives Lived Well
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice reframing of the usual patterns of AOD media coverage to highlight the distorting effect on public perceptions of harm.

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Hundreds banned from CBD and Valley, but lockouts still to come (Qld)

Hundreds banned from CBD and Valley, but lockouts still to come (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The previous government's plan to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence appears to be well utilised by police, but Labor will push ahead with its planned lockouts and curfew proposal.
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Young people ditch binge drinking and boozing over fears of being 'cyber shamed' on social media (UK)

Young people ditch binge drinking and boozing over fears of being 'cyber shamed' on social media (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Facebook pictures of fresher’s week antics and boozy Saturday nights may become a thing of the past according to a recent report that shows young people are ditching drink partly due to fears of being “cybershamed” on social media.
ReGenUC's insight:

Shame is not something we'd advocate for in motivating change in people's alcohol consumption, but it clearly has an impact. What's interesting here is the challenge to the usual perception that young people use social media to glorify binge drinking. The reality is a bit more complex.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, June 15, 2015 8:22 PM

Shame is not something we'd advocate for in motivating change in people's alcohol consumption, but it clearly has an impact. What's interesting here is the challenge to the usual perception that young people use social media to glorify binge drinking. The reality is a bit more complex.

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Alcohol issues the focus of a new toolkit for African migrants (NSW)

Alcohol issues the focus of a new toolkit for African migrants (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Hunter community group has launched a toolkit to tackle alcohol related problems within the Hunter's African communities.
ReGenUC's insight:

We look forward to seeing the results of this consultative process.

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260,000 deported from US over five years for drug offences, says report

260,000 deported from US over five years for drug offences, says report | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
FoI requests from Human Rights Watch reveal large number of immigrants being deported for often minor drug offences and say policy is breaking up families
ReGenUC's insight:

There is evidence of change in US drug policy, with a growing shift to sentencing reform and greater use of Diversion programs, but this is a depressing statistic. The practice is hardly likely to result in lower levels of AOD use within affected families and communities.

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FIFO suicides inquiry findings released (WA)

FIFO suicides inquiry findings released (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE findings of a WA inquiry into the mental health impacts of fly-in, fly-out work will be made public on Thursday.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Mental Health Commission warns of FIFO workers' reliances on AOD use to cope with loneliness and other work-related stress.

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I am an Australian who doesn’t drink. And that makes me a freak

I am an Australian who doesn’t drink. And that makes me a freak | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
I’m scared to admit this, but I’ve run out of excuses.
ReGenUC's insight:

Angela Connell provides a personal insight into the growing evidence of alcohol dependence amongst wealthy, middle aged women in Australia.

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Burglars and drug users issued with dispersal notices rather than arrested (UK)

Burglars and drug users issued with dispersal notices rather than arrested (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Research suggests the police are increasingly using dispersal orders, which were introduced last year with the intention of tackling anti-social behaviour, to deal with more serious offences
ReGenUC's insight:

Alternatives to responding to AOD use by arresting them are always welcome. As with most drugpolicy measures, the potential for benefit and/or harm lies in how they are implemented.

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Legalising medical marijuana does not increase teen use, study finds (USA)

Legalising medical marijuana does not increase teen use, study finds (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Marijuana use did not increase among teenagers in the US states in which medical marijuana has become legal, according to a huge study.
ReGenUC's insight:

These findings are consistent with broad international evidence about the impact (or lack of impact) of drug law reform on consumption levels. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/52Nccj.

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Home violence plan targets alcohol (Aus)

Home violence plan targets alcohol (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drunken offenders face daily breath tests under a plan to help eradicate family violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of FARE's family violence prevention framework: http://sco.lt/6iUHcv

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I am fighting alcohol - and losing (Aus)

I am fighting alcohol - and losing (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's mid-June again, that time of year when the cosy world of our drinking self-delusion comes under most pressure. Should we quit for ... no, don't use that word.
ReGenUC's insight:

Alan Stokes reflects on some common obstacles to change.

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Legal marijuana doesn't increase teen use (USA)

Legal marijuana doesn't increase teen use (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
LEGALISING medical marijuana doesn't increase cannabis use among adolescents.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the US study of the impacts (or rather, lack of impact) of drug law reform on consumption levels. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/7jDMK9. 

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National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence (Aus)

National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Alcohol is a significant contributor to family violence in Australia. In just one year (2011) there were 29,684 incidents of alcohol-related family violence in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

ReGenUC's insight:

Check out FARE Australia's new resources.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, June 16, 2015 7:39 PM

Check out FARE's new resources.

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New cases of HIV hit highest levels in five years (Ireland)

New cases of HIV hit highest levels in five years (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New HIV cases have reached their highest point in five year
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the need for an increased focus on harm reduction measures to prevent the transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses amongst people who inject drugs. See the Anna Liffey position paper on the establishment of a medically supervised injecting centre in Dublin: http://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24100/1/AnaLiffeyDrugProjectMSICPositionPaper.pdf.  See also the Kirby Institute's 20 year report on the impacts of Australian NSPs on public health: http://sco.lt/8ge6cL. 

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Lockout blamed for closure of Kings Cross nightclub Soho (NSW)

Lockout blamed for closure of Kings Cross nightclub Soho (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One of Sydney's longest running nightclubs has shut its doors, citing a depletion of patrons and expensive regulation since the city's lockout laws were introduced.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the Qld Govt's plan to push ahead with lockouts, in keeping with the national move towards restricting trading hours to reduce alcohol related violence: http://sco.lt/6jaSgr. 

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Legal highs blamed for increasing levels of violence in prisons (UK)

Legal highs blamed for increasing levels of violence in prisons (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Government report says their use is linked to an increase in “disturbed and disruptive behaviour” by inmates
ReGenUC's insight:

The use of 'legal highs' and other emerging psychoactives is a growing problem in Australian prisons too. We know that their effects on people who use them are less predictable than the established drugs they seek to mimic and that their use is leading to increased harm. 

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