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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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Marijuana likely to be decriminalized in D.C.

Marijuana likely to be decriminalized in D.C. | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Ten of 13 members of the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) have endorsed a plan to make small-time marijuana possession a civil rather than a criminal offense. That means recreational cannabis users wouldn’t face arrest, charges or jail time — any of which can destroy their lives — as long as they aren’t caught with more than an ounce of the drug. Instead, they would have  to pay a fine, perhaps as low as $25. (The mayor also wants criminal penalties to remain for anyone caught using it in public.)

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F.D.A. Urging a Tighter Rein on Painkillers (USA)

F.D.A. Urging a Tighter Rein on Painkillers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In a major shift, the Food and Drug Administration recommended new limits on prescriptions for widely abused narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Lortab.
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Parents of sick five-year old sue over medical marijuana (USA)

Parents of sick five-year old sue over medical marijuana (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
PHOENIX: Arguing that medical marijuana has been the most effective treatment for their son's seizure disorder, the parents of a five-year-old boy have filed a lawsuit to force Arizona state officials to include marijuana extracts - oil-like...
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You can't fine an ice user out of their addiction (Aus)

You can't fine an ice user out of their addiction (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'Drug courts' which provide treatment and rehabilitation as alternatives to custody and financial penalties are our best bet for breaking the cycle of severe ice addiction.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's always good to see support for treatment over punishment but we don't endorse Magistrate Tony Parsons' call for use of dexamphetamine for methamphetamine pharmacotherapy.  Here's what we had to say about it (and other things): http://sco.lt/4v636X

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Ice scourge spirals out of control (Vic)

Ice scourge spirals out of control (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE purity of ice on the streets in Geelong has increased to up to 80 per cent, with one recent seizure the highest purity ever seen by the state's forensics laboratory, Geelong Superintendent Paul Pottage has told a parliamentary inquiry into the...
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of yesterday's Geelong hearing of the Victorian methamphetamines inquiry.

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Replacing wine equalisation tax with new alcohol tax would be catastrophic for industry (Aus)

A POWERFUL health lobby is pushing for tax reform that winemakers say would devastate their industry.
ReGenUC's insight:

Treasurer indicates there will be no changes to alcohol taxation in the current term of government.

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Why I Gave Condoms, Lube and Conversation to a Drug-Addicted Sex Worker (USA)

Why I Gave Condoms, Lube and Conversation to a Drug-Addicted Sex Worker (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Why taking a harm-reduction approach is sometimes all you can do to change a life.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of harm reduction in enabling changed behaviour.

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“Think cannabis is harmless?” No. Does anyone? But what about propagating drug hysteria? Is that harmless? (UK)

A week ago, the Daily Mail published a story entitled “Think cannabis is harmless? It drove this grammar school boy insane – then killed him”. This is not the first time that the Mail and other newspapers have used personal tragedies to generate panic about cannabis, particularly related to psychosis, and particularly aimed at concerned parents.

ReGenUC's insight:

A challenge to hysterical drug coverage by Fiona Measham, David Nutt & Josh Hulbert.

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One in 10 Kiwis now alcoholic

One in 10 Kiwis now alcoholic | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One in 10 New Zealanders could now be considered "alcoholic" according to new diagnostic criteria - but the majority are unlikely to recognise it.
ReGenUC's insight:

While there is ongoing debate about the DSM5 diagnostic criteria, this article uses them as a good starting point for a broader discussion about NZ's drinking culture.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, October 28, 2013 9:21 PM

The majority are unlikely to recognise it????

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Flanagan: Legal cannabis would net €300m for the Exchequer (Ireland)

Flanagan: Legal cannabis would net €300m for the Exchequer (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Legalising cannabis and opening Amsterdam-style coffee shops all over the country could be worth up to €300m for the Exchequer and would take millions away from criminal gangs such as those which murdered crime journalist Veronica Guerin,...
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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, October 28, 2013 7:43 PM

A change in drug law is much needed because prohibition has damaged so many lives - but it's sad that making money appears to be the change agent.

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Ireland leading the way in tackling alcohol abuse

Ireland leading the way in tackling alcohol abuse | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Whilst unpopular, the measures to rein in alcohol use, misuse, and in particular alcohol abuse, have become necessary.

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New research finds Australian uni students rely on drugs to help them study

Many Australian university students are relying on performance enhancing drugs to help them boost their averages.
ReGenUC's insight:

It will be interesting to see the results of this study.  Given recent attention to AOD misuse by medical professionals, we'd suggest that establishing these patterns of use at uni will be likely to lead to increased problems once our next generation of doctors, nurses and paramedics join the workforce.

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Nicholas Kyriakoudes's curator insight, November 20, 2014 2:15 AM

This article by the ABC indicates a bizarre and sad number of students that use drugs such as: caffeine, alcohol, ice, canibas, tabaco,etc. to help them study for university. Depending on what the students are studying they will either take drugs that stimulate or depress their bodies to a state where they ''feel or think'' they are studying better. Doctors and researchers have indicated however that this does not work and is bad for the body to get into this habit as they will became heavily dependent on these addictive drugs. I believe that it is quite sad and distressing that some people have to take and use drugs to make themselves ''feel or think'' they are studying better when in fact it is setting them up for drug addictions which is very hard to break. I think this must be raised and released even more into the public eye and people who do this must be shamed and pressured into stopping, after all there only going to hurt themselves and the ones they love. This is a problem if more people continue to take these risky choices. 

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Multiple arrests in CBD drug crackdown (Vic)

Twenty-five people have been arrested and drugs have been seized following a police crackdown on the illicit drug culture in the city's centre.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not much detail here.  Hopefully, the police operation did not contribute to the overdoses.

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Smokers most likely to think about quitting on Mondays, study finds (USA)

Smokers most likely to think about quitting on Mondays, study finds (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Move over, New Year’s resolutions. When it comes to quitting smoking, tobacco addicts are most likely to consider kicking the habit on an...
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Sébastien Voyer's curator insight, November 18, 2013 12:05 PM

les lundis sont les meilleurs jours pour cesser de fumer

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Krokodil Feeding Frenzy (UK)

Bad journalism and dodgy bulletins increase confusion and fear over desomorphine

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Teen's methadone death prompts call for changes (Vic)

Teen's methadone death prompts call for changes (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Coroner calls for urgent review of state's methadone program following as many as 42 'shameful' third-party deaths, including that of a 16-year-old.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of yesterday's coronial hearing and the coroner's call for added restrictions on take away doses.

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Coroner slams methadone treatment program as 'shamefully inadequate' (Vic)

Coroner slams methadone treatment program as 'shamefully inadequate' (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A Victorian coroner has slammed the Health Department over the administration of the methadone drug treatment program. Coroner Jacinta Heffey described the supervision of the program used to treat heroin addicts as "shamefully inadequate."

ReGenUC's insight:

We'd argue that take-away doses are a vital treatment option for many people using ORT, but there does have to be careful assessment of people's suitability (and potential risks).  This is what we said a year ago: http://www.regen.org.au/media-releases/296-takeawaymethadone

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Plea: tax wine by alcohol content (Aus)

Plea: tax wine by alcohol content (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Taxing wine by its alcohol content would increase annual revenue by $1.3 billion, reduce alcohol consumption by 1.3 per cent and save $820 million in health care costs, according to modelling published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

Are we closer to seeing volumetric alcohol taxation in Australia?  (see below for unencouraging sentiment from the Fed Govt)

Here's the MJA article: http://sco.lt/5p7qt7

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Screening smokers could double rate of survival (Aus)

Screening smokers could double rate of survival (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Screening heavy smokers annually for lung cancer could save 1500 lives a year in Australia, but it could also lead to scores of false positive results and unnecessary biopsies, doctors say.
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Aaron Porteous's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:12 PM

This can help save people with cancer.

Jeremy E Harrison's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:13 PM

I think this is a great but can also become an expensive extra for smokers, but i suppose if the smokers are smoking in the first place they should pay the price either saving their own life through x-ray or through quitting smoking altogether.

Joel Roberts's curator insight, November 14, 2013 5:07 PM

This article "Screening smokers could double rate of survival (aus)" talks about if screening occured throughh heavy smokers it could save up to 1500 lives per year in australia. This could help smokers to relise what their doing is wrong and is killing them.

 

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Drug users given injection kits in Cambridge to cut heroin overdose deaths (UK)

Drug users given injection kits in Cambridge to cut heroin overdose deaths (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drug users in a Cambridge homeless hostel have been given injection kits to save the lives of friends who have taken a heroin overdose.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see naloxone getting into the hands of those most able to provide immediate overdose response.

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No charges over NSW 'bath salts' death

No charges over NSW 'bath salts' death | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NSW Coroner Mary Jerram has not recommended criminal charges in the case of a truck driver who died after taking now illegal synthetic drugs.
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Study reveals first effective medicine to treat cocaine dependence (USA)

Study reveals first effective medicine to treat cocaine dependence (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New research reveals that topiramate, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches also could be the first reliable medication to help treat cocaine dependence.
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Regular cocaine and cannabis use may trigger addictive behaviours (Netherlands)

It had previously been argued that this increased impulsivity after cannabis administration was only experienced by occasional users, but that regular users were no longer affected in this way.
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Suspected krokodil a false alarm

The hunt for krokodil continues as tests conducted in recent days on a suspected sample of the so-called flesh-eating drug came back negative, federal officials said.
ReGenUC's insight:

This sort of nuanced reporting is not exactly typical of your average media coverage of emerging drug types.

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Teenagers at new drug risk (Vic)

PARENTS have every reason to be concerned that teenagers are the likely users of enormous quantities of the ecstasy “dance-party’’ pills that have reached the streets.
ReGenUC's insight:

Herald Sun editorial on the Vic Police ecstasy seizure figures acknowledges that emergence of synthetics was linked to reduced availability of ecstasy, but still considers it to be enemy no. 1.

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