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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Buprenorphine implants may be effective relapse prevention tool for adults with opioid dependence (USA)

While buprenorphine has long been used to treat adults with opioid dependence, its efficacy can be hindered by lack of adherence to daily, sublingual (beneath the tongue) doses of the medication. New research led by the Icah
ReGenUC's insight:

While there is a tendency to see any form of implant (including naltrexone and disulfiram) as a simple 'cure' for AOD dependence, the reality is a lot more complicated. These ones may provide a useful addition to other forms of treatment to support recovery, but we'll need to see the findings of further research to have a clearer idea of their effectiveness.

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'If you don't have a beer you're not a man' – rural workplaces made more dangerous by drugs and alcohol (Aus)

'If you don't have a beer you're not a man' – rural workplaces made more dangerous by drugs and alcohol (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
''If you don't have a beer you're not a man' – rural workplaces made more dangerous by drugs and alcohol' on Yahoo7 Finance Australia. Rural workplaces often tacitly encourage excessive drinking and even drug-taking.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing new research by Julaine Allan on the impacts of our problematic relationship with alcohol and other drugs. You can see the published study on AOD use by farm and fishing workers here: https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/12-061

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Marijuana task force faces ‘fascinating journey’ in crafting legal framework (Canada)

Marijuana task force faces ‘fascinating journey’ in crafting legal framework (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The government called on former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan last month to lead a nine-member task force on cannabis legalization and regulation
ReGenUC's insight:
The task force is due to present its recommendations to the Canadian Govt in November.
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Governments urged to tackle alcohol abuse (Aus)

Governments urged to tackle alcohol abuse (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Governments need to do more to prevent alcohol abuse through effective policies, according to retiring Northern Territory Chief Justice Trevor Riley, QC.
ReGenUC's insight:
Marking Chief Justice Riley's appointment as the new Director of FARE Australia.
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Muslim prisoners in Ararat fight drug use with religion (Vic)

Muslim prisoners in Ararat fight drug use with religion (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prisoners at Hopkins Correctional Centre make use of the chaplaincy program to strengthen their Islamic practice in the fight against drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

For some people, the structure and discipline required for religious observances, together with a sense of community can be effective supports for recovery. We'd always recommend seeking advice from services like ours to decide what other supports will be most likely to support sustainable change in people's lives.

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NT's alcohol protection orders 'discriminatory'

NT's alcohol protection orders 'discriminatory' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Northern Territory's alcohol protection order (APO) regime is under scrutiny in the Court of Appeal, with lawyers arguing the laws discriminate against Aboriginal people.
ReGenUC's insight:

Human Rights Law Center makes the sound argument that punishing vulnerable people is not an effective response to alcohol dependence.

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Drug addiction sector questions meth epidemic claims (NZ)

Drug addiction sector questions meth epidemic claims (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Government needs to back up meth-demand rhetoric with funding and resources, according to sector workers.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see AOD sector representatives challenging the headlines and seeking to provide a more detailed understanding of the issues.

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Tabloid Scare Stories About Drugs Actually Make People Buy More Drugs (UK)

When the tabloids write horror stories about drugs such as mephedrone or laughing gas, searches for how to buy those drugs go through the roof.
ReGenUC's insight:

Max Daly highlights some recent examples of sensationalist (and unfounded) media coverage and the impact such stories have on driving demand for illicit drugs.

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The Rehab Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act. Here's How (USA)

The Rehab Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act. Here's How (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

No one argues that the American addiction treatment system is anywhere near optimal — even its cheerleaders recognize that there’s miles to go before all people with addiction have access to respectful, ethical, effective and evidence-based care. Worse, the past year has seen myriad media exposes and financial, sexual and maltreatment scandals.

ReGenUC's insight:

Maia Szalavitz on the need for major change in the US treatment system, plus her eight priorities for reform:

1. Remove 12-step-related content from treatment — or at least, stop charging for it;

2. Ensure access to maintenance treatment for opioid addiction;

3. Fight corruption and unethical practices;

4. End the reliance on criminal justice system referrals;

5. End humiliation and confrontation;

6. De-emphasize residential treatment;

7. Create truly independent accrediting bodies that are consumer-friendly—and national standards of care; &

8. Expand harm reduction.

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The homelessness crisis gripping Melbourne

Homelessness in Melbourne has reached "emergency" levels, with the city overwhelmed by rough sleepers and welfare agencies unable to meet surgin
ReGenUC's insight:

Increase in people sleeping rough in the CBD linked to closures of caravan parks and rooming houses bought by property developers. See last week's post of Chris Middendorp's five ways to fix homelessness in Victoria: http://sco.lt/8gEtWL. The Victorian Govt has today announced $850k additional funding for emergency & crisis accommodation, plus Salvos case workers.

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Bodies pile up in Philippines President Duterte's 'war on drugs'

Bodies pile up in Philippines President Duterte's 'war on drugs' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Freelance correspondent Ben Bohane goes on patrol in Manila, where, two weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte's inauguration, 200 drug dealers and users have been shot dead as part of the Filipino leader's war on drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

A further escalation in extrajudicial executions of people suspected of drug use and dealing. While the 'race to rehab' angle may be used as evidence supporting Duterte's hardline approach, we'd suggest people are seeing rehabs simply as a comparatively safe place where they won't be shot by police or paramilitaries.

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Toronto city council approves three downtown supervised injection sites (Canada)

Toronto city council approves three downtown supervised injection sites (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Council votes 36-3 to support supervised injection services
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see such strong support within local govt for evidence based harm reduction. Meanwhile, the establishment of a single Medically Supervised Injecting Centre remains a taboo topic for the Victorian Govt & Opposition. See our position statement and supporting evidence here: http://www.regen.org.au/news-advocacy/advocacy-in-action.

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Prisons need better drug treatment programs to control infectious diseases (Aus)

Prisons need better drug treatment programs to control infectious diseases (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Worldwide, around 30 million people enter and leave prison each year. Of these people, around 4.5 million have hepatitis C, almost 1 million have HIV and 1.5 million have hepatitis B infections.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage of Kate Dolan's study: http://sco.lt/8t9dwH.

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Why more drug consumption rooms are a must (Aus)

Why more drug consumption rooms are a must (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Spiralling problems with ice ended with Harriet Wran pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of murder.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ross Fitzgerald on the need for increased investment in evidence based harm reduction and treatment services. He also suggests that DCRs represent just the sort of 'nimble and innovative' approach that Prime Minister Turnbull has been calling for.

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Alcohol protection order review timeframe not discriminatory, court told (NT)

Alcohol protection order review timeframe not discriminatory, court told (NT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Judges hearing a challenge to the Northern Territory's alcohol protection order laws are told an extraordinary timeframe for review of an order is not discriminatory.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related coverage of the concerns presented on the use of APOs: http://sco.lt/8GvV8z

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Soaring prison population prompts Thailand to re-think "lost" drug war

By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK, July 17 (Reuters) - Somsak Sreesomsong was 18 when he was jailed for selling illegal drugs. Now, turning 30, he is not ye
ReGenUC's insight:
More signs of change in SE Asian drug policy?
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One-punch victim Thomas Kelly's father says restricting alcohol key to reducing violence

One-punch victim Thomas Kelly's father says restricting alcohol key to reducing violence | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The father of Kings Cross one-punch victim Thomas Kelly says the way to reduce the number of one-punch attacks in Canberra is to follow NSW's lead an
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Get tough on ice dealers, top court says (Vic)

VICTORIA’S top court has called on the State Government to consider increasing penalties for ice trafficking.

ReGenUC's insight:

While intuitively popular, such calls for increased sentencing measures for particular drug types are generally regarded by those familiar with the evidence as largely ineffective in changing the target behaviour. Thanks to VAADA for bringing the text of this article out from behind the NewsLtd paywall.

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New money for homeless as rough sleeper numbers surge (Vic)

New money for homeless as rough sleeper numbers surge (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Victorian government has investigated using empty office space to house homeless people as it struggles to deal with a sudden surge of rough sleeping in th
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related coverage of the growth in homelessness in the CBD: http://sco.lt/6tJV1F

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The 'War On Drugs' is driving a global epidemic of HIV, TB and hepatitis

The 'War On Drugs' is driving a global epidemic of HIV, TB and hepatitis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Major new study says jails hothouse infectious diseases, which are then passed on to the wider community.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the global impacts of policy frameworks that prioritise law enforcement over harm reduction measures.

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Canberra jail may get supervised injecting room under prison syringe scheme

Canberra's adult jail may get a medically supervised injecting room, after it was chosen as the preferred model for a prison needle and syringe program.
ReGenUC's insight:

It would be terrific to see this get up, but road has been very rocky up to this point, with plenty of delays and opposition to the introduction of harm reduction measures at the AMC.

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Tasmania needs ice inhalation centre

Tasmania needs ice inhalation centre | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
ICE is an issue for some Tasmanians. This newspaper reported last Wednesday findings from the latest Illicit Drug Reporting System report which found that the number of people arrested for either using or selling the drug increased from 72 in 2013-14 to 383 in 2014-15.
ReGenUC's insight:

Greg Barns challenges some of the myths about methamphetamines and the lack of evidence supporting local opposition to the establishment of an inhalation service.

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’Zombie’ drug on its way to NSW

’Zombie’ drug on its way to NSW | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NSW Police are warning about a flesh-eating drug called Krokodil that left a trail of zombies in its wake when it ravaged Russia.
ReGenUC's insight:

There have been several such reports (here and in the US: http://sco.lt/8vLRUP) in the past few years. While it is possible that this drug will arrive in Australia, it's hard to imagine there being much demand for it. It's important to remember that, essentially, it's a product of poverty and desperation: a cocktail of accessible psychoactive ingredients produced by people without access to less harmful alternatives. See this great interview with Jean-Paul Grund for more info: http://sco.lt/6ponXF

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Toxic liquor leaves 21 dead in India

At least 21 people are dead and more than two dozen have been hospitalised after drinking illegally-brewed poisonous alcohol in northern India.
ReGenUC's insight:

No indication here whether the deaths are suspected to be the result of poisoning by methanol or other substances.

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VICE Asks: What Are the Ethics of Getting High? (Aus)

VICE Asks: What Are the Ethics of Getting High? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
How far up the supply chain can you trace your drugs—are you sure they are ethically sourced? Is it really right for you to get high, if you're a dick when you're coming down?
ReGenUC's insight:

VICE is collecting questions for it's panel discussion with the Ethics Center in Sydney on August 3.

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