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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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'Hard-hitting new anti-ice ad' an identical remake of 2007 ad (Aus)

'Hard-hitting new anti-ice ad' an identical remake of 2007 ad (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A hard-hitting new advertising campaign video warning of the dangers of the drug ice is a scene-for-scene remake of a 2007 ad.
ReGenUC's insight:

Now we know why this ad seemed so familiar. Our concern about the current tv campaign is more with the content of the messages, rather than their repetitiveness. As we've said previously, this sort of purely fear-driven campaign will achieve very little in terms of behaviour change and will only serve to further stigmatise many people (individuals and family members) who are already vulnerable and in need of support. We'll be publishing an article on this subject shortly on the Croakey health blog.

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Ice driving organised crime in Australia

ICE is now one of the main drivers of organised crime in Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

While illicit drug markets are so profitable, it is inevitable that criminal organisations will be involved. Removing their motivation to be involved in drug production and trafficking is one argument for drug law reform.

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Largest U.S. needle exchange tries free meth pipes in Seattle

Largest U.S. needle exchange tries free meth pipes in Seattle | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Occasional crystal meth smoker Richard Russell ambles up to a church storage garage in a Seattle alley and a recovering drug addict hands him two brand new meth pipes, no questions
ReGenUC's insight:

A sensible measure which will no doubt be met with misinformed community outrage.

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Home-brew heroin: soon anyone will be able to make illegal drugs

Home-brew heroin: soon anyone will be able to make illegal drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In a few years, people could be using modified yeast to make drugs such as heroin and cocaine as easily as brewing beer. The impact on drug traffickers could be huge
ReGenUC's insight:

Obvious implications here for harm reduction, treatment and drug policy.

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Johann Hari: Heroin injection centres could save State money (Ireland)

Johann Hari: Heroin injection centres could save State money (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Bestselling author says attitude shift needed in Ireland to better treat drug addiction
ReGenUC's insight:

See previous coverage of proposals for a MSIC in Dublin: http://sco.lt/946R9d 

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Australian company to export marijuana for medical use

Australian company to export marijuana for medical use | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AN AUSTRALIAN company has been given permission to begin exporting marijuana overseas.
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Police Commissioner Gary Burns wants late night drinkers banned from bar hopping an hour earlier (SA)

Police Commissioner Gary Burns wants late night drinkers banned from bar hopping an hour earlier (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
POLICE Commissioner Gary Burns wants late night drinkers banned from bar hopping an hour earlier by setting Adelaide’s pub-and-club lockout at 2am.
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'Extreme' exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke causes mild intoxication (USA)

'Extreme' exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke causes mild intoxication (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke under 'extreme conditions,' such as an unventilated room or enclosed vehicle, can cause nonsmokers to feel the effects of the drug, have minor problems with memory and coordination, and in some cases test positive for the drug in a urinalysis, a new study concludes.
ReGenUC's insight:

We've been offline today. This article has been out for a little while, but it's a reminder of some of the impacts for people in enclosed spaces where any sort of smoking occurs. It's also worth keeping in mind in the context of potential drug testing, either on the road or in the workplace.

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I'm no prohibitionist, but sobriety is my most radical pleasure (Aus)

I'm no prohibitionist, but sobriety is my most radical pleasure (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some women can enjoy alcohol and drugs. Others taste more pain than joy. For me, deliberate sobriety was a satisfying choice
ReGenUC's insight:

Van Badham responds to the recent data highlighting risky drinking amongst wealthy, educated women. See related coverage: http://sco.lt/7v6zon, http://sco.lt/5DPbRx.  

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Abuse and rape at hands of Catholic priest led to years of dysfunction and addiction (Vic)

Abuse and rape at hands of Catholic priest led to years of dysfunction and addiction (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ben Monagle was raped at a Catholic boarding college. After 20 years of suffering, he wants his story told.
ReGenUC's insight:

No one chooses drug dependence. For many, it is simply the inevitable consequence of people self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs to cope with the ongoing impacts of physical and/or emotional trauma.  The Federal Government should remember this the next time it considers further stigmatising people who use methamphetamine. Thanks to Mr Monagle for sharing his story.

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More workers found using ice (Tas)

More workers found using ice (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A WHOLE of community ­approach is needed to tackle the growing issue of ice in the workplace, says a peak Tasmanian union.

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Harmful booze culture helped by mutual respect: the surprising lessons of Camberwell's dry zones (Vic)

Harmful booze culture helped by mutual respect: the surprising lessons of Camberwell's dry zones (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
When news broke this week that Camberwell residents would no longer vote on restaurant and cafe applications for a liquor licence, it looked like the end of a great Melbourne tradition. Laughing at wowsers in the leafy east's dry zones
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Awareness campaigns need to target the real victims of ice (Aus)

Awareness campaigns need to target the real victims of ice (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
International evidence suggests "awareness" campaigns are not the best way to address harmful methamphetamine use. Fear-based approaches can increase stigma and drive people from treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great piece by Burnet's Brendan Quinn and Paul Dietze on the Fed Govt's current approach to methamphetamines and the evidence-based (but politically unpopular) policy options that can significantly reduce the harms associated with ice use.

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Meet flakka, the drug police say is making people run around nude and have sex with trees (USA)

But how dangerous is it, really?
ReGenUC's insight:

A great piece by German Lopez on the power of sensationalist media coverage to distort community perceptions of drug related harm (particularly in relation to emerging drug types) and create public pressure for non-evidence based drug policy.

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, May 21, 5:14 AM

Flakka!, if these so called informed enough to have an opinion folk were to be honest with themselves and the wider public they would have to admit, its prevalence and harms are consequence of, a thus a direct product of prohibition.

It's the rules, stooped! 

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NZ doctors want ban on booze to teens

NEW Zealand doctors want all teens banned from buying alcoholic drinks at the pub and pregnant women routinely warned not to let any booze pass their lips.
ReGenUC's insight:

Other recommendations include increased taxation of alcohol, expanded treatment programs and bans of marketing at sporting or cultural events.

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Substance abuse risk not greater in those using medical marijuana with prescribed opioids (USA)

Among people who use medical cannabis for chronic pain, those who also take prescription pain medications are not at increased risk for serious alcohol and other drug involvement, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Potential dependence is a clear risk for people using any medication for pain management. It's important to avoid focussing too much on the type of drug, rather than the dependence itself, it's impacts and how to manage (or overcome) them.

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Fall in public order offences linked to fewer late bars (Ireland)

Fall in public order offences linked to fewer late bars (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drop in special exemption orders allowing alcohol until early hours saw fewer crimes
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Vaping risks: Chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes could damage your lungs in a similar way to tobacco (USA)

Vaping risks: Chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes could damage your lungs in a similar way to tobacco (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some of the chemicals used to flavour e-cigarettes could alter cellular functions in lung tissue in a similar way to tobacco and could also be toxic in high doses, according to new research.
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Cannabis may stunt boys' growth (Pakistan/EU)

Cannabis may stunt boys' growth (Pakistan/EU) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
SMOKING cannabis may cause early puberty and stunted growth in boys.
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Illicit drugs: we need the questions before the answer (Aus)

Illicit drugs: we need the questions before the answer (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
I'm not concerned whether the AFL changes its policy on illicit drugs from three strikes to two, as it seems determined to do, or decides to lose the strike system entirely. What does concern me, however, is the lack of informed public discussion about illicit drug use in football.
ReGenUC's insight:

Carlton's Chris Judd raises many important points that are generally absent from much public discussion of the AFL's illicit drug policy.  There is a lot of uninformed commentary on this issue. Hopefully, the fact that these matters are being raised by a player with Mr Judd's profile will help encourage a more considered approach to what are complex issues.

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Don’t panic: the ‘ice pandemic’ is a myth (Aus)

Don’t panic: the ‘ice pandemic’ is a myth (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Scaring people with half-truths is no way to tackle this issue.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice piece by John Fitzgerald, challenging the inaccurate and inflammatory rhetoric of the ice 'epidemic/pandemic'.  See some of last week's posts on this issue: http://sco.lt/7SBTaD, http://sco.lt/8DNHxR. 

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Media Release, David Feeney & Stephen Jones: Crime Commission Report a Wake Up Call for Abbott Government

Shadow Minster for Justice, David Feeney, and Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, have called on the Abbott Government to reassess their Budget cuts to illicit drugs programs following the release of an alarming Crime Commission Report.

ReGenUC's insight:

The cuts to the Flexibile Health Funds, which provided the majority of Federal AOD treatment funding have gone largely unreported.  It's good to see the opposition making the connection between the Govt's rhetoric on methamphetamines and its actions in reducing the capacity of the treatment sector to respond.

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Use of ice rife in high-risk workplaces as employers turn to testing (Qld)

Use of ice rife in high-risk workplaces as employers turn to testing (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
USE of the killer drug ice is surging in high-risk workplaces, where almost one in 10 employees is testing positive to illicit substances or alcohol.
ReGenUC's insight:

While this article does start out as a virtual ad for workplace testing companies, it does go on to recognise the limitations of testing and the need for a more comprehensive response to use of AOD in the workplace. See related coverage: http://sco.lt/6LUVyT. 

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Party over for Kings Cross bar operators (NSW)

TWO operators of a Kings Cross bar have been banned for life from holding a liquor licence in NSW.
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Malcolm Turnbull's NBN adviser Stephen Ellis charged for indecent act, drugs (Aus)

Malcolm Turnbull's NBN adviser Stephen Ellis charged for indecent act, drugs (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A senior adviser to Malcolm Turnbull was held in custody overnight for alleged indecent act and drug possession.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mr Ellis does deserve to, as the PM says, 'be given all the support and all the encouragement that they possibly can to work through those issues'. However, the Govt's position on the behaviour of a Ministerial staffer is in stark contrast to its rhetoric about other people who use illicit drugs, particularly amphetamine type stimulants. For exhibit one, see today's media release by Justice Minister Michael Keenan: http://sco.lt/5gDt9V.

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