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Welfare Reform and Substance Use: NZ Drug Foundation policy briefing

Welfare Reform and Substance Use: NZ Drug Foundation policy briefing | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

A policy briefing on Welfare Reform and Substance Use. This follows concerns about the Welfare Working Group (WWG) recommendations on addressing substance use in people receiving welfare - many of the group’s recommendations are based on flawed assumptions.

More articles in monthly Drug Foundation magazine 'Matters of Substance'


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PODCAST free download: 11th Community Justice Portal Lecture "Ending Prohibition With a Hangover"

PODCAST free download: 11th Community Justice Portal Lecture "Ending Prohibition With a Hangover" | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

This socially constructed bifurcation of substances established a Drugs Apartheid that outlawed particular drugs so what we have is a 'War between Drugs' that ultimately became a war on people who used substances that didn't have government approval.

Black and Minority Ethnic groups and the discarded working class have been major casualties in this war. Radical drug law reform rooted in scientific evidence and human rights is needed to end the oppressive and unjust drug laws that have caused more harm than good.

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

While there is some understandable excitement and celebration at seeing prohibition begin to crumble - these are critical, if not dangerous times of change. Using international examples this lecture will outline the need for change, critically evaluate the risks of particular drug policy changes and explore principles to underpin drug law reform.

 

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The Federal Marijuana Ban Is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia

The Federal Marijuana Ban Is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
An atmosphere of hysteria in the 1930s took hold and shaped a national policy that lives on today.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Fear, racism, prejudice and xenophobia are at the root of most drug laws and drug panics

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REPORT: Not Just in Transit: Drugs, the State and Society in West Africa 66pp.

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New Zealand Detained Arrestee Drug Use Monitoring Report 2013

New Zealand Detained Arrestee Drug Use Monitoring Report 2013 | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The latest New Zealand Arrestee Drug Use Monitoring Programme Report (NZ-ADUM) has found that 41 % of people detained by police had been drinking prior to their arrest.

The NZ-ADUM study is an annual Massey University study that has been funded by Police since 2010. During the 2013 study 848 detainees were interviewed and 201 urine samples were taken at four police watch houses between April 2013 and July 2013. The study compares the 2013 findings with previous research from 2010, 2011 and 2012 to establish trends.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Drug presence among people detained and arrested doesn't confirm a causal relationship

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Drug courts, meant to aid 'addicts', now a battlefield of pot politics

Drug courts, meant to aid 'addicts', now a battlefield of pot politics | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Attorney David West can't pinpoint precisely when he started to sour on the rapid expansion of drug courts — but the karate episode stands out.
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The UK Newspaper The Guardian speaks out - overdue overhauling of US and global drug laws | Editorial

The UK Newspaper The Guardian speaks out - overdue overhauling of US and global drug laws | Editorial | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Editorial: Until Washington DC rewrites its own failed statutes, liberalisation in the states – and the rest of the world – is not going to be secure
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ARTICLE:Gamma-Hydroxybutyrat (GHB): A Scoping Review of Pharmacology, Toxicology, Motives for Use, and User Groups

ARTICLE:Gamma-Hydroxybutyrat (GHB): A Scoping Review of Pharmacology, Toxicology, Motives for Use, and User Groups | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Administered orally, GHB is dose-dependent and popular for certain uses (therapeutic, body enhancement, sexual assault) and amongst user sub groups (recreational party drug users, homosexual men). Despite the low prevalence of use in comparison to other club drugs, rising abuse of the drug is associated with dependence, withdrawal, acute toxicity, and fatal overdose. Clinical diagnosis and treatment is complicated by the co-ingestion of alcohol and other drugs. Limitations of the scoping review and potential for further research and harm reduction initiatives are discussed

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"Not a single OD death has been recorded at any of the world’s 92 injection [DCR] sites"

"Not a single OD death has been recorded at any of the world’s 92 injection [DCR] sites" | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Since the Sydney MSIC opened, 14,410 clients have made more than 860,000 visits, a numerical reminder that people who inject drugs do so frequently.

There have been 4,397 overdoses – but not one death.

 
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Way to go!

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Workplace Drug Testing: Evidence and issues

"Drug testing may [and therefore may not?] hold potential to improve workplace safety by eliminating or minimising risks associated with alcohol or other drug use. However, to date the extent of its effectiveness remains indeterminate.

 

While there is evidence that alcohol and drugs play a role in workplace accidents and injuries, there is also a growing body of evidence indicating other factors may play a more important role such as:

• fatigue

• noise

• dirt

• dangerous working conditions

• conflict at work

• poor working conditions and procedures

• poorly maintained equipment

• insufficient training and supervision of employees."

[However - let's ignore than and concentrate on drugs instead?]

Julian Buchanan's insight:

It's developed and grown as a result of the War between Drugs -and now they need to find evidence to support it. But what it tells us, what it achieves, and when it might be appropriate is debatable.

If nothing else it's a money spinning expanding business.

A lot of drug testing companies are owned or managed by ex-drug law enforcement officials.  

 

Here are lots of links to further material on drug testing:

http://www.scoop.it/t/drugs-society?q=drug+testing

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'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result

'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The team has kept tabs on 110 of the 224 children originally in the study. The years of tracking kids have led Hurt to a conclusion she didn't see coming. "Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine," Hurt said at her May lecture. 

Other researchers also couldn't find any devastating effects from cocaine exposure in the womb. Claire Coles, a psychiatry professor at Emory University, has been tracking a group of low-income Atlanta children. Her work has found that cocaine exposure does not seem to affect children's overall cognition and school performance, but some evidence suggests that these children are less able to regulate their reactions to stressful stimuli, which could affect learning and emotional health.

 

Coles said her research had found nothing to back up predictions that cocaine-exposed babies were doomed for life. "As a society we say, 'Cocaine is bad and therefore it must cause damage to babies,' " Coles said. "When you have a myth, it tends to linger for a long time."

Julian Buchanan's insight:

You start with a drug apartheid myth rooted in a toxic mix of power, prejudice and ignorance, accept it as fact, then invest in a research team to find evidence to support the myth. Been happening for years in the war between drugs. Eventually ...the truth comes out as it did here. But the damage is done and myths take decades to debunk, and maybe centuries to nullify.

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"We Want Beer" Parade 1932 labor protest of prohibition- Retronaut

"We Want Beer" Parade 1932 labor protest of prohibition- Retronaut | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Labor union members marching through Broad Street, Newark New Jersey, carrying signs reading "We want beer" in protest of prohibition]


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VIDEO: Man in New York arrested for allegedly selling unregulated tobacco eventually gets killed by the police

VIDEO: Man in New York arrested for allegedly selling unregulated tobacco eventually gets killed by the police | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
July 18, 2014 New York City police officers killed a man Thursday after he broke up a fight between two other men. The cops placed him in a chokehold and slammed his head to the pavement, piling on top of him as he gasped for air. The continuous pleas for help are hard to listen…
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The man is heard clearly crying out 'I can't breathe' 

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The War on Drugs Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing

The War on Drugs Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Disturbing trends...

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Medical marijuana opponents’ most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

Medical marijuana opponents’ most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Medical marijuana laws have zero impact on teen use. None. Zilch. Nada.
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Criminalising pregnant women who drink is a ploy to restrict their freedom

Criminalising pregnant women who drink is a ploy to restrict their freedom | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Rebecca Schiller: If the UK apes the US and punishes pregnant women, we will be heading towards a dystopia akin to that in The Handmaid’s Tale
Julian Buchanan's insight:

disgraceful

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REPORT: Scheduling in the international drug control system

REPORT: Scheduling in the international drug control system | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The report highlights the failures related to the international scheduling of controlled drugs, and proposes key recommendations to ensure a system based on health and evidence.
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VIDEO 3mins: Stigma, discrimination & criminalisation fueling the epidemic among drug users

VIDEO 3mins: Stigma, discrimination & criminalisation fueling the epidemic among drug users | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Dr. Eliot Ross Albers, Executive Director of the International Network of People who Use Drugs discusses the importance of overcoming stigma, discrimination and criminalization for drug users and key populations in general.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

It's a war between drugs, a drug apartheid directed towards users of particular drugs.

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The war on marijuana is racist. So is the rest of the war on drugs.

The war on marijuana is racist. So is the rest of the war on drugs. | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Black people are arrested at disproportionate rates for other drugs as well.
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The case for decriminalizing heroin, cocaine, and all other drugs

The case for decriminalizing heroin, cocaine, and all other drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The war on drugs is a failure. Here's what drug policy experts want to do about it.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The challenging question isn't 'Would you decriminalise all drugs?' it's 'How can you justify criminalising drugs?'

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I was a heroin baby

I was a heroin baby | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

I’m told the first months of my life were torture. I screamed constantly, spat out milk, and vomited all the time. I was going through withdrawal. I was a heroin baby. My mother began using drugs as a teen. By the time I was born, she’d done several stints in prison. She even gave birth to me in prison, where I lived for the first year of my life. Eventually, though, my incarcerated mother lost custody of me. I wound up in foster care, later adoption. Most people see this as a success story — government gone right. But I know differently. Here's what it taught me about addiction and our criminalization obsession.


Via Ziggi Ivan Santini
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Thankfully heroin unlike alcohol doesn't cause babies any permanent damage ... but we over react to the former and under react to the latter. 

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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 26, 2:48 AM

"Babies born drug exposed are not drug-seeking addicts, and for the mothers, addiction isn’t a crime. It’s a public health and mental health concern, treatable through rehab, mental health services, and drug treatment."

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Like Peaches Geldof my nephew died of a heroin overdose. He needed help, not prison

Like Peaches Geldof my nephew died of a heroin overdose. He needed help, not prison | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Liz Macdonald: Both were bright, talented people – John might still be alive if UK laws treated drug addicts with more compassion
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The Drug Apartheid fuels stigma, hostility and discrimination. It promotes abstinence only approaches that leave most people stranded and isolated. There is absolutely no logical reason for not making naloxone widely available - it would save lives.

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The Importance of Activism in the Age of Legalization

The Importance of Activism in the Age of Legalization | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch” - Thomas Jefferson 2012 was a watershe...
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Giving free clean heroin can save lives

Giving free clean heroin can save lives | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Britta has been addicted to heroin for 25 years. After several unsuccessful courses of treatment, she now almost has a normal life again – thanks to diamorphine, pharmaceutically manufactured heroin, which they receive from a clinic.

Anyone who meets Britta* would never imagine that she could have anything to do with drugs. And certainly not that her life is being played out in the middle of a war over drugs policy. At first, the 42-year-old seems fairly non-descript, with her cautious smile and friendly Baden accent. After a few sentences she comes across as capable, you might even say: down-to-earth.

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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 23, 5:34 AM

Another great example of the productivity benefits that can be reaped from providing clean heroin to addicts in a controlled setting, as opposed to the ever increasing expenses that come from criminalizing drug addiction.

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INFOGRAPHIC: The funding crisis for harm reduction

INFOGRAPHIC: The funding crisis for harm reduction | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 23, 1:41 AM

To sustainably fund harm reduction in low and middle income countries, we must:

 - Keep the global fund global;

 - Invest strategically in harm reduction;

 - Increase national harm reduction investment;

 - Rebalance existing resources in favour of health and harm reduction.

 

Read more about current problems relating to the spread of HIV: http://sco.lt/5B0TQ1

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VIDEO 17mins Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison & the War on Drugs

VIDEO 17mins Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison & the War on Drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
America's prisons are broken. Just ask John Oliver and several puppets. Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube c...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Well worth watching -  using humour to expose the madness and inhumanity of our use of prison

more here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/21/john-oliver-us-prisons-are-full-because-our-drug-laws-are-a-little-draconian-and-a-lot-racist/

 

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The VICE Podcast - Uruguay's President José Mujica | VICE United States

The VICE Podcast - Uruguay's President José Mujica | VICE United States | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
In March we traveled to Uruguay to glimpse how the first nation to legalize and regulate the entire marijuana trade is constructing its laws. Along the way we met and interviewed José Mujica, the coun…
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