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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Valium addiction: ‘How a Bali trip got me addicted’

Valium addiction: ‘How a Bali trip got me addicted’ | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MY FRIEND’S nose splattered blood when I punched it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Luke Williams' account of benzos dependenc and recovery highlights the ongoing concerns about the long-term use of this group of drugs & its impact on public health.

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Proposal to lift the smoking age to be considered by health experts (Aus)

Proposal to lift the smoking age to be considered by health experts (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
State and territory health ministers have agreed to investigate a proposal to lift the age of buying tobacco to 21 years. The idea was put forward in an attempt to cut smoking rates.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing the AMA's Michael Gannon.

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Crystal meth: Australian officers join Mexican police to stem flow of Cartel ice

Crystal meth: Australian officers join Mexican police to stem flow of Cartel ice | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australian officers are making an unprecedented move by joining forces with Mexican authorities, in a
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of last night's 'embedded' 60 Minutes story on Australian involvement in Mexican drug law enforcement and overblown take on methamphetamine use in Aus.

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Marijuana Traces Can Be Measured In Canadian Wastewater

Marijuana Traces Can Be Measured In Canadian Wastewater | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
People responding to surveys sometimes misstate their drug use. Canada will check wastewater for traces of drugs to more accurately assess consumption.
ReGenUC's insight:

Wastewater analysis will provide one measure of the impacts of Canada's cannabis law reform on population level consumption.

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Canberra mother questions delays to prescription monitoring laws

Canberra mother questions delays to prescription monitoring laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than eight years after Ann Finlay lost her son to prescription drugs, she is still asking why the ACT still has no real-time monitoring system.
ReGenUC's insight:

Following this week's announcement of enabling legislation (http://sco.lt/5DeNft), the ACT Govt has now pulled the bill ahead of today's COAG Health Ministers' meeting, where a national prescription monitoring scheme is expected to be discussed.

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Companies, academics search for better overdose-reversal drugs (USA)

Companies, academics search for better overdose-reversal drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Dr. Nora Volkow has heard a frightening scenario play out around the country. People are administering naloxone to synthetic opioid drug users who have overdosed. But the antidote doesn’t work well. So they give another dose. And it’s only after multiple doses — four, five, even six times — that drug users finally come to their senses.

ReGenUC's insight:

In response to the increased overdose risk associated with the emergence of more powerful opioids (like fentanyl and carfentanil) in illicit drug markets, the search is on to develop alternatives to naloxone. 

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Legal marijuana could soon be a bigger market than fizzy drinks (USA)

Legal marijuana could soon be a bigger market than fizzy drinks (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cannabis could soon become a bigger industry than fizzy drinks and it has already started putting pressure on alcohol sales. If marijuana is made legal nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75bn (£53bn) in sales by that year, according to a new note from the investment bank Cowen.
ReGenUC's insight:

As cannabis becomes a commercial product like any other, there will be an increasing need to focus on the emergence of the same types of corporate practices that occur in other industries (think BigTobacco, BigPharma, BigAlcohol...) and their likely impacts on public health.

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Dangerous diversion of Diazepam down by potentially more than 60% (UK)

Dangerous diversion of Diazepam down by potentially more than 60% (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Analysis indicates trading in top strength 10mg Diazepam is down by 64% as MHRA and partners work hard to stop illegal diversion of medicines to the black market.
ReGenUC's insight:

These efforts occur within a context of recently escalating concern about non-medical benzodiazepine consumption in the UK. There's no mention here about what impact these measures may have had on demand for other benzos (or other drug types).

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New figures reveal just how many people are drug driving on WA roads

New figures reveal just how many people are drug driving on WA roads | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 250 people per month are being charged with drug driving on WA roads, new figures have revealed.
ReGenUC's insight:

WA Govt 'currently preparing options' for increased penalties.

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Beyond a binary approach: why WA must legalise vaping now

Beyond a binary approach: why WA must legalise vaping now | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In the George Orwell classic Animal Farm, there was a binary notion that the animals lived by – “four legs good, two legs bad”.
ReGenUC's insight:

Joe Kosterich oversimplifies the role of opioid replacement therapy and medically supervised injecting centres (which can provide a clear pathway towards recovery - for those who choose it), but makes a clear case for the application of harm reduction principles to tobacco.

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Harm reduction not enough to end B.C. overdose crisis (Canada) 

Harm reduction not enough to end B.C. overdose crisis (Canada)  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

As in many other jurisdictions, there are no regulations in B.C. for addictions treatment centres, no standards for addictions services and no requirement for outcomes to be reported or monitored.

ReGenUC's insight:

Daphne Bramham highlights the need for greater regulation of AOD treatment services to improve their effectiveness and client safety. The Vic Govt is addressing similar concerns through the Health Complaints Commissioner: http://sco.lt/8U7Jxp

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Bootleg alcohol kills 82 people in Indonesia, 100 others in critical condition 

Bootleg alcohol kills 82 people in Indonesia, 100 others in critical condition  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In what is suspected to be the worst-ever mass fatality caused by alcohol poisoning in a country where drinkers regularly die from consuming homemade bootleg, 82 people die and 100 are critical after drinking moonshine.
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Pill testing consortium offers indemnity for trial at Groovin the Moo (ACT)

Pill testing consortium offers indemnity for trial at Groovin the Moo (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The consortium that wants to conduct Australia's first legal pill-testing trial at Groovin the Moo says it has offered the promoter legal indemnity.
ReGenUC's insight:

With the ACT Govt, police and the University of Canberra all supporting the trial, Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris says the promoters Cattleyard Promotions are 'the final piece of the puzzle'. The article also cites David Caldicott on the current state of negotiations over potential legal liability.

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Ice inclusion in trial makes sense (Vic)

Ice inclusion in trial makes sense (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
This safe injecting centre trial is not about condoning or encouraging drug use. It is about harm minimisation, saving lives and helping people get well.
ReGenUC's insight:

Yesterday's Sunday Age editorial recognises the need for the Richmond MSIC to focus on injecting, rather than the type of drug being injected. It's a rare example of media or political responses to last week's announcement (http://sco.lt/8H7qqn) that actually looks to the evidence.

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Toolkit aims to reduce domestic violence among drug and alcohol users (ACT)

Toolkit aims to reduce domestic violence among drug and alcohol users (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

An Australian-first toolkit for workers in the drug and alcohol sector is being launched on Monday in Canberra to address the high rates of domestic violence among those abusing substances.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing ATODA & Nicole Lee's work developing resources to help AOD workers identify and respond to domestic violence experienced by service users.

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Non-profit’s $300 hepatitis C cure as effective as $84,000 alternative

Non-profit’s $300 hepatitis C cure as effective as $84,000 alternative | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Exclusive: 71 million people stand to benefit from reduced price treatment for virus which can lead to liver cirrhosis, cancer and death
ReGenUC's insight:

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative develops HCV treatment that is available for a fraction of the cost of those available via Big Pharma.

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Ice injecting room claim slammed (Vic)

Ice injecting room claim slammed (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
By Casey Neill A Springvale-based legal service says claims it is seeking a local ice injecting room are completely untrue.…
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the sort of deliberately inflammatory approach to the issue we're likely to see from the Opposition in the coming election campaign. If you haven't seen it already, check out this example on Leader Matthew Guy's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/MatthewGuyMP/videos/10155188034546555/. ;

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Smoking in Australia: NSW bans vaping in all public spaces

Smoking in Australia: NSW bans vaping in all public spaces | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AUSTRALIAN smokers have been slapped with another setback after the NSW government announced e-cigarette smokers will face fines of up to $550 if caught smoking in public spaces or public transport.
ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the fact that there is still much we have to learn about the potential health impacts of e-cigarettes, all the evidence we have to date indicates that they are less harmful than smoking tobacco. These sort of legislative blocks to harm reduction are not helpful.

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Netflix Says It’s Up To Viewers To Decide Whether A New Show Glorifies A Brutal Drug War Or Not

Netflix Says It’s Up To Viewers To Decide Whether A New Show Glorifies A Brutal Drug War Or Not | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Critics say Amo, which has been described as the Philippines’ answer to Narcos, normalizes a brutal war on drugs that has seen thousands of Filipinos gunned down by police and vigilantes.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Sanho Tree on the difference between Amo and other programs on drug law enforcement: "Amo isn't a historical dramatization like Narcos or The Wire. It is about an ongoing, 'eliminationist' slaughter of people who have been marginalized, dehumanized, and deemed unworthy of life," he said. "In that sense, Netflix is guilty of normalizing mass murder in real time."

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Four in 10 Beer Buyers Never Check Alcohol Content (Ireland)

With awareness levels of alcohol units not as high as one might expect, it is perhaps no surprise to find over 4 in 10 (43%) beer buyers claiming they never check th
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the landmark global study highlighting the importance of wider understanding of the amount of alcohol people are consuming (and it's cumulative impacts on their health): http://sco.lt/6YY0XZ.

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How much booze can you drink before it starts killing you? Not much

How much booze can you drink before it starts killing you? Not much | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drinking more than six glasses of wine or cans of beer a week reduces your life expectancy, according to a huge study on global alcohol consumption.
ReGenUC's insight:

Landmark study (examining data from 600,000 people across 19 countries) finds mortality risk increases beyond 10 standard drinks a week. See today's related post highlighting the low level of public awareness about alcohol content when making retail purchases: http://sco.lt/5dQEc5

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Long-simmering battle over e-cigarettes erupts as FDA clamps down on nicotine (USA)

Long-simmering battle over e-cigarettes erupts as FDA clamps down on nicotine (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Industry, anti-tobacco groups want answers on safety, teens, smoking cessation
ReGenUC's insight:

Anti-tobacco groups say it's time for vaping companies to submit information about their products to the FDA, while e-cigarette manufacturers say such a demand is burdensome, unnecessary, and would create a black market of dangerous products. Meanwhile, tobacco companies are hoping to cash in by creating their own inhalant alternatives that would heat, rather than burn, nicotine.

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Americans going abroad for illegal heroin treatment

Americans going abroad for illegal heroin treatment | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Opioid addicts are turning to a clinic in Mexico to break their addiction with a treatment that's illegal in the US.
ReGenUC's insight:

Desperate people seeking a 'cure' turning to ibogaine. Good to see the article acknowledges the potential safety risks associated with this drug.

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The Opposite of D.A.R.E – DPA Launches New High School Drug Education Curriculum in a NYC School (USA)

The Opposite of D.A.R.E – DPA Launches New High School Drug Education Curriculum in a NYC School (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

How many years have we known that abstinence-based programs like D.A.R.E. fail to truly educate young people about drugs, and that we need a replacement?

ReGenUC's insight:

The DPA's new program provides young people with credible information to support informed decision making, as opposed to scare campaigns and abstinence pledges.

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New safe injecting room to accept ice users, adding to local fears (Vic)

New safe injecting room to accept ice users, adding to local fears (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new safe injecting room in Melbourne that will accept ice users will only bring more trouble to the drug-riddled area, locals fear.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the 'furore' around allowing methamphetamine consumption at the Richmond MSIC. The 'honeypot' effect that is so often cited by people as cause for concern about such facilities has been consistently disproven. Such services do not draw in people from outside their area of operation. What they do is address the health risks for people already using in the area and provide a point of access to other services. It's also worth noting that our own experience with people who use methamphetamine is consistent with that reported by the Sydney MSIC's Marianne Jauncey i.e. no increase in violence. If you provide people with a safe and respectful environment, you don't (as a rule) get violent behaviour. It's also great result to see that Margaret Hamilton has been appointed as head of the Richmond MSIC oversight committee, following Jeff Kennett's departure.

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