Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Council apology over misleading drugs message (UK)

WARRINGTON Borough Council has apologised for the misleading drugs
awareness campaign "It's Not Just a Joint" which suggested cannabis was stronger than heroin.
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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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Why telling people they could get sick in the future won't persuade them to be healthy now (Aus)

Why telling people they could get sick in the future won't persuade them to be healthy now (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Everyone knows smoking, consuming too much sugar and drinking too much alcohol will harm our long-term health – but many of us do these things anyway. Why?
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Adam Bulley & Thomas Suddendorf on the importance of focusing on future harm/benefit to enabling individual behaviour change

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Coming off coffee can be harder than you think (Aus) - audio

Coming off coffee can be harder than you think (Aus) - audio | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Some of us can't get moving without our morning brew and during a busy day you might have as many as three or four cups of coffee. Throw in an energy drink, some chocolate and the occasional expresso martini after work and there is no doubt caffeine is a popular and accessible stimulant drug.

ReGenUC's insight:

The ADF's Laura Bajurny discusses the rituals of caffeine dependence highlights the need for a greater understanding of withdrawal symptoms.

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We should treat heroin like other prescription drugs (Canada)

We should treat heroin like other prescription drugs (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The research that has been carried out over the years shows this harm reduction approach saves money
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Andre Picard on the demonstrated benefits of prescription heroin programs (AKA Heroin Assisted Therapy) and the importance of their being accessible to people for whom other forms of treatment are not effective.

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Icelandic approach to teen substance abuse may be tested in west of Ireland

Icelandic approach to teen substance abuse may be tested in west of Ireland | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pilot scheme would involve 7,000 young people in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo
ReGenUC's insight:

It would be interesting to see if the Icelandic model (requiring higher levels of involvement by parents and activity-based structure for young people) will translate into a different cultural context.

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Minimum alcohol price help call for 'hazardous' drinkers (Wales)

Minimum alcohol price help call for 'hazardous' drinkers (Wales) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Problem drinkers often buy cheap alcohol so will need support to help them recover, charity says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Alcohol Concern Wales highlights the need for tax revenue to be directed to expanded treatment and support services.

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Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU

Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The EU should require alcohol interlocks to be fitted in all new professional vehicles and retrofitted to cars used by repeat drink-driving offenders. 

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European Transport Safety Council report calls for increased enforcement and introduction of rehab programs to reduce the 5,000 drink driving deaths that occur in the EU each year.

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Netherlands becoming a narco-state, warn Dutch police

Netherlands becoming a narco-state, warn Dutch police | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Officers say many victims do not report incidents and organised gangs have a free rein
ReGenUC's insight:

Police cite growing power of criminal organisations. No mention here of one policy option that could be effective in removing such organisations from drug production and supply networks: drug law reform.

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Drug and alcohol abusers face tighter pension test (Aus)

The federal government will resurrect an attempt to strike a rule from the disability support pension that allows drug and ­alcohol addicts to qualify for income support based solely on their substance abuse.

The Australian understands ­Social Services Minister Dan Tehan intends to reintroduce the measure that was blocked in the Senate last year. It would render about 450 people a year ineligible for the $814-a-fortnight payment as part of a broader plan to tackle ­addiction.

A report by the Parliamentary Budget Office released on Tuesday revealed the disability support pension is shrinking in the ­medium term but people with psychological conditions, for whom substance misuse is often linked, represent the single largest cohort of new recipients of the payment. These new DSP ­entrants are much younger on­ ­average and could stay on the pension for more than 20 years.

Previously unpublished data shows a parallel attempt to ­encourage welfare recipients to seek help is already having a ­dramatic effect with almost 260 jobseekers choosing to enter drug and alcohol rehabilitation or treatment instead of looking for work.

The regime, which began on January 1, allows the most “work ready” jobseekers in streams A and B — typically on the dole or youth allowance — to get treatment as part of their job plan and in lieu of looking for work.

Those in Stream C, typically on the DSP, have already been ­allowed to choose this option and there are more than 520 welfare recipients in treatment.

“If a drug or alcohol problem is a barrier to getting a job then we want people to address that problem,” Mr Tehan said.

“It is fantastic that so many welfare recipients have taken up the opportunity to get treatment and address their drug or alcohol problem. As part of the Welfare Reform Bill, income support recipients won’t be able to use drug or alcohol use as an excuse for not meeting their mutual ­obligation requirements.

“The government has also ­allocated an additional $10m to provide extra treatment support as part of its drug-testing trial.”

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon said more people were seeking help for mental health problems, including through the DSP, ­because the stigma was lifting.

“But I think we are seeing an ­increased burden in society more generally and a greater demand for services,” he said.

Dr Gannon said general practitioners made complex and difficult decisions when assessing people for the disability pension. Under the impairment ­tables used to assess disability, people with mental health conditions are judged by several criteria: can they concentrate effectively, look after themselves, or form and hold relationships? Do they leave home for social or other engagements?

“It is difficult because one of the best things you can do for a mental health problem is work and have a job,” Dr Gannon said. “The truth is that medical practitioners make value judgments and difficult ­decisions in grey areas every day. They would never leave a vulnerable person without support but you could even make a judgment that approving the DSP could be harmful for them.’’

ReGenUC's insight:

No mention here of what the Govt's approach will be once people have completed treatment, or what the impacts of increased demand for services will have on an already overstretched and under resourced treatment sector. Apologies for posting the full article here, but it's otherwise behind the NewsLtd paywall.

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Chronic heavy drinking leads to serious risk of dementia, study warns 

Chronic heavy drinking leads to serious risk of dementia, study warns  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Questions also raised for moderate drinkers of alcohol about their social habit
ReGenUC's insight:

Study included data on more than 1 million French people diagnosed with dementia. Alcohol use disorders were associated with three times the risk of all types of dementia. You can see the Lancet editorial here:  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30031-8/fulltext

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Humans ‘evolving gene’ that may stop us drinking alcohol (USA)

Humans ‘evolving gene’ that may stop us drinking alcohol (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Humans may be developing a gene that results in an “adverse physical response” to drinking alcohol, according to new research. Scientists believe people have begun evolving so they find it so unpleasant it could stop our species from drinking in the future.
ReGenUC's insight:

Researchers find genetic variations emerging in five populations, in different continents, making them unlikely to be solely due to genetic inheritance.

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Prescription drug addiction Australia: Paul Denys tells his story

Prescription drug addiction Australia: Paul Denys tells his story | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

PAUL was fit and young when his life changed for the worse. The addiction he suffered started innocently - and is Australia’s most prolific silent killer.

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing ScriptWise's Bee Mohamed and NDARC's Michael Farrell on the need for a greater focus on licit drug dependence.

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GPs prescribing cannabis could be just what the doctor ordered (Aus)

GPs prescribing cannabis could be just what the doctor ordered (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
If GPs are entrusted to prescribe opiates and benzodiazepines, why not medicinal cannabis products
ReGenUC's insight:

Prof Iain McGregor responds to concerns with the recent RACP release.

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Four years from the lockout laws, what’s the state of Sydney night-life?

Four years from the lockout laws, what’s the state of Sydney night-life? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
AT 1.30am on the February 24 in 2014, the state governments controversial lockout laws fell on Sydneys night-life — and four years on, their consequences are still reverberating around the inner city.
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In the lead up to Mardi Gras, this article considers some of the impacts, the current state of play and potential future policy directions.

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Prescription drug addiction: Nicki Hari has hysterectomy to fuel addiction (UK/Aus)

Prescription drug addiction: Nicki Hari has hysterectomy to fuel addiction (UK/Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A “CRISIS” in the war on drugs is going largely unnoticed, as otherwise law-abiding people quietly use a new tactic to fuel their obsessions.

ReGenUC's insight:

Ms Hari's story has already received a fair bit of coverage in the UK. Booking unnecessary surgery is a pretty extreme approach to getting access to prescription drugs (as anyone familiar with the issues knows, there are many easier ways to do it), but the story does provide another opportunity to consider growing concerns about prescribing patterns and risks associated with online purchases of non-prescribed medication. See yesterday's reporting of the Gold Coast Phenibut overdoses for an example of the immediate risks: http://sco.lt/4nAsxF

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Punishing the poor isn’t just bad policy, it’s wasting taxpayer money (USA)

Punishing the poor isn’t just bad policy, it’s wasting taxpayer money (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The problem is not drug use or laziness, but rather the pervasive belief that poor people do not deserve our help.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice summary of some of the reasons punitive welfare policy measures are not effective. It's a message that our Federal Govt needs to hear when considering the likely impacts of its current welfare reforms.

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Prohibition Has Failed – We Need A Radical New Drug Policy (UK)

Prohibition Has Failed – We Need A Radical New Drug Policy (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
This issue however goes far beyond medicinal marijuana. Our whole approach to drugs is flawed
ReGenUC's insight:

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant calls for urgent change to UK drug policy, including drug law reform.

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Anti-depressants: Major study finds they work (UK)

Anti-depressants: Major study finds they work (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Scientists say they have settled one of medicine's biggest debates after a huge study found that anti-depressants work.

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Study of 522 trials finds 21 anti-depressants were all more effective at reducing acute symptoms than placebo.

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Teens partake in mass drug overdose at school (Qld) - video

Teens partake in mass drug overdose at school (Qld) - video | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Seven boys have been taken to hospital in a critical condition.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Gold Coast overdose gets the Sunrise treatment. At least they had the always sensible Monica Barratt involved to keep discussion on track. See today's related coverage citing Michael Farrell on the very limited use of Phenibut in Australia: http://sco.lt/6xILuj

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ACT's opioid guidelines review complete, more than five years after due date

ACT's opioid guidelines review complete, more than five years after due date | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health minister Meegan Fitzharris has finally updated the ACT's opioid treatment guidelines, more than five years after a review of the guidelines was due to begin.
ReGenUC's insight:

ACT guidelines now aligned with other jurisdictions, including greater oversight of take-away methadone doses.

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Phenibut: Russian anti-anxiety drug named in Gold Coast overdose

Phenibut: Russian anti-anxiety drug named in Gold Coast overdose | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE drug named as linked to the Gold Coast “overdose” that led to seven people being taken to hospital is a sedative most commonly used in Russia, according to media reports.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NDARC's Michael Farrell on the limited evidence of phenibut use in Australia. See today's related coverage, featuring Monica Barratt: http://sco.lt/4nAsxF

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China seeks better Hepatitis C treatment

China increased its pace of development of new treatments for Hepatitis C in support of the World Health Organization goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.

ReGenUC's insight:

Director of Chinese Society of Hepatology notes that there were 240,000 new HCV diagnoses in 2017 and hopes that new treatments will soon be covered by health insurance.

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Heavy drinking could directly cause dementia (UK) - video

Heavy drinking triples the risk of developing dementia and the majority of diagnosed cases are related to alcohol intake, research has revealed. Six in 10 cases diagnosed before the age of 65 have been linked to excessive alcohol consumption.

ReGenUC's insight:

Short news item on new study published in the Lancet. For more info, see: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30031-8/fulltext

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Drug and alcohol withdrawal service to help Townsville people beat addiction

Drug and alcohol withdrawal service to help Townsville people beat addiction | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
TOWNSVILLEs first residential drug and alcohol withdrawal service has officially launched, offering a safe and supportive environment for people to break free of addictive substances.
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WA considers new vaping laws with hefty fines

WA considers new vaping laws with hefty fines | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THOUSANDS of West Australians are risking hefty fines by using nicotine electronic cigarettes as the State Government moves to tighten laws that could outlaw vaping as much as smoking.
ReGenUC's insight:

More legal barriers to people seeking to reduce tobacco-related harm. Meanwhile, Public Health England's latest review of evidence recommends vaping as a harm reduction method: http://sco.lt/5gjsS9

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End of the dry: Melbourne's only alcohol-free zone now teems with licensed venues

End of the dry: Melbourne's only alcohol-free zone now teems with licensed venues | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Locals say the area is dry in name only as dozens of food venues are granted liquor licences and wine bars open for the first time.
ReGenUC's insight:

Vic Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation data shows there are 143 current liquor licences operating within the designated dry zone, up from 42 in 2010.

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