Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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State Government calls for national crackdown on synthetic drugs being imported (NSW)

State Government calls for national crackdown on synthetic drugs being imported (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A NATIONAL approach is needed to stop synthetic drugs being imported following the death of Killara teenager Henry Kwan in June.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Teen vaping boom alarms US health authorities

Teen vaping boom alarms US health authorities | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two surveys show a dramatic rise in vaping among children and have prompted US regulators to press for measures that make it harder for kids to get them.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting health authorities' concerns that vaping industry is winding back hard-won public health gains, national survey data shows biggest annual increase in nicotine consumption amongst high school students since its commencement in 1975. See NIDA's summary of the 'Monitoring the Future' study findings here (http://sco.lt/64Cu1Z) or today's related post on the potential health benefits (and risks) associated with vaping products: http://sco.lt/6aZAqv

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New treatment could see NZ eradicate Hepatitis C in next 20 years

New treatment could see NZ eradicate Hepatitis C in next 20 years | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"It's vital to get tested and get treated, because it could be a lifesaver."
ReGenUC's insight:

NZ Govt announces funding for access to Maviret treatment, raising hopes of universal treatment access for people living with HepC.

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'Cannabis is medicine' - New Zealand's first marijuana advertising campaign launched 

'Cannabis is medicine' - New Zealand's first marijuana advertising campaign launched  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
This follows the Government passing The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill.
ReGenUC's insight:

Advertising regulation is a key feature of cannabis law reform. As cannabis increasingly becomes recognised as a medical or consumer product like any other, there will need to be close attention to industry marketing claims.

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Vapers inhale lower levels of toxins than smokers (USA)

Vapers inhale lower levels of toxins than smokers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(Reuters Health) - Vapers inhale significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals than smokers of traditional cigarettes, a new study suggests.
ReGenUC's insight:

...but notes health risks for 'dual users' of vaping and tobacco products. See also today's related post on new US data showing a significant annual increase in vaping by high school students, confirming health authorities' concerns that, in spite of its harm reduction potential, the vaping industry is undermining hard-won public health gains by reversing long-term pattern of declining nicotine consumption: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-vaping/vapers-inhale-lower-levels-of-toxins-than-smokers-idUKKBN1OD22Q?rpc=401&

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$1 billion shortfall sees many Australians denied drug rehabilitation - audio

$1 billion shortfall sees many Australians denied drug rehabilitation - audio | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A group of organisations has found that an estimated $1 billion annual shortfall in funding for Australian drug and alcohol services prevents many from accessing important treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

(4 min) AM story citing Marianne Jauncey, Nadine Ezard and Liz on the impacts of national funding shortfalls for AOD treatment services.

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Children's health hit for six as industry fails to regulate alcohol ads (Aus)

Children's health hit for six as industry fails to regulate alcohol ads (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The alcohol industry introduced rules to self-regulate placement of alcohol ads in November 2017. We reviewed the first six months of regulation and it was unlikely to protect young people.
ReGenUC's insight:

Julia Stafford and Hannah Pierce highlight the need to move beyond industry self-regulation to protect children from over-exposure to alcohol advertising.

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Controversial welfare card trials extended to June 2020 (Aus)

Controversial welfare card trials extended to June 2020 (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
An evaluation of the Cashless Debit Card in Ceduna and East Kimberley has found it has had a "considerable positive impact" and has been linked to a reduction in violence.
ReGenUC's insight:

See some of the less positive assessments of the impact of these cards within vulnerable communities: http://sco.lt/5TrIJ7, http://sco.lt/6iC0VF, http://sco.lt/6geEsr

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Alert Over Deadly Fentanyl Found in Fake Pain Pills in the UK

Alert Over Deadly Fentanyl Found in Fake Pain Pills in the UK | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police and health officials have issued an alert about counterfeit Percocet pills.
ReGenUC's insight:

With obvious implications for overdose risk amongst people thinking they are consuming pharmaceutical grade opioids.

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Morrison government promises $1.25 billion for health care (Aus)

Morrison government promises $1.25 billion for health care (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The health program was unveiled as the federal, state and territories meet in Adelaide on Wednesday for the Council of Australian Governments with health one of the items on the agenda.
ReGenUC's insight:

There isn't much detail available about the Govt's proposed funding but the four priority areas are:

  • specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure

  • drug and alcohol treatment

  • preventive, primary and chronic disease management

  • mental health.

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The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme welcomes the government’s announcement this morning, and its long awaited response to our current public health crisis relating to synthetic drugs.

The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme welcomes the government’s announcement this morning, and its long awaited response to our current public health crisis relating to synthetic drugs.

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Ugly Disparities Among My Patients Demand Marijuana Racial Justice (USA)

Ugly Disparities Among My Patients Demand Marijuana Racial Justice (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As a doctor in a harm reduction clinic, the racist applications of our marijuana laws are regularly apparent to me
ReGenUC's insight:

Elizabeth Ryan considers impacts of racial politics in US drug policy implementation on individuals and their communities.

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As Australia's economy slows down, the illegal drugs sector is booming

As Australia's economy slows down, the illegal drugs sector is booming | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As the Reserve Bank frets about Australia's slowing levels of consumption, it's found one area that appears to be holding up well.
ReGenUC's insight:

We know that AOD use is one of the things that tends to increase at a population level in response to financial stress, along with family violence and suicide. You can see the RBA research paper here: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2018/2018-12.html

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A Promising Way to Help Drug Users Is ‘Severely Lacking’ Around the World

A Promising Way to Help Drug Users Is ‘Severely Lacking’ Around the World | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The 2018 Global State of Harm Reduction report says harm reduction resources like needle exchanges and drug consumption rooms are lacking.
ReGenUC's insight:

Time coverage of HRI's new report that highlights the stalling of progress in harm reduction, in combination with escalating overdose, HIV & HepC crises. See the full report here: http://sco.lt/79ETFB

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Higher average potency cannabis may increase risk for first disorder symptom (USA)

Higher average potency cannabis may increase risk for first disorder symptom (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., but regulations regarding potency do not exist. The results of a new study, led by an Iowa State University researcher, may prompt states to reconsider.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study highlights importance of regulating THC levels in non-medical cannabis products.

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Opioid poisoning hospitalization rates higher in smaller communities: report (Canada)

Opioid poisoning hospitalization rates higher in smaller communities: report (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information says the number of opioid related hospitalizations is higher in smaller communities compared to larger, urban cities.

ReGenUC's insight:

Ontario study highlights growing use in rural communities, finds highest risk in those with 50-100k people.

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Study finds increasing use, and misuse, of benzodiazepines (USA)

Study finds increasing use, and misuse, of benzodiazepines (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

More than one in eight U.S. adults (12.6 percent) used benzodiazepines in the past year, up from previous reports. Misuse of the prescription drugs accounted for more than 17 percent of overall use, according to a study published online today in Psychiatric Services in Advance. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Study's authors highlight social supply (friends and family members) as main source for people self-medicating with benzos, note strong link with misuse of other pharmaceuticals.

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How the way we talk about addiction can make it harder for people to recover (Canada)

How the way we talk about addiction can make it harder for people to recover (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Many medical professionals agree that the language around addiction can affect a person's recovery, and there is a push to adopt terms that are less dismissive and more human.
ReGenUC's insight:

Language is important. It shapes the way we perceive issues and the people they affect. Language can be a force for good or bad in shaping attitudes, but we know the impact it has on promoting and strengthening stigma. It's one of the reasons we use person-first language and why we try to focus on providing a consistently welcoming environment for people engaging with our services. 

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ACT could face High Court challenge of cannabis legalisation

ACT could face High Court challenge of cannabis legalisation | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT could be headed for another expensive High Court challenge if cannabis is legalised via a private members bill next year, experts have warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related posts on the proposal to establish a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Canberra: http://sco.lt/5uMiUz

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Why 'stagnating' injecting room laws could finally be put to use (ACT)

Why 'stagnating' injecting room laws could finally be put to use (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Politicians behind legislation for an ACT supervised injecting room, passed almost 20 years ago, are pleased the concept might finally become a reality.
ReGenUC's insight:

Supporters of the current and original ACT MSIC proposal call for bipartisan political support for evidence based policy. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/8WjGtt

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What I Found When I Applied Hundreds of Fentanyl Tests to Philly’s Street Drugs (USA)

What I Found When I Applied Hundreds of Fentanyl Tests to Philly’s Street Drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Back in mid-2017 I embarked on a journalistic endeavor that, to my knowledge, has not been replicated. Through a contac
ReGenUC's insight:

Christopher Moraff's 2017 research project highlighted fentanyl's near saturation of the Philadelphia heroin market and prompted city authorities to distribute testing strips. Here, he argues for the establishment of supervised consumption facilities as a more effective option for preventing overdose deaths.

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How the tide turned on failed plans for Canberra safe injecting rooms

How the tide turned on failed plans for Canberra safe injecting rooms | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT government tried, and failed, to get safe injecting rooms approved in the 1990s. Now one expert says now is the perfect time to get it off the ground.
ReGenUC's insight:

Emeritus professor Bob Douglas reminds that a Canberra MSIC trial was first proposed by the ACT Govt in 1991 and endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy in 1997 before being blocked by the Howard Government. See today's related post: http://sco.lt/5uMiUz

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Health approach to be taken for users of synthetic drugs, harsher penalties for suppliers (NZ)

Health approach to be taken for users of synthetic drugs, harsher penalties for suppliers (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

People who make or supply synthetic drugs face life in prison under changes announced by the Government today.

ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see the NZ Govt adopting a health-focussed approach to the use of synthetics and its impact on public health. See today's related post from the NZ Needle Exchange Programme: http://sco.lt/5W9ul7

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Cannabis use in teens not a gateway to conduct problems, study suggests – but risks still exist (USA)

Cannabis use in teens not a gateway to conduct problems, study suggests – but risks still exist (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Parents of teens often worry about marijuana use and whether it might lead to other drugs or behavioral problems. A recent study suggests it doesn't, but that there are real dangers to be aware of.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence to rebut the 'gateway drug' argument, and remind of the potential impacts of cannabis use on young people's mental health.

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No fall in road accidents despite tough drink-drive laws (Scotland)

No fall in road accidents despite tough drink-drive laws (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Road traffic accident rates in Scotland have increased since new, tougher drink-drive limits were introduced in 2014, a study has shown.

ReGenUC's insight:

Uni of Glasgow researchers highlight need for improved awareness campaigns. Scottish Govt says available policy options are limited by Westminster. You can see more from the University here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_626050_en.html

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A tax hike on alcohol is the obesity fix Australians need to swallow 

A tax hike on alcohol is the obesity fix Australians need to swallow  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The national health impact could be substantial, preventing more than 190,000 cases of diabetes and 16,000 cases of cancer
ReGenUC's insight:

Jaithri Ananthapavan, Gary Sacks and Vicki Brown make the public health case for increased alcohol taxation.

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