Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Decrease in drug and drink-drive offences (Ireland)

Decrease in drug and drink-drive offences (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Overall crime levels have fallen 8% in the 12 months to June, with the number of reported crimes down in 12 of 14 main categories, including burglaries, drugs, and public order offences.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Safe injection sites unanimously endorsed in San Francisco

Safe injection sites unanimously endorsed in San Francisco | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The nation's first safe injection sites were unanimously endorsed by San Francisco's Department of Public Health on Tuesday in an effort to help curb the opioid epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:

More signs of progress towards a significant breakthrough for harm reduction in the US, but the Trump Administration says that it may use federal laws to block the establishment of medically supervised injecting centres: http://sco.lt/4twYiX

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We Spoke To Black Market Medical Cannabis Patients Who Don't Access The Drug Legally. Here's What They Said (Aus)

We Spoke To Black Market Medical Cannabis Patients Who Don't Access The Drug Legally. Here's What They Said (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australian patients using medicinal cannabis illegally say their only worry about being arrested would be having their medicine taken from them.
ReGenUC's insight:

Brad Esposito highlights some of the personal impacts of the ongoing access barriers to sanctioned medicinal cannabis products.

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Opioid addiction treatment behind bars reduced post-incarceration overdose deaths in Rhode Island

A new study suggests that treating people for opioid addiction in jails and prisons is a promising strategy to address high rates of overdose and opioid use disorder.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's an indicator of just how far the US AOD system has to come that providing prisoners with access to pharmacotherapy is seen as groundbreaking work. See today's related post on White House threats to use federal laws to block the establishment of medically supervised injecting centres: http://sco.lt/4twYiX

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More mums-to-be still lighting up in regional NSW compared to rest of state

More mums-to-be still lighting up in regional NSW compared to rest of state | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The number of expectant mums smoking in NSW has dropped 61 per cent in the past two decades but too many pregnant women are still lighting up in rural areas.
ReGenUC's insight:

Higher smoking rates continue to be linked to disadvantage.

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Austria's plan to stub out smoking ban prompts health plea

Austria's plan to stub out smoking ban prompts health plea | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Medical experts are urging the government to reconsider plans to introduce a smoking ban, writes the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna.
ReGenUC's insight:

A familiar pattern for alcohol & tobacco campaigns around the world: Vice-Chancellor (and smoker) Heinz-Christian Strache champions the move as win for 'freedom of choice'. Public health experts disagree. 

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Fears Australia is following the US in fentanyl misuse

Fears Australia is following the US in fentanyl misuse | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

About 8% of injecting drug users are using fentanyl or its analogues, sparking fears Australia could be on track to mimic the US fentanyl epidemic.

ReGenUC's insight:

Most of this article is behind the Aus Doctor membership wall, but you can see more on the Kirby Institute study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29405465

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Drug use unchanged despite a tripling in traffickers being sentenced (Qld)

Drug use unchanged despite a tripling in traffickers being sentenced (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
But the numbers of Queenslanders reporting they had recently used an illicit drug has remained unmoved.
ReGenUC's insight:

See yesterday's related coverage, citing former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer on the need for drug law reform: http://sco.lt/5gDoKv 

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Can government-approved pot beat street weed? (USA)

Can government-approved pot beat street weed? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In competing with Canada's black markets, legal cannabis has potential strengths and weaknesses. Most flow directly from governments' policy choices.
ReGenUC's insight:

Michael J Armstrong compares the relative competitive strengths of licit vs illicit cannabis markets.

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Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids (Israel)

Medical cannabis therapy can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds cannabis therapy is safe and efficacious for cancer symptoms, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues. After six months, more than 18 percent of patients surveyed had stopped using opioid analgesics or had reduced their dosage.

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Opioid crisis costs about to skyrocket, healthy economy group warns (USA)

Opioid crisis costs about to skyrocket, healthy economy group warns (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The opioid crisis in the United States has cost the economy $1 trillion since 2001, and things do not look like they will get better any time soon.
ReGenUC's insight:

New study projects $500bn cost to US economy (mostly due to lost productivity) in the next three years. See yesterday's related post on Big Pharma being called out for its opioid marketing strategies: http://sco.lt/6RTkRd

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Making codeine prescription-only was right. Where do we go from here?

Making codeine prescription-only was right. Where do we go from here? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The restriction will save lives. But people need better support to move beyond codeine and take control of their pain
ReGenUC's insight:

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz considers the public response to the OTC codeine ban, the evidence supporting the move and the implications for pain management practice in Australia.

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Controversial cashless welfare card trial extended in WA

Controversial cashless welfare card trial extended in WA | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The federal government's cashless debit card will be expanded to Western Australia's Goldfields region after legislation cleared the Senate.
ReGenUC's insight:

East Kimberley & Ceduna (SA) trials to be extended to 2019.

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At Least Three UK City Centres to Get Drugs Testing Facility

At Least Three UK City Centres to Get Drugs Testing Facility | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

While the British government refuses to improve its increasingly archaic drug policy in the face of evidence and expert advice, other authorities have been left to take the lead..

ReGenUC's insight:

The Loop is set to offer drug checking services in (as yet undisclosed) town and city centres. See related coverage of the West Midlands Police report: http://sco.lt/7w1knZ

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Health experts lament alcohol floor price miss in WA liquor reforms

Health experts lament alcohol floor price miss in WA liquor reforms | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HEALTH experts say the State Government has squibbed an ideal chance to enact its highly touted floor price on alcohol.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Cancer Council WA's Terry Slevin & NDRI's Steve Allsop. See last week's coverage of the proposed WA reforms: http://sco.lt/6dgjxJ

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The Trump Administration Says Proposed Heroin Injection Sites Could Face “Legal Action” (USA)

The Trump Administration Says Proposed Heroin Injection Sites Could Face “Legal Action” (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
They’ve been approved in San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia — and some local officials are ready to fight the DEA in court.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post of the unanimous support for supervised injecting facilities by SF's Department of Public Health: http://sco.lt/7AsOnZ.

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"It's a National Problem": How Hospitals Are Treating Opioid Addiction's Youngest Sufferers (USA)

"It's a National Problem": How Hospitals Are Treating Opioid Addiction's Youngest Sufferers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two babies, born 15 months apart to the same young woman overcoming opioid addiction. Two very different treatments.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of providing consistent, evidence-based care for affected mothers and children. Hopefully the new funding announced last week by President Trump will help improve the uptake of pharmacotherapies (like methadone) within the US health system. See also last week's post about the benefits of keeping newborns with their mothers (rather than removing them to an ICU): http://sco.lt/5P5xlh

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A mysterious syndrome in which marijuana users get violently ill is starting to worry researchers (USA)

A mysterious syndrome in which marijuana users get violently ill is starting to worry researchers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Mrs. X knew something was wrong when she burned herself in the bath for the third time. The Australian woman – whose experience was documented anonymously in a published case study – had experienced sudden and severe episodes of illness for nine years. She’d get nauseous and a feel like the room was spinning, which was followed by violent vomiting and severe stomach pains. As it turned out, she had a mysterious syndrome that doctors are only now beginning to recognise.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the little we know about Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) and the need for more research on why some people experience this reaction to cannabis. At this stage, the only known treatment is abstinence.

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Mandatory treatment for criminals affected by Ice (Vic)

Mandatory treatment for criminals affected by Ice (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Committing serious crimes while affected by the drug Ice will trigger mandatory treatment programs under new laws being drafted.
ReGenUC's insight:

Seven News story on new resi rehab bed funding for our partners at Odyssey House Victoria and a range of other services around the state. There's no detail on the headline mandatory treatment legislation, other than the Andrews Govt's intention to have it passed before the November election

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Liquor Control Act: WA health sector alarmed by proposed laws

Liquor Control Act: WA health sector alarmed by proposed laws | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
WA’s health sector has warned a plan to make Perth a ‘hipster capital’ shouldn’t have equal weighting with concerns about alcohol-related harm when deciding liquor licensing applications.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related coverage, citing alcohol industry support for the Govt's proposed changes: http://sco.lt/9IxPOL.

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Doing it for the hipsters: WA liquor reform 'common sense'

Doing it for the hipsters: WA liquor reform 'common sense' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tourism WA will have a say about the benefits for liquor licence applications under law reforms planned by the state government.
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt proposal to provide Tourism WA chief exec with equal power over liquor licence applications as the chief health officer and police commissioner. Alcohol industry bodies welcome the move. Enough said.

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An Australian Politician Is Spending Valentine's Day Driving Around In A Pro-Vaping Van

An Australian Politician Is Spending Valentine's Day Driving Around In A Pro-Vaping Van | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The vaping bus is comin' and everybody's jumpin' (then probably wheezing tbh).
ReGenUC's insight:

Great to see Cory Bernadi (and other conservative warriors like Miranda Devine: https://myaccount.news.com.au/sites/dailytelegraph/subscribe.html?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&mode=premium&dest=https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/nsw-smoking-ban-as-misguided-as-it-is-useless/news-story/b00ccad2d2d347b09992781239615d93&memtype=anonymous) showing such public support for harm reduction strategies in relation to tobacco. Hopefully, this marks the start of a broader recognition of the importance of harm reduction in relation to other drugs.

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Pernod Ricard boss: We're eyeing legal cannabis market 'closely'

Pernod Ricard boss: We're eyeing legal cannabis market 'closely' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The boss of spirits giant Pernod Ricard has revealed that he and his rivals are studying the legalised cannabis market, as the drinks industry weighs the drug’s leisure potential.
ReGenUC's insight:

We know that the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries are deeply invested in seeking to dominate legal cannabis markets. It's entirely unsurprising that the other big purveyor of legal psychoactive substances is interested.

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North-south divide revealed as prescription of opioid drugs rise (UK)

North-south divide revealed as prescription of opioid drugs rise (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The prescription of opioid drugs by GPs in England is steadily rising, especially in more deprived communities, even though they can cause complications and adverse effects and have not been proven to work for chronic pain.

ReGenUC's insight:

The study found nine out of the ten highest prescribing areas were in the north.

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Queensland drug trafficking convictions up 330 per cent in 10 years: report

Queensland drug trafficking convictions up 330 per cent in 10 years: report | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The number of convicted Queensland drug traffickers has increased by 330 per cent in a decade, but most offenders did not come close to serving the maximum penalty for the crime, a new report shows.

ReGenUC's insight:

"despite the increased arrests, statistics show they have had little impact on the amount of drugs on the streets or the insatiable appetite for illicit substances". The article also cites former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer on the need for drug law reform.

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Banksia Hill detainees show alarming rates of brain disorders (WA)

Banksia Hill detainees show alarming rates of brain disorders (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NEW WA study finds 90 per cent of kids in custody have at least one severe brain disorder.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Telethon Institute study highlights the prevalence of undiagnosed brain disorders (including FASD) amongst young people in detention.

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