Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases the risk of poisoning (USA)

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases the risk of poisoning (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Researchers at Penn State University and the University of Michigan found that when people mix energy drinks and alcohol they tend to drink more.
ReGenUC's insight:

Research presented at the last two APSAD conferences indicates that its the pattern of alcohol consumption, rather than the combination with energy drinks, that causes most of the problems.

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Angela Victoria's curator insight, February 4, 2015 8:46 PM

I support these claims as 90% of the time when I am consuming energy drinks, I am consuming alcohol along with it. The energy drinks disguise the harsh taste of alcohol, which allow me to continue consuming at higher rates. 

Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Tests on Canberra's waste water show which drugs we're taking

Tests on Canberra's waste water show which drugs we're taking | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Canberra has some of the highest use of oxycodone, cocaine and heroin consumption in Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

It's worth remembering that wastewater testing does not target cannabis. For those seeking to claim we are in the middle of a fentanyl crisis (http://sco.lt/5nPzF3, http://sco.lt/8egzwH), note this finding: 'Oxycodone and fentanyl, which are both pharmaceutical substances with abuse potential
through diversion, had elevated consumption levels at several regional sites. It should be noted that recorded usage is predominantly derived from prescription of the substances.' 

So, that's no national crisis and no significant presence of illicit fentanyl powder.

You can see the full national report here: http://sco.lt/64w425

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The fight against ice in Indigenous Australia

The fight against ice in Indigenous Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
How big a problem is ice usage in Indigenous Australia? SBS explores the devastating social and cultural fallout of ice abuse in Aboriginal communities.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's new national wastewater analysis report (http://sco.lt/64w425) provides more evidence of higher methamphetamine (and other drug) use in particular regional and remote areas, but notes that, at a national level, methamphetamine use appears to have levelled off.

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Delay for Mandurah drug test trial following Senate opposition (WA)

Delay for Mandurah drug test trial following Senate opposition (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"Labor is obstructing a program that would make a big difference in our community," Mr Hastie said.
ReGenUC's insight:

So that's delayed, not cancelled. The Turnbull Govt remains ideologically committed to these punitive measures, in spite of abundant evidence that they are ineffective and contribute to increased harm for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

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The Opioid Crisis That People Aren’t Talking About

The Opioid Crisis That People Aren’t Talking About | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As opioid overdoses and deaths continue to spiral in many Western countries, three quarters of the world’s population face a very different but devastating opioi
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting efforts by Uganda and other African nations to overcome the lack of access to opioids.

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Policing Of Cannabis In The UK Is Undermining Police Legitimacy

Policing Of Cannabis In The UK Is Undermining Police Legitimacy | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
  Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services published their annual report on police legitimacy in the United Kingdom today. Despite being positive on the whole, the report warns that the targeting of stop and search leads to discrimination and undermines the legitimacy of police forces in the UK. Police forces are … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the damage done by drug policies that criminalise individual use and possession. Here's why we support decriminalisation: http://www.regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/Inquiry_into_Drug_Law_Reform_ReGen_v1.0.pdf

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Busting methamphetamine myths: The truth about ice (Aus)

Busting methamphetamine myths: The truth about ice (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Is it fair to accept - without question - the statement that 'if you try ice once, you’re hooked'?
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice piece from SBS, featuring St Vincent's David Kelly, NDARC's Maree Teeson and Jack Nagle on common misconceptions about methamphetamine use, dependence and recovery.

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Drug expert says Sydney must lift its harm reduction game 

As Melbourne prepares for its first trial of a Medically Supervising Injecting Centre (MSIC) next year, Sydney drug treatment expert Dr Alex Wodak AM is urging expanded harm-reduction facilities in this city to counter changes in the drug trade.

 

ReGenUC's insight:

Alex Wodak says, 'If our drug policy was a company, it would have been declared bankrupt long ago'. The article also refers to the emerging campaign for drug law reform in NSW, led by our Uniting cousins in NSW & ACT.

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Cold turkey at Vietnam's compulsory drug rehab centres

Cold turkey at Vietnam's compulsory drug rehab centres | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
During four years of compulsory rehab in Vietnam, Trung spent his drug-free days gluing together false eyelashes as part of what authorities billed as valuable 'work therapy' for his heroin addiction. Police sent Trung to a state-sponsored rehab centre on the outskirts of Hanoi, one of 132 in
ReGenUC's insight:

Forcing people into treatment doesn't work. 'Work therapy' doesn't work, it's just forced labour. As Trung's own experience shows, evidence based approaches (like the use of pharmacotherapy to support recovery) are more effective and less likely to contribute to human rights abuses.

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Cocaine-related overdoses rising, figures show (Ireland)

Cocaine-related overdoses rising, figures show (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

On the back of a series of large seizures and concerns from gardaí and treatment centres regarding the resurgence, new figures show that cocaine was involved in 44 deaths in 2015.

ReGenUC's insight:

Cocaine overdose deaths have more than doubled since 2010. The only other drug to be linked to increased deaths in that period is Pregabalin. See also recent coverage of other indicators of increasing cocaine use Ireland: http://sco.lt/61EaWX

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Wasted lives: The impact of policy on alcohol consumption and addiction (Canada)

Wasted lives: The impact of policy on alcohol consumption and addiction (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcohol sales bring in more money to the provincial government than natural gas royalties, forestry revenue or tobacco taxes but, some experts argue, the social and healthcare costs outweigh any profits.
ReGenUC's insight:

A look at the public health and economic impacts of British Columbia policies to increase the availability of alcohol.

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'Heat-not-burn' tobacco may be safer but still a risk: UK panel

A new wave of "heat-not-burn" tobacco products are probably safer than traditional cigarettes but the devices still produce a number of potentially harmful compounds, some of which are carcinogenic, a British panel of experts said on Tuesday.
ReGenUC's insight:

The report for Public Health England finds that 'heat not burn' products still pose a risk to people who use them, but that that they offer clear harm reduction benefits, compared to cigarettes. There's no consideration here of the comparative benefits of HNB products vs e-cigarettes. 

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Opioids bring a terrifying electro-cerebral silence you should avoid at any cost (USA)

Opioids bring a terrifying electro-cerebral silence you should avoid at any cost (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
We are electrical beings. There lies the horror of how opioids shut us down.
ReGenUC's insight:

Sandra Block brings a neurologist's perspective (& a novellist's craft) to a consideration of the impacts of opioid use.

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Supplements Claiming to Ease Opioid Addiction Come Under Scrutiny (USA)

Supplements Claiming to Ease Opioid Addiction Come Under Scrutiny (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Advocacy groups and the F.D.A. have warned that companies are capitalizing on the epidemic by offering unproven remedies.
ReGenUC's insight:

Owner of NutraCore Health Products says he has no scientific evidence for the claimed effectiveness of his products and will not be conducting any research to provide any.

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Latest wastewater monitoring data shows use of heroin at its highest in Melbourne

VICTORIA has been exposed as the nation’s heroin capital in a new analysis of the sewage of 14 million Australians. The latest wastewater drug-monitoring data, to be ­released today, includes heroin for the first time and shows usage of the deadly drug is at its highest in Melbourne, as well as Victorian regional areas.

ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the need for the Richmond MSIC and an expansion of overdose prevention programs throughout the state. Expect some announcements on this front from the Andrews Govt soon. Thanks to VAADA for making this article available. You can see the full national wastewater report here: http://sco.lt/64w425

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Ice use stabilising across Australia, wastewater research shows

Ice use stabilising across Australia, wastewater research shows | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Use of the destructive drug crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, has stabilised according to the latest analysis of the nation's wastewater, while MDMA usage has dropped but prescription drugs remain a problem in regional Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the report released today. You can see a summary and the full report here: http://sco.lt/64w425

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Opioid crisis strains foster system as kids pried from homes (USA)

Opioid crisis strains foster system as kids pried from homes (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The case arrives with all the routine of a traffic citation: A baby boy, just 4 days old and exposed to heroin in his mother's womb, is shuddering through withdrawal in intensive care, his fate now here in a shabby courthous
ReGenUC's insight:

AOD use does not occur in isolation, nor do its impacts. This article provides another example of the broader impacts of the US opioid crisis on families, communities and the service systems designed to support them.

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'Drug-drive' chef sues forensic firm (UK)

'Drug-drive' chef sues forensic firm (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Billal Hartford had his sample re-tested after seeing media reports about a forensic testing firm.
ReGenUC's insight:

Something to consider for the advocates of more widespread drug testing.

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Jeff Kennett on fentanyl: This is a drug crisis we should all fear (Vic)

Jeff Kennett on fentanyl: This is a drug crisis we should all fear (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

THIS is a difficult column to write as we approach the festive season but I do not apologise for it — because I fear Australia could be swamped by a drug problem so dangerous that I’m almost scared to talk about it publicly.

ReGenUC's insight:

Jeff Kennett has added this rather unhelpful article to what appears to be an escalating pattern of overblown fentanyl coverage: http://sco.lt/5nPzF3. He doesn't appear to have any actual evidence of fentanyl being present within local heroin supplies, but delivers a series of warnings, calls for stigmatising ad campaigns and increased border protection. Again, the risks associated with fentanyl are very real, but they're not an issue here like they are in Canada and the US. This may change in the future, but let's avoid crying wolf, shall we? Thanks to VAADA for making the text of this article available.

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Pilbara facing tougher booze restrictions (WA)

Pilbara facing tougher booze restrictions (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Hard-drinking Pilbara mining towns could be hit with tougher liquor restrictions under a controversial police plan to reduce alcohol-related violence.

ReGenUC's insight:

Proposed restrictions include a ban on takeaway sales on Sundays and a 33% reduction in overall trading hours.

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Party over for SA underage drinkers

The party is over for underage drinkers in South Australia as the state government looks to clamp down on adults supplying booze to minors.
ReGenUC's insight:

The state's new secondary supply laws take effect from Monday.

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Rehab is a lonely place for a gay man like me (UK)

Rehab is a lonely place for a gay man like me (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Too many services assume people are straight. Tailored, more inclusive approaches are critical – and a civil and human right
ReGenUC's insight:

A powerful reminder by Mark Prest of the barriers created by stigma and the need for increased focus on inclusive practice by AOD services, and within recovery communities.

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Call for drug laws devolution to allow 'fix room' (Scotland)

Call for drug laws devolution to allow 'fix room' (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rising numbers of drug-related deaths in Glasgow and increases in HIV infections among users prompted the plan.
ReGenUC's insight:

See coverage of other recent calls for devolution of drug policy to Scottish control as the May Govt's 'war on drugs' platform impedes lifesaving reform: http://sco.lt/5QMy0H

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This drop dead drug that creates 'zombies' tightens its grip (Aus)

This drop dead drug that creates 'zombies' tightens its grip (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT’S a drug so potent that it’s being considered for use in death row executions, and it’s strengthening its grip on Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

Some pretty poor reporting here, taking the overblown perception of the current threat level in The Age's recent coverage of coronial findings from 2015 (http://sco.lt/8oZPrF) and wrapping it up in stigmatising language of 'zombies'. As we said previously, while there is evidence of importation of fentanyl into Australia (from police and customs seizures), there is little recent indication that illicit fentanyl is present within street drug markets. The consensus opinion at the recent APSAD conference was that, what fentanyl was being used in Australia was from diverted patches, not imported powder. The use of fentanyl extracted from patches appears to be geographically based, not a national issue, relying on local access. However, the overdose risk is very real and it probably is a question of 'when, not if' imports will become more prevalent. Getting naloxone into as many hands as possible will be a key strategy for ensuring that people are able to save lives when it does. And stop calling people zombies. It's not helpful.

See also this unhelpful contribution from former Premier (and head of the Andrews Govt's MSIC Expert Panel) Jeff Kennett: http://sco.lt/8egzwH.  

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One-third of Australian cancer deaths are potentially preventable, study says

One-third of Australian cancer deaths are potentially preventable, study says | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tobacco was identified as the modifiable factor with the greatest room for improvement, accounting for 23 per cent of all cancer deaths.
ReGenUC's insight:

In spite of the significant progress in reducing tobacco related harm, these findings show we still have a long way to go. In second place were dietary factors, which were responsible for 5% of cancer deaths.

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Brain scans may reveal most effective anti-drug messages (USA)

What if you could look into the brains of potential drug abusers and see what messages would be most likely to persuade them to 'just say no?' That's the ultimate goal of researchers whose new study scanned the brains of people while they watched anti-drug public service announcements.
ReGenUC's insight:

...or you could just provide credible, evidence based information to help people make informed decisions.

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