Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Tweets, rhetoric and the language of the unheard: a social researcher’s journey from atheist to apostle (Vic)

“Some days this feels like speed dating for activists…” Kathy Landvogt, Manager of Social Policy Research at Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service, is a true convert to Twitter...
ReGenUC's insight:

It's a few months old, but this piece by GSYFS' Kathy Landvogt certainly has strong similarities with our own experiences with Twitter.  You can see our recent APSAD advocacy presentation here: http://www.slideshare.net/ReGenUC/social-media-aod-advocacy-2013-apsad-conference. We're still working through some technical issues with the video to accompany the final three slides on tips for SM use by AOD services. Hopefully, it will be available soon.

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ReGenUC's curator insight, December 8, 2013 6:33 PM

It's a few months old, but this piece by GSYFS' Kathy Landvogt certainly has strong similarities with our own experiences with Twitter.  You can see our recent APSAD advocacy presentation here: http://www.slideshare.net/ReGenUC/social-media-aod-advocacy-2013-apsad-conference. We're still working through some technical issues with the video to accompany the final three slides on tips for SM use by AOD services. Hopefully, it will be available soon

Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Enpsychedelia - audio (Vic)

Enpsychedelia - audio (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Harm reduction and drug law reform activism, a counter voice to current drug narratives. Breathing reality into the myths, fabrications and distortions that exist around drugs. News, academia, and culture.

ReGenUC's insight:

Hear our Paul Aiken discussing recent misleading media coverage on fentanyl and the year's drug policy highlights (together with RVSDS's Judy Ryan, Living Positive Victoria's Joel Murray and Unharm's Will Tregoning) on yesterday's episode of Enpsychedelia. Paul comes in around 39 min into the broadcast.

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Deadly drug reaches NZ, spurs calls for legal recreational testing

Deadly drug reaches NZ, spurs calls for legal recreational testing | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Drug Foundation says a law change is needed so a community group can legally test drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

The reach of recent misleading Victorian fentanyl reporting expands to NZ, with this article citing Aus coverage (http://sco.lt/5nPzF3 , http://sco.lt/8egzwH) as evidence of its presence. The introduction of local drug checking services would help provide evidence if/when fentanyl does appear in illicit drug markets.

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Liquor licensing changes allows hairdressers and gift stores to serve customers alcohol in-store (SA)

Liquor licensing changes allows hairdressers and gift stores to serve customers alcohol in-store (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HAIRDRESSERS and jewellers can now serve their clients a glass of sparkling wine or a beer without paying for a liquor licence, under relaxed liquor laws.
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt moves to remove administrative barriers for 'low risk' businesses (including retirement villages, gift stores and cruise ships) to serve alcohol.

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Mexico strengthens military's role in drug war, outraging critics

Mexico strengthens military's role in drug war, outraging critics | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Mexico's Congress on Friday passed a law that strengthens the military's role in fighting organized crime, defying an outcry from human rights groups, polic
ReGenUC's insight:

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug war since 2006. More than 30,000 have disappeared. Increasing the militarisation of the conflict is unlikely to improve the situation.

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Scientist: We’ll stop drinking alcohol within ‘a generation’ after swapping it for a synthetic alternative (UK)

Scientist: We’ll stop drinking alcohol within ‘a generation’ after swapping it for a synthetic alternative (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A TOP scientist said synthetic alcohol called alcosynth will replace real alcohol in just 10 or 20 years.
ReGenUC's insight:

David Nutt talks up the future of alcosynth (and e-cigarettes), mainstreaming harm reduction. 

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Medical marijuana compound is harmless and should be available, WHO says

Medical marijuana compound is harmless and should be available, WHO says | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A compound derived from marijuana has health benefits and should not be subject to government restrictions, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. “Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions and that it “is not likely to be abused or create dependence as for other cannabinoids,” it added. 
ReGenUC's insight:

You can see the WHO report on CBD here: http://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf

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More US teens are vaping than smoking cigarettes, study finds

More US teens are vaping than smoking cigarettes, study finds | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nationally representative study shows more high schoolers have tried e-cigarettes, raising fears they could be the next generation’s substance of choice
ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds 35% tried vaping in their final year of high school, while 28% tried cigarettes.

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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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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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Pill testing in the community? (ACT)

Pill testing in the community? (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The debate about pill testing needs to expand beyond just music festivals, says the ACT’s Greens leader – and community pharmacy could be one place to run such programs.

ReGenUC's insight:

The introduction of such a scheme will help save lives now and help provide an early identification if/when illicit fentanyl arrives in local drug markets.  See today's related coverage of NZ calls for drug checking: http://sco.lt/5DHRwX

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New WA breath-testing laws to be tougher on drink-drivers

New WA breath-testing laws to be tougher on drink-drivers | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A LOOPHOLE that lets drink-drivers keep their licences will be closed as the State Government prepares to introduce “What You Blow is What You Go” laws next year.
ReGenUC's insight:

WA has been the only state to use a 'back-calculation' process for determining drivers' BAC.  

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Sentenced to 30 Years for Selling Drugs to a Fellow Addict - video (USA)

Sentenced to 30 Years for Selling Drugs to a Fellow Addict - video (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Police ​are increasingly investigating opioid overdoses as homicides and prosecuting addicts who procure drugs for others. Heroin user Fred Rebmann was recently sentenced to 30 years in federal prison

ReGenUC's insight:

(14 min video) Police acknowledge that they are only targetting low-level dealers with this move. Their desperation to do something to reduce overdose deaths is understandable, but we'd suggest targetting vulnerable friends and family members for prosecution is not an effective approach. How about addressing the causes of opioid dependence, not the symptoms?

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In Opioid Battle, Cherokee Want Their Day in Tribal Court (USA)

In Opioid Battle, Cherokee Want Their Day in Tribal Court (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Decimated by addiction, its heritage at risk, the Cherokee Nation is trying to sue pharmacies and distributors. But it may be blocked from doing so.
ReGenUC's insight:

As well as Big Pharma's attempts to prevent litigation by a Native American tribe, the article also highlights the importance of culture in enabling effective treatment and recovery.

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Opioid use rising in regional Australia, wastewater tests show

Opioid use rising in regional Australia, wastewater tests show | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Usage rates ‘substantially higher’ than in capitals, report finds, building on concerns of a looming US-style crisis
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the new wastewater data. See some of yesterday's coverage (http://sco.lt/5HpjZx, http://sco.lt/8XepAv) or the full report:  http://sco.lt/64w425

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Alcohol taxes are too low, have not kept up with inflation (USA)

State alcohol excise taxes are typically only a few cents per drink and have not kept pace with inflation, according to a new study. Raising those taxes represents an opportunity for states to increase revenues while simultaneously improving public health outcomes and costs related to excessive alcohol consumption.

ReGenUC's insight:

US study highlights the need for alcohol tax reform.

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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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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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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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