Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Decriminalising cannabis hot topic of debate at Hobart forum

Decriminalising cannabis hot topic of debate at Hobart forum | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE pros and cons of decriminalising cannabis will be discussed by a panel of experts in Hobart tomorrow.
ReGenUC's insight:

We'll be presenting on our approach to web-based treatment and advocacy at the ATDC conference on Wednesday: http://www.atdc.org.au/conference2014/ATDC-2014-Conf-Prov-Prog.pdf

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Fentanyl crisis: Figures show 1,800% rise in overdose deaths from potent killer (Aus)

Fentanyl crisis: Figures show 1,800% rise in overdose deaths from potent killer (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Deaths from the potent prescription drug fentanyl are rapidly increasing in Australia, with a senior doctor calling the trend a national emergency.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing national coronial data. At this stage, it appears that the great majority of fentanyl used in Australia is sourced from diverted pharmaceuticals, not imported illicits. The article includes a link to the RACGP's new opioid prescribing guidelines.

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Find your Sober Bob during holiday season (NT)

Find your Sober Bob during holiday season (NT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Over the course of the silly season NT Police expect to breath test 1000 people a day across the Territory
ReGenUC's insight:

You can learn more about the campaign here: https://dipl.nt.gov.au/initiatives/whos-your-sober-bob

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In a Canadian first, Yukon rolls out cancer warning labels on alcohol

In a Canadian first, Yukon rolls out cancer warning labels on alcohol | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Yukon became the first jurisdiction in Canada this week to begin adding warning labels on bottles of wine, beer and liquor, to advise consumers about safe consumption levels and to remind drinkers that alcohol can cause cancer.
ReGenUC's insight:

See this week's coverage of calls from the WA Govt to introduce similar measures in Australia: http://sco.lt/88BIWX

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'Rule of law' for Philippine drug war

'Rule of law' for Philippine drug war | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Aaron Aquino says that since he took charge last month, only one suspect died in 1,341 operations.
ReGenUC's insight:

Rule of law would be a good start. The head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency acknowledges human rights abuses by police, promises greater transparency in PDEA operations.

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Different types of alcoholic drinks are linked to different emotions in drinkers (Qld)

Different types of alcoholic drinks are linked to different emotions in drinkers (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DOES gin make you angry or whisky maudlin? Booze legends now have scientific backing with new research showing different types of alcoholic drinks are linked to emotions — spirits will make you aggressive but with red wine and beer you will be chilled out.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing a new BMJ study of 30,000 people's feelings associated with different alcohol products, and QNADA's Rebecca McBean on what we know about the various factors that influence how people experience alcohol consumption. Time to do a quick 'Drug Triangle'? You can see the BMJ article here: http://sco.lt/7urUaf

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No smoking under 21? Age change backed by Queenslanders

No smoking under 21? Age change backed by Queenslanders | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MORE than 75 per cent of Queenslanders say they support a push to increase the age of purchase for cigarettes from 18 to 21 as part of a plan to reduce tobacco-related deaths.
ReGenUC's insight:

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest's latest entry to Australian drug policy debate.

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Millions of Patients Face Pain and Withdrawal as Opioid Prescriptions Plummet (USA)

Millions of Patients Face Pain and Withdrawal as Opioid Prescriptions Plummet (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Six months after surgery to repair a damaged urinary tract in 1998, computer technician Doug Hale woke one morning with excruciating, burning pain. Hale’s suffering persisted for years, despite all sorts of treatments. Finally, in 2006, he was prescribed strong doses of opioids.

ReGenUC's insight:

A reminder of the complexity of the issue and the consequences on blocking the use of opioids for pain relief. See yesterday's related post on the DEA's temporary ruling that fentanyl (used in anaesthesia and pain management) has no medical use: http://sco.lt/8WXYJt, or today's story on the continued growth in Canadian opioid prescribing: http://sco.lt/5qLsUz.  

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Housing part of opioid crisis solution (Canada)

Housing part of opioid crisis solution (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Adequate, affordable housing — not a misguided, unscientific and subjective approach to drug criminalization — is the cornerstone of preventing and overcoming drug addiction. That’s the message . . .
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Johann Hari on the importance of housing stability to recovery.

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Minimum alcohol pricing to start in May (Scotland)

Minimum alcohol pricing to start in May (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The move will raise the cost of the strongest, cheapest alcohol by setting a minimum price of 50p-per-unit.
ReGenUC's insight:

See last week's related coverage of the Supreme Court decision (http://sco.lt/8mDP9d) and its implications for UK alcohol policy: http://sco.lt/51uV0bhttp://sco.lt/7C6Mkb

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NSW cop unit targets regional ice scourge

NSW cop unit targets regional ice scourge | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new police unit will target ice dealers in regional NSW as Commissioner Mick Fuller continues a "re-engineering" of the state's police force.
ReGenUC's insight:

We know that regional and rural communities are disproportionately affected by the impacts of methamphetmine use, but they need more than extra policing to solve the problem. They need more accessible treatment options and a holistic approach to address the various factors that are driving demand. Drug use doesn't occur in a vacuum. Without addressing the causes of drug use within communities, there is small likelihood that there will be any sustainable change.

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Fresh lockout law review slammed as a 'fait accompli' (NSW)

Fresh lockout law review slammed as a 'fait accompli' (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Conditions imposed on venues in Newcastle CBD are being reviewed after a request from the Australian Hotels Association
ReGenUC's insight:

It will be interesting to see just how big the alcohol industry's influence is over the outcome of this inquiry and any subsequent policy changes in Newcastle.

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White House says true cost of opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn (USA)

White House says true cost of opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New study puts cost at more than six times previous estimate, factoring in illicit opiods like heroin as well as prescription drugs
ReGenUC's insight:

The new estimate goes beyond the usual economic measures (e.g. healthcare and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity) to incorporate illicit opioids and the impacts of overdose deaths. See today's related post on economic arguments for increased use of methadone in the US: http://sco.lt/9DtELB

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Substituting methadone for opioids could save billions (USA)

Policymakers and insurers have been pushing people addicted to opioids into abstinence-based detox programs, but a new study concludes that methadone and similar drug-maintenance treatments save lives and money.

ReGenUC's insight:

Could economic arguments help overcome cultural and institutional resistance to the use of pharmacotherapies in the US? See today's related coverage of a new White House estimate of the cost of America's opioid crisis in 2015 ($504 bn): http://sco.lt/65S0Ez

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The hotline that will fast track access to medicinal cannabis for NSW patients

The hotline that will fast track access to medicinal cannabis for NSW patients | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new hotline is expected to fast track access to medicinal cannabis for palliative care patients in NSW.
ReGenUC's insight:

NSW Govt invests $6 million in prescriber support line at Hunter New England Health and the new Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence.

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Vic prison officers don't get drug tests

Vic prison officers don't get drug tests | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Victoria's lowly-paid prison officers aren't drug tested even if they're involved in violent or critical incidents at work, an anti-corruption report has warned.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the continued creep of workplace drug testing, where it's absence is seen as a failing in policy. See today's related post on the ineffectiveness of testing in EU schools: http://sco.lt/7bQqWX

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B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques (Canada)

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
VANCOUVER — The British Columbia government has agreed to pay back more than $5.5 million in fees deducted from the monthly social assistance cheques of methadone patients, a document filed in B.C. Supreme Court says.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is a positive move. Dispensing fees are a significant access barrier to pharmacotherapy for people who are already experiencing high levels of social and economic disadvantage.

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Guerrilla public health (UK)

Guerrilla public health (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
From safe-use guides to safe places to exchange needles, Harry Shapiro reflects on drug harm reduction in the UK from the 1980s on.
ReGenUC's insight:

DrugWise's Harry Shapiro looks back at the emergence of UK harm reduction in the 80s and the state of the country's current drug policy.

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One Nation to scrap 'nanny state' booze laws (Qld)

One Nation to scrap 'nanny state' booze laws (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pauline Hanson has used a visit to a rum distillery to say One Nation will scrap Labor's "nanny state" law on the sale of pre-mixed drinks.
ReGenUC's insight:

Senator Hanson chases the #BundyOn vote.

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The media has a problem with alcoholism – and it's stopping people getting help (UK)

The media has a problem with alcoholism – and it's stopping people getting help (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcoholism as a term has long expired, so why do common narratives around alcohol problems still rely on it so much?
ReGenUC's insight:

James Morris considers the reasons behind the lack of consistent, non-stigmatising language to describe alcohol dependence and the media's role in entrenching public misunderstanding of the issue and the people affected by it.

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Doctors are writing more opioid prescriptions despite overdose crisis, study says (Canada)

Doctors are writing more opioid prescriptions despite overdose crisis, study says (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Researchers say the overprescription of opioids has contributed to the overdose crisis in Canada.


ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post on the impacts of drops in US opioid prescribing on people experiencing chronic pain: http://sco.lt/8odwhN

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New legislation published today to bring faster response to new drugs (EU)

Europe’s ability to rapidly respond to public health and security threats caused by new psychoactive substances (NPS) will be significantly strengthened, thanks to new legislation published today by the European Union.

ReGenUC's insight:

EMCDDA media release refers to a stronger Early Warning System and faster risk-assessment process for emerging NPS.

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Turnbull government postpones controversial drug trial for welfare recipients (Aus)

Turnbull government postpones controversial drug trial for welfare recipients (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A controversial trial of drug tests for welfare recipients is likely to be postponed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see that the Govt has finally shelved this odious measure. Here's what we had to say about it in May: http://sco.lt/74AQVt

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Schoolies, booze and the battle to get teens addicted to drink (Aus)

Schoolies, booze and the battle to get teens addicted to drink (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Our children's rites of passage don't need to involve alcohol.
ReGenUC's insight:

Toni Hassan considers the evidence of a general decline in young people's alcohol consumption and cites FARE's Michael Thorn on the efforts of Big Alcohol to reverse that trend.

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Mid-strength beer only at new Optus Stadium, unless you're in a corporate box (WA)

Mid-strength beer only at new Optus Stadium, unless you're in a corporate box (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Corporate box attendees at Optus Stadium will be able to purchase full-strength beer while general public areas will be restricted to mid-strength after
ReGenUC's insight:

It's a measure of how deeply ingrained alcohol is within our sporting and corporate cultures that the prospect of restricting the alcohol content in corporate box catering is seen as a potential threat to stadium revenue.

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DEA puts synthetic opioid fentanyl on par with heroin and meth (USA)

DEA puts synthetic opioid fentanyl on par with heroin and meth (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The agency said the temporary order is needed to “avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.”
ReGenUC's insight:

The order appears to prevent the medical use of fentanyl, but will have no impact on the availability of imported illicit fentanyl, which is reportedly the main source in the US and Canada.

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