Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Drugs 'could eradicate Hepatitis C' (EU)

Doctors from around Europe say governments and drug companies should work to ensure all patients can access the latest treatments for Hepatitis C.
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Anvith Deeconda's curator insight, December 10, 2014 11:55 PM

This article looks to the whole other side of the spectrum of drugs, as these are used to treat major diseases. Scientific discoveries have shown how drugs can be used to practically, cure a disease alltogether. 

Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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We need to talk about drugs in a radically different way (ACT)

We need to talk about drugs in a radically different way (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The tragic deaths of two young people as a result of suspected drug overdoses at the Defqon.1 music festival has again put a spotlight on our approach to drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

ATODA's Carrie Fowlie and Rev Simon Hansford from the Uniting Church in NSW & ACT call for change in public debate about illicit drug use and policy and plug the upcoming 'Canberra Drug Policy Series' of talks (hosted by ATODA, Uniting NSW ACT & the ANU School of Sociology), featuring Johann Hari. More information about the series is available here: https://www.atoda.org.au/tickets-available-now-for-the-2018-canberra-drug-policy-series19-september-event-at-the-canberra-theatre-centre/. You can see more about the Uniting NSW ACT campaign for drug policy reform here: https://nswact.uca.org.au/social-justice/the-social-justice-forum/drug-law-reform-campaign

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'Pill testing could have saved my son': Mum's plea to NSW government

'Pill testing could have saved my son': Mum's plea to NSW government | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Adrianna Buccianti has relived the pain of losing her son - and the frustration over pill testing - after the drug-related deaths of two people o
ReGenUC's insight:

Adriana Buccianti adds her voice to the calls for the NSW Govt to reconsider its opposition to evidence based harm reduction measures to prevent future overdose deaths.

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People my age shouldn't be dying at music festivals. Pill-testing saves lives (Aus)

People my age shouldn't be dying at music festivals. Pill-testing saves lives (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
I go to live music events regularly, and I was part of Australia’s first legally-sanctioned pill-testing trial. I’ve seen that it works
ReGenUC's insight:

Noffs Foundation's Shelley Smith highlights the urgent need for change.

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Pill testing will help tackle drug issue, not prohibition (NSW)

Pill testing will help tackle drug issue, not prohibition (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It is time that we accept that prohibition doesn't work ("Premier vows to shut down festival after overdoses", September 17).
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's SMH letters to the editor call for Premier Berejiklian to reconsider her Govt's response to festival overdose deaths.

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New Heroin User Numbers Are Dropping Amid A Fatal Overdose Epidemic (USA)

New Heroin User Numbers Are Dropping Amid A Fatal Overdose Epidemic (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Around 70,000 people died of drug overdoses last year in the US. A federal drug use survey suggests that might be discouraging people from trying heroin.
ReGenUC's insight:

SAMHSA data shows apparent easing of the US opioid crisis, with a range of factors likely to be contributing, including increased engagement with treatment services and public awareness of the risks associated with fentanyl in illicit drug markets. What the data also shows is that, while heroin use may be declining, the use of other drugs (including methamphetamine) is increasing. It's another reminder that, without addressing the underlying factors contributing to demand for illicit drugs, people will simply shift from one drug to another in response to law enforcement crackdowns, limited supply or cost.

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Alcohol-free months are all the rage – but will a sober October lead to long-term health benefits? (UK)

Alcohol-free months are all the rage – but will a sober October lead to long-term health benefits? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dry January is already popular, and people are being encouraged to take a break from alcohol next month, too. Does this make a big difference, or should we be finding new ways to drink less?
ReGenUC's insight:

Amy Fleming considers the outcomes of abstinence-month campaigns on drinking behaviour, highlighting the need for follow-up action to support sustainable benefits. 

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Man, 23, who died from a suspected drug overdose at Defqon. 1 posted articles worrying about police sniffer dogs at the music festival just weeks before the tragic event (NSW)

Man, 23, who died from a suspected drug overdose at Defqon. 1 posted articles worrying about police sniffer dogs at the music festival just weeks before the tragic event (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Joseph Pham, from Edensor Park, was one of four festival-goers who collapsed at Defqon. 1 music festival in Penrith, in Sydney's west, on Saturday night.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's not much new information here, but this article does indicate that Mr Pham did have some level of understanding of the risks involved, as well as the limited effectiveness of drug detection dogs. The article also notes that 1/5 people searched by police at the event were found in possession of illicit drugs.

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Flakka the new 'Zombie Drug' taking over Australia

Flakka the new 'Zombie Drug' taking over Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alpha-PVP – known on the street as flakka – pronounced Flack-er – has been added to the poisons list in Australia. According to the TGA, Flakka has “significant stimulant and psychoactive effects … [and] human use has resulted in death.” According to the NZ Drug Foundation, flakka can be smoked, inhaled, injected or swallowed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Terrible reporting here from WHO magazine. This is a complete beat up, with the usual screaming headline and no substance to support it. The fact that it doesn't cite a single Australian tells you the extent of the 'research' done for this article. Clickbait101.

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Doctors urged to quiz pregnant women about drinking habits (Aus)

Doctors urged to quiz pregnant women about drinking habits (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Up to five per cent of the Australian population are believed to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the benefits of universal screening for alcohol by GPs and other health services.

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New Labor bill would make using and growing cannabis legal in Canberra

New Labor bill would make using and growing cannabis legal in Canberra | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The private members bill would remove cannabis possession of less than than 50g by an adult as an offence and therefore legalise it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Backbencher Michael Pettersson to introduce bill to legalise possession of less than 50g of cannabis.

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WA meth helpline calls 'left unanswered' as funding cut

WA meth helpline calls 'left unanswered' as funding cut | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nearly a quarter of all calls made to the state's meth helpline were left unanswered in the year 2016-2017, the state opposition has claimed.
ReGenUC's insight:

Funding cuts lead to reductions in operator shifts. More info about the help line here: https://www.mhc.wa.gov.au/methhelpline

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Middle-class 'consume more drugs and alcohol' than poorest (UK)

Middle-class 'consume more drugs and alcohol' than poorest (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UK report finds 14.2 million living in poverty more likely to smoke and have disabilities
ReGenUC's insight:

New report provides more evidence to challenge the usual stereotypes about class and problematic AOD use, also highlights impacts of the social determinants of health.

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New liquor control laws give parents extra responsibilities in bid to curb underage drinking (Vic)

YOUNG people will no longer be able to have a drink at a licensed premises when dining with their parents, with new underage drinking laws also set to change parents’ responsibilities at home.

ReGenUC's insight:

Changes to Victoria's Liquor Control Reform Act also mean parents will be required to monitor all alcohol consumption by minors at parties and other events held in their home. Thanks to VAADA for making the text of this article available.

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Doctors body calls for pill testing trial (Aus)

Doctors body calls for pill testing trial (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The peak body for Australian doctors has called for clinical trials on pill testing after two people died of suspected overdoses at a Sydney music festival.
ReGenUC's insight:

AMA president Tony Bartone calls for pill testing trials to prevent future overdose deaths.

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Defqon.1 deaths: sniffer dogs don't deter revellers from drug use, researchers find (MSW)

Defqon.1 deaths: sniffer dogs don't deter revellers from drug use, researchers find (MSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Survey finds those at music festivals more likely to conceal or consume drugs when faced by police dogs
ReGenUC's insight:

Research by Jodie Grigg, Monica Barratt and Simon Lenton highlights the ineffectiveness of drug detection dogs in preventing use (and the role they play in increasing potential harm). Good to see some reporting that shows a reporter (in this case Luke Henriques-Gomes) doing some of their own research, here citing a range of expert opinion. 

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Festival drug deaths make the case for pill testing (ACT)

Festival drug deaths make the case for pill testing (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The deaths of a 23-year-old Sydney man and a 21-year-old Melbourne at Sydney's Defqon.1 festival on Saturday were both tragic and possibly avoidable.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's Canberra Times editorial highlights the increased risks associated with Premier Berejiklian's stated intention to ban legal events and calls for the introduction of evidence based harm reduction measures, such as pill testing.

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Question mark hovers over 'tragic' music festival deaths (NSW)

Question mark hovers over 'tragic' music festival deaths (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"These are healthy young people and these are lives that should never be lost." 
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Alex Wodak and Will Tregoning on the need for better collection (and reporting) of data on drug-related deaths at festivals, and for an evidence based policy response.

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To avoid overdoses, some test their heroin before taking it (USA)

The newest tool in the fight against opioid overdoses is an inexpensive test strip that can help heroin users detect a potentially deadly contaminant in their drugs. Sales of fentanyl test strips have exploded as a growing number of overdose-prevention programs hand them out to peopl
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the small, but important, steps towards public acceptance of harm reduction in the US.

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Multiple deaths in Vietnam electronic music festival concert overdoses

Multiple deaths in Vietnam electronic music festival concert overdoses | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police have yet to establish the total number of overdoses, nor the drug responsible.
ReGenUC's insight:

Not much information here, but another example of the need for practical harm reduction services to prevent such incidents.

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'It's saving lives': community rallies to support Melbourne's drug-injecting room

'It's saving lives': community rallies to support Melbourne's drug-injecting room | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
With 140 people treated for overdoses in three months, the room has been hailed a success. But a change of government could see the trial scuppered in an instant
ReGenUC's insight:

Luke Henriques-Gomes talks to Nico Clark, RVSDS' Judy Ryan and other local residents about the impacts of the MSIR on the North Richmond community.

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'Absolutely tragic': Premier vows to shut festival down after two overdose deaths (NSW)

'Absolutely tragic': Premier vows to shut festival down after two overdose deaths (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Festival organisers say they are "disappointed" with the number of drug-related incidents at Saturday night's event.
ReGenUC's insight:

We'd suggest the Premier seeks out some informed advice before she heads too far down this path. To some extent, a kneejerk political response is expected after this sort of event, but banning a single festival to prevent overdose deaths would be about as effective as banning one brand of car to reduce the road toll. It's an obvious point to make, but onsite drug checking services could have helped identify potentially dangerous substances being trafficked at the venue before people started experiencing negative effects. The current resistance to drug checking means that these substances will only be identified during autopsies.

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Rising smoking rates prompt government action (SA)

Rising smoking rates prompt government action (SA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The smoking rate in South Australia has defied national trends to jump, prompting the government to loo
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt and Cancer Council reveal the state's smoking rate has risen 1.6 percent from last year, to 16.5 percent of people aged 15 years and older. Govt plans to introduce new smoking laws next year.

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Why we need to stop sharing 'wine mum' memes (Aus)

Why we need to stop sharing 'wine mum' memes (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

I want to have a whine about wine.

Not so much about wine itself. I’m quite fond of it and I don’t want to take it away from anyone else - promise!

My gripe is with the incessant marketing of wine to women, especially mothers.

ReGenUC's insight:

Caitlin Fitzsimmons on the growth in problematic drinking by middle class women, the impacts of normalising overconsumption, and alcohol industry efforts to target this group.

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The question MPs should ask about pill testing in the wake of deaths at Defcon.1 (NSW)

The question MPs should ask about pill testing in the wake of deaths at Defcon.1 (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It is time that ministers approached decisions about pill testing as if they were attempting to protect their own children.
ReGenUC's insight:

Today's opinion piece by Alex Wodak in response to the Premier (& NSW Police) statements on the Defqon.1 overdoses. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/4xCW4P

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Affordable vaping for smokers in poor countries branded 'a human rights issue' 

Affordable vaping for smokers in poor countries branded 'a human rights issue'  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Academics call for reduction in cost of e-cigarettes to tackle harmful effects of smoking in the developing world
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Helen Redmond on the importance of global access to harm reduction resources.

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