Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Myanmar opium production declines: UN

OPIUM production in Myanmar has fallen for the first time in nearly a decade.
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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
Topics being covered in the media that are of interest to us
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Australians are self-medicating with cannabis 

Australians are self-medicating with cannabis  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A survey of 1,744 conducted by the University of Sydney looked at the the use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons within the past 12 months.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds Australians are self-medicating with cannabis to help with pain, mental health, sleep and neurological conditions.

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Durham PCC calls for 'radical change' on drugs policy (UK)

Durham PCC calls for 'radical change' on drugs policy (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ron Hogg says decriminalising illegal drugs for personal use would save lives and reduce crime.
ReGenUC's insight:

Durham Police & Crime Commissioner calls for decriminalisation of personal possession to reduce potential harm within the community. See today's related post on research highlighting the inconsistency (& ineffectiveness) of much cannabis policing in the UK: http://sco.lt/6oHrRx

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2017 was the worst year ever for drug overdose deaths in America

2017 was the worst year ever for drug overdose deaths in America | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nearly 200 people a day died of drug overdoses in 2017, based on preliminary federal data.
ReGenUC's insight:

German R Lopez considers the new CDC overdose data, along with potential evidence based policy responses such as increasing the accessibility of treatment services, pharmacotherapies and harm reduction programs.  See yesterday's related coverage: http://sco.lt/5ZZkTx

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Nearly 100 people overdose on synthetic marijuana in one US park

Nearly 100 people overdose on synthetic marijuana in one US park | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

As Fire Chief John Alston Jr. spoke to reporters in New Haven, Connecticut, about a spate of drug overdoses on Wednesday, he heard shouting coming from behind him.

ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder of the potential risks associated with synthetic cannabis products (which, increasingly, have little in common with cannabis). Those affected experienced symptoms of increased heart rates, decreased respiratory rates, loss of consciousness and 'a lot of vomiting'. 

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Alcohol industry resists prioritising health over profits, research finds (Aus)

Alcohol industry resists prioritising health over profits, research finds (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Australian alcohol industry fails to acknowledge the substantial burden of disease caused by their products and resists calls for stronger regulation to reduce harm, new research led by Curtin University has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study by Julia Stafford & Simone Pettigrew reviews content of alcohol industry trade publications and identifies key three themes:  legitimisation of alcohol as an important social and economic product, the portrayal of the industry as trustworthy and benign, and the strategic embedding of alcohol in everyday life.

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Johns Hopkins experts create opioid prescribing guidelines for 20 common surgical procedures (USA)

Johns Hopkins experts create opioid prescribing guidelines for 20 common surgical procedures (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A Johns Hopkins expert panel of health care providers and patients have announced what is, to their knowledge, the nation's first set of operation-specific opioid prescribing guidelines. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Guidelines are based on the premise that opioid prescribing limits should be based on the operation performed rather than a blanket approach. The ranges offered for each of 20 common operations generally call for reductions from the current rates of opioid prescription, and the researchers say that patients themselves favor using less of the drugs than physicians often prescribe.

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Medicaid expansion states see rise in coverage for low income adults with substance use disorders (USA)

Medicaid expansion states see rise in coverage for low income adults with substance use disorders (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The percentage of low-income Americans with substance use disorders who were uninsured declined more sharply in states that chose to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act versus states that did not, according to a new study at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The results are published online in the journal Health Affairs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Good to see some of the access barriers to US AOD treatment being lowered.

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Nebraska execution: Carey Dean Moore becomes first inmate on death row killed using fentanyl

Nebraska execution: Carey Dean Moore becomes first inmate on death row killed using fentanyl | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Nebraska has become the first US state to use the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl in a lethal injection after a federal three-judge panel denied a drug company’s request to stop the execution over concerns the state had acquired the drug illegally.
ReGenUC's insight:

As US states seek new options for executing people (in response to sustained shortages of the usual drug combinations), pharmaceutical companies are resisting moves for their products to be used, fearing brand damage. See previous coverage: http://sco.lt/73pbbF, http://sco.lt/6fftXF

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Mixing alcohol and energy drinks ‘may impair judgment and cause risky behaviour’ (UK/Brazil)

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks ‘may impair judgment and cause risky behaviour’ (UK/Brazil) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could worsen the negative effects of binge-drinking, according to new research.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study of effects of taurine and alcohol (on zebra fish) suggest link to loss of social communication and ability to feel fear.

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Age of Onset of Bipolar Disorder Linked With Substance Use Disorders (Aus)

Age of Onset of Bipolar Disorder Linked With Substance Use Disorders (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Older adults with bipolar disorder may benefit from a detailed assessment of the use of substances.
ReGenUC's insight:

WA cohort data shows increased levels of SUD amongst men whose bipolar disorder developed before age 60.

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Substance abuse treatment relies on good brain function, which many users don't have (Aus)

Substance abuse treatment relies on good brain function, which many users don't have (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new study has found more than half of those in drug treatment have cognitive impairments – meaning treatment won't work for them.
ReGenUC's insight:

Julaine Allan highlights the need for treatment providers to consider the impacts of cognitive impairment on the people who use their services and how those services should be delivered.

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Medical cannabis - the Australian experience

Medical cannabis - the Australian experience | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Watching from the other side of the world as the stories of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell unfold has brought a sense of déjà vu to many Australians. It is like an echo of recent events in Australia, which was itself an echo of events in the USA. The story goes something like this: a … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

Rhys Cohen considers what lessons the UK (& other jurisdictions moving towards legalisation of medicinal cannabis) can learn from our approach. 

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Three major anti-smoking groups are joining forces to fight Big Tobacco (USA)

Three major anti-smoking groups are joining forces to fight Big Tobacco (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Three of the globe’s most ardent anti-tobacco groups are joining forces, part of new effort to create a one-stop shop  to monitor the tobacco industry, its lobbying tactics, and its marketing strategies.

ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg's funding for Stopping Tobacco Organizations Products (STOP)

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Naloxone addresses Bendigo’s spike in heroin overdose deaths

Naloxone addresses Bendigo’s spike in heroin overdose deaths | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Bendigo had highest rate of heroin overdose deaths in regional Victoria in 2017.
ReGenUC's insight:

In the lead-up to International Overdose Awareness Day, some local coverage of Bendigo Community Health's free naloxone program for those at risk of (or witnessing) opioid overdose

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Policing of cannabis possession is largely accidental – and many officers don’t think it makes a difference (UK)

Policing of cannabis possession is largely accidental – and many officers don’t think it makes a difference (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

With the on-going debate on the legal status of cannabis, Charlie Lloyd, Geoff Page and Sharon Grace from York University discuss the results of their research in North Yorkshire looking at the day-to-day policing of cannabis possession and analysis of the data on drug possession offences. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Study highlights the inconsistency (and ineffectiveness) of much cannabis policing and need for approaches (such as the Drug Diversion programs operating in Victoria and other parts of Australia) that help reduce the potential harms of law enforcement. See today's related coverage of the Durham Police & Crime Commissioner's call for introduction of a decriminalisation policy model: http://sco.lt/5DJ4z3

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It doesn't matter if you think addiction is not a disease (USA)

It doesn't matter if you think addiction is not a disease (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Calling addiction a disease does not eliminate responsibility for the actions of those who are struggling. It allows them to admit their shortcomings and seek treatment without fear of being stigmatized and bullied.
ReGenUC's insight:

We'd suggest that there are some gaps in Seth Blais' argument that framing AOD dependence as a disease reduces the stigmatisation of those affected, but he is absolutely right about the impact of stigma on people's lives and the availability of treatment services.

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Hep C treatment must respect patient needs, says UNSW report

Hep C treatment must respect patient needs, says UNSW report | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A new UNSW Sydney report released today says health care systems must remain relevant to and respectful of people living with hepatitis C if Australia is to meet elimination targets.

ReGenUC's insight:

Centre for Social Research in Health report found that despite tens of thousands of people benefitting from highly effective treatments in recent years, prevention and treatment models must do more to meet the needs and experiences of people living with hepatitis C. 

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Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017 (USA)

Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017 (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Fentanyl is a big culprit, but there are also encouraging signs from states that have prioritized public health campaigns and addiction treatment.
ReGenUC's insight:

Dan Ciccarone cites stigma as the key factor in the slow policy response to this public health crisis, but signs of positive change are emerging, with states introducing public health campaigns and increasing treatment accessibility. See today's related post about Medicaid expansion helping to reduce access barriers for people on low incomes: http://sco.lt/5Zw1RZ

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Big Tobacco poised to enter the vaping market in New Zealand

Big Tobacco poised to enter the vaping market in New Zealand | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Vaping is taking over smoking - but that won't mean the end of Big Tobacco.
ReGenUC's insight:

An extended piece on the engagement of small and big business in the e-cigarette industry and its implications for future drug policy and public health.

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The Number of Women with Opioid Use Disorder at Labor and Delivery Quadrupled from 1999-2014 (USA)

The number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) at labor and delivery more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, according to a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

ReGenUC's insight:

First-ever multi-state analysis of trends reveals significant increases in the 28 states with available data.

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Study reports that e-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection (UK)

Study reports that e-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'E-cigarettes are MORE harmful than first feared, experts warn' reports The Sun.
ReGenUC's insight:

NHS choices considers reporting (and limitations) of a recent study.

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Study sheds light on peer pressure and alcohol consumption (UK)

Study sheds light on peer pressure and alcohol consumption (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pilot study finds four in five people in the UK have been pressured into drinking alcohol. Find out more here.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds that 85 percent of men and women had been encouraged by peers to take a drink – making it the number one influencing factor when it comes to drinking alcohol.

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Smoking and drinking rates plunge, but illicit drug impacts on the rise (Aus)

Smoking and drinking rates plunge, but illicit drug impacts on the rise (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Australians are smoking and drinking less than ever, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).  
However, smoking is still the leading cause of cancer and preventable death in Australia, despite the fact actual rates of smoking have almost halved in the last 25 years. 

ReGenUC's insight:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners responds to new national data. You can see the AIHW report here: http://sco.lt/4oDoUj

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Why Australian prisoners are smoking nicotine-infused tea leaves

Why Australian prisoners are smoking nicotine-infused tea leaves | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The only quitting tool most Australian prisoners have access to is nicotine lozenges. These are being mixed with tea leaves to create a smokable product known as "teabacco".
ReGenUC's insight:

Cheneal Puljevic, Jason Ferris, Ross Coomber & Stuart Kinner provide another example of the limitations of supply reduction.

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The people left behind by Philippines' brutal war on drugs - photo essay

The people left behind by Philippines' brutal war on drugs - photo essay | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, photographer James Whitlow Delano returns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact of a campaign that has now claimed up to 20,000 lives
ReGenUC's insight:

James Whitlow Delano speaks to some of the thousands of families struggling to survive following the killing of a loved one by police or 'vigilantes'.

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