Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Are we in the midst of an ice epidemic? A snapshot of meth use in Australia

Are we in the midst of an ice epidemic? A snapshot of meth use in Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Prime Minister Tony Abbott today launched a taskforce to tackle the growing problem of ice. But while Australia certainly has a problem with ice, it's hardly an epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:

The usual insightful, evidence based approach from Nicole Lee. If only this was the standard by which public discussion of methamphetamine related harm was measured, not the exception.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Australia Pioneered Drug Harm Reduction and Must Continue

Australia Pioneered Drug Harm Reduction and Must Continue | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia has a long history of implementing harm reduction programs. However, it’s high time pill testing became official and needle exchanges were implemented on the inside
ReGenUC's insight:

Paul Gregoire considers Australia's past efforts, current barriers to reform and ways forward for harm reduction.

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Changing attitudes (Vic)

Changing attitudes (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Goulburn Valley Health clinical nurse consultant Chris Biesiekierski believes the community has much to learn when it comes to general understanding and treatment of hepatitis B and C.. Working in the field for seven years, Mrs Biesiekierski has

ReGenUC's insight:

Biesiekierski highlights the need to address stigmatising attitudes (including those of health providers) to improve treatment accessibility.

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A life after addiction (Vic)

A life after addiction (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Lemlei Le Velle was tied up, a knife held to her throat and injected with heroin by her addict boyfriend.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ms Le Velle shares her experience to help promote public discussion of the need for WRAD's proposed resi rehab service in Warrnambool.

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Fewer US teens smoking, doing drugs ... and drinking milk

Fewer US teens smoking, doing drugs ... and drinking milk | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Fewer U.S. teens are smoking, having sex and doing drugs these days. Oh, and they're drinking less milk, too.
ReGenUC's insight:

US survey of high school students provides more evidence of long term patterns of decline in AOD (and milk) consumption. See today's related post on links between regular binge drinking by young women and increased osteoperosis risk: http://sco.lt/66V3iL

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WHO’s Review Of Cannabis May Be The Starting Point For Worldwide Reform

WHO’s Review Of Cannabis May Be The Starting Point For Worldwide Reform | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The World Health Organisation (WHO) decides this week whether to further examine if cannabis should remain on the international list of most restricted substances, signalling a potential change in the international law on cannabis. This would be a welcoming move in the wake of what is happening in Europe, with the Charlotte Caldwell case and … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

Sara Velimirovic considers the potential impacts on global drug policy of rescheduling cannabis under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

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'Not equal before the law': Why regional drug addicts are often sent to jail, not rehab (NSW)

'Not equal before the law': Why regional drug addicts are often sent to jail, not rehab (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A retired judge has backed calls for more drug rehabilitation centres in the bush, warning addicts in regional areas are too often thrown behind bars.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the wider impacts of service shortages in regional areas and need for increased investment by the NSW Govt in improving treatment accessibility.

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Antipsychotics successfully reduced in nursing homes (Aus)

Antipsychotics successfully reduced in nursing homes (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new intervention successfully tested nationally by Australian researchers has found a way to reduce overprescription of antipsychotics in nursing homes.
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice example of changing prescribing practice to improve patients' wellbeing and quality of life.

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Huge rise in number of middle-aged cannabis smokers seeking treatment (UK)

Huge rise in number of middle-aged cannabis smokers seeking treatment (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cannabis users seeking treatment in the UK is rising, especially among women and older smokers. But treatment services are sorely lacking.
ReGenUC's insight:

Ian Hamilton and Mark Monaghan note that the increase is greatest amongst women and suggest that the overall pattern is likely to be a result of Baby Boomers being exposed to more potent strains than they would have used in their youth.

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Pledge to arm Philippine community chiefs sparks 'Wild West' fears

Pledge to arm Philippine community chiefs sparks 'Wild West' fears | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Philippines interior ministry said on Wednesday that it plans to acquire pistols for community leaders willing to fight crime, sparking fears of more lawless bloodshed in the country’s violent crackdown on drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

President Duterte proposes same legal protections for community members committing extrajudicial killings as offered to police and soldiers. In more positive news, the leading Presidential candidate in Mexico is pledging to demilitarise his country's drug war: http://sco.lt/5hL6KP

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Trudeau battles provinces, Senate for right of Canadians to grow cannabis

Trudeau battles provinces, Senate for right of Canadians to grow cannabis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Under the government’s plan to legalize cannabis, Canadians can have up to four plants in their residence
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt rejects Senate amendment to legalisation bill.

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EU cigarette tests hide true harm of smoking, research shows

EU cigarette tests hide true harm of smoking, research shows | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tobacco companies may have been able to downplay the amount of tar and carbon monoxide ingested by smokers in Europe because of a flaw in
ReGenUC's insight:

Dutch study suggests industry may have exploited loophole in EU testing regime. See today's related post on Big Tobacco efforts to undermine global public health measures: http://sco.lt/58hDJR

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US painkiller restriction linked to 'significant' increase in illicit online drug trading

US painkiller restriction linked to 'significant' increase in illicit online drug trading | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The US Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to restrict prescription drugs containing hydrocodone (a popular opioid painkiller) was associated with a 'significant' increase in illicit trading of opioids through online markets, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the unintended impacts of increased restrictions on opioid prescriptions in the US. Seeking to cut supply without making comparable reductions in demand will almost always result in increased illicit markets. Unfortunately, funding treatment and harm reduction services doesn't pack quite the same political punch as announcing a 'crackdown'. See the full study (and accompanying BMJ editorial) here: http://sco.lt/7rFMwL

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ACT set for real-time prescription monitoring from March 2019

ACT set for real-time prescription monitoring from March 2019 | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT will have a real-time prescription monitoring system set up by March 2019, after a lengthy inquest into the death of Paul Fennessy.
ReGenUC's insight:

ACT Legislative Assembly passes bills to enable scheme for Schedule 8 drugs, but not many benzos commonly involved in overdose deaths.

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'Mysterious drug': Two hospitalised after suspected overdose at SEXPO (NSW)

'Mysterious drug': Two hospitalised after suspected overdose at SEXPO (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two men have now been charged over the alleged incident.
ReGenUC's insight:

Police release image of legal high suspected of being responsible for the overdoses, but there's no indication here of what substance may have been involved.

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Why alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle (Aus)

Why alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drinking alcohol before bed disrupts your brain’s sleep cycle — which is why you have vivid dreams an
ReGenUC's insight:

This article is intended to provide general health advice, but is particularly relevant for many of the people who use our services. One of the common short-term benefits reported by participants in our Catalyst non-resi rehab programs is improved sleep, and the impact this has on their wellbeing.

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Syringe exchange program played key role in controlling HIV outbreak (USA)

Syringe exchange program played key role in controlling HIV outbreak (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study by researchers investigating the 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, found that a syringe services program is an important tool to control and prevent HIV outbreaks among people who inject drugs in a nonurban area.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the public health benefits associated with NSPs and other harm reduction approaches.

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Binge drinking could affect the health of teenage girls’ bones, study warns (USA)

Binge drinking could affect the health of teenage girls’ bones, study warns (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Teenage girls who binge drink could affect the health of their bones, a study has found. Those who regularly drink large volumes of alcohol may fail to reach their peak bone mass, according to the research. The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, shows a “potential lifetime consequence” of binge drinking, the authors said.
ReGenUC's insight:

US study highlights increased risk of osteoperosis later in life. See today's related post about long-term declines in young people's consumption of AOD (and milk): http://sco.lt/5p30GP

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Ice possession, use surges in Victoria

A new report shows a 2000 per cent increase in the number of minor drug offences involving ice over the past decade in Victoria.
ReGenUC's insight:

Sentencing Advisory Council data shows methamphetamine has overtaken cannabis as the drug most commonly involved in minor offences. See the SAC media release here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/2000-percent-increase-in-ice-offences-sentenced-over-past-10-years

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NSW Health Department finds not all e-juices are as nicotine free as they claim

NSW Health Department finds not all e-juices are as nicotine free as they claim | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The effectiveness of Australia's vaping laws is being thrown into question with data showing illegal nicotine is making its way into retail stores.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that making something illegal does not prevent its consumption, and the need for change to Australian regulation of vaping products.

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AMA: Remove barriers to opioid-use disorder treatment (USA)

AMA: Remove barriers to opioid-use disorder treatment (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Treating opioid-use disorder as a chronic disease means eliminating stigma and removing barriers to treatment, AMA House of Delegates says.
ReGenUC's insight:

American Medical Association calls for increased access to evidence based treatments, such as pharmacotherapy and CBT-based counselling. See today's related post on new research findings on the role US opioid prescription restrictions played in fuelling illicit demand: http://sco.lt/6VIVDl

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This Is Why Xanax Is Blowing Up in America 

This Is Why Xanax Is Blowing Up in America  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
From the explosion of ADHD meds to the economic crisis to the Trump presidency, this dangerous trend didn't come out of nowhere.
ReGenUC's insight:

While Xanax use in Australia appears to have reduced dramatically in Australia since it's rescheduling a few years ago (http://sco.lt/7D93A1), it has been a growing concern in the UK (http://sco.lt/58SoUr) and the US. Here Maia Szalavitz considers the factors contributing to increasing problems with Xanax and other benzos in the US.

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Mexico Presidential Frontrunner Proposes Amnesty for Non-Violent Drug Traffickers to Counter Surging Bloodshed

Mexico Presidential Frontrunner Proposes Amnesty for Non-Violent Drug Traffickers to Counter Surging Bloodshed | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The leading presidential candidate in Mexico’s election says scaling back the country’s militarised drug war could reduce bloodshed.
ReGenUC's insight:

A welcome announcement. Let's hope it gets implemented. Meanwhile, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to arm vigilantes and offer them legal immunity for extrajudicial killings: http://sco.lt/7zxz5l

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New Zealand drug-driving deaths surpass drink-driving toll for first time

New Zealand drug-driving deaths surpass drink-driving toll for first time | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Road association calls for police to be given saliva testing kits to tackle ‘silent killer’
ReGenUC's insight:

NZ Automobile Association calls for increased roadside testing for cannabis & methamphetamine.

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Tobacco industry seeking to control anti-smuggling measures, say critics (UK)

Tobacco industry seeking to control anti-smuggling measures, say critics (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
UN protocol says mechanisms designed to counter illicit trade should not be delegated to industry, but monitors allege firms are involved
ReGenUC's insight:

UK study provides the latest evidence of industry efforts to undermine effectiveness of public health measures.

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Online alcoholic drink recipe examined after death of 15-year-old Sydney girl

Online alcoholic drink recipe examined after death of 15-year-old Sydney girl | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"We will endeavour to find answers, but our message has to be: do not risk your health experimenting with high-risk information sourced online," police said in a statement.
ReGenUC's insight:

A tragic reminder of the risks associated with alcohol overdose, and the need for ongoing, evidence based education about potential harms.

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