Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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How I Went to Rehab for Alcohol and Found Out I Was a "Heroin Girl" (USA)

How I Went to Rehab for Alcohol and Found Out I Was a "Heroin Girl" (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
November 29th, 2016
When my parents somewhat overreacted and sent me to a very traditional 12-step rehab after I got into a spot of trouble with alcohol, the last thing they expected was that I would become a passionate advocate for the legalization of all drugs.
I pitched up at rehab at the age o
ReGenUC's insight:

April Wilson Smith charts her journey from an experience of a 12-step rehab to becoming an advocate for harm reduction and drug law reform.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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'Evidence lacking': Auditor-General criticises cashless welfare card trial (Aus)

'Evidence lacking': Auditor-General criticises cashless welfare card trial (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The department running it failed to deliver a cost-benefit analysis and gave misleading statistics to the minister in charge. 
ReGenUC's insight:

Auditor-General's report finds systemic failures in data collection made it: 'difficult to conclude whether it has delivered a reduction in social harm and more efficient welfare.'

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France: people who inject drugs often given cheaper, less effective, hepatitis C medication

France: people who inject drugs often given cheaper, less effective, hepatitis C medication | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new study conducted in France reveals that those living with HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection who have a history of homelessness or injecting drug use, are often given less effective HCV medication.
ReGenUC's insight:

A concrete example of the impact of stigma on the quality of healthcare provided to people who inject drugs. See today's related post on US prison authorities denying prisoners access to HCV treatment (based on cost): http://sco.lt/9KMkLp

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Rights Group: 200 Killed in Bangladesh Drug Crackdown

Rights Group: 200 Killed in Bangladesh Drug Crackdown | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Hundreds have been killed in Bangladesh since the government launched a crackdown on drugs in May, according to a local rights group
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the Bangladeshi Govt's apparent attempt to replicate the brutal Philippines approach. See last month's related coverage on local and international calls for an end to extrajudicial executioins: http://sco.lt/5gcl7p, http://sco.lt/7rDeNt, http://sco.lt/8eG3pB

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Early puberty in white adolescent boys increases substance use risk (USA)

Early puberty in white adolescent boys increases substance use risk (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
White adolescent boys experiencing early puberty are at higher risk for substance use than later developing boys, a new study finds.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of delaying first consumption of alcohol for as long as possible.

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Calls for national wastewater testing for illicit drugs (NZ)

Calls for national wastewater testing for illicit drugs (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Councils are calling for a national regime to test wastewater for illicit drugs, to better understand who's taking what and where.
ReGenUC's insight:

Local council calls for expansion of Christchurch, Whangarei and  Rosedale wastewater trial to other areas.

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The Fall and Rise of the Addiction Blogger (USA)

The Fall and Rise of the Addiction Blogger (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

We were the problem child of the blogging family. The wild child. We got messed up, we hurt ourselves, and many of us hurt others and broke the rules. Sometimes we got punished by the system, but mostly, we punished ourselves.

ReGenUC's insight:

Rachael Styles considers some of the challenges of recovery blogging, along with the importance of people being able to share their story.

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Mom accused of killing her infant through drugs in breast milk (USA)

Mom accused of killing her infant through drugs in breast milk (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Philadelphia-area woman who described herself as a drug addict is being held on a homicide charge after she allegedly transmitted drugs to her 11-week-old baby through her breast milk, officials …
ReGenUC's insight:

The latest example of the growing criminalisation of motherhood in the US, with women who are pregnant or have young children becoming increasingly subject to legal sanction, instead of support.

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Cuomo Moves Closer to Marijuana Legalization in New York

Cuomo Moves Closer to Marijuana Legalization in New York | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo appeared to embrace elements of a state Health Department report that favored legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related posts on a poll of UK support for cannabis law reform (http://sco.lt/9MCMkL) and an analysis of Australian public attitudes (http://sco.lt/6QX5V3).

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Drug treatment for ice addition to be trialled in Victoria and NSW

Drug treatment for ice addition to be trialled in Victoria and NSW | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The medicine, already used for paracetamol overdoses and cystic fibrosis, could help to ease methamphetamine cravings.
ReGenUC's insight:

Curtin Uni & Burnet Institute study to examine effectiveness of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) as a treatment option for methamphetamine dependence. The article includes contact info for people interested in participating in the trial. See this related coverage: https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5527632/wollongong-ice-addicts-wanted-for-world-first-trial/

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Why decriminalisation of drugs in Australia will save our children

Why decriminalisation of drugs in Australia will save our children | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

SMARTPHONES can do all sorts of amazing things, but for Louisa Simmonds’ son, they only made it harder to escape his dark past.

ReGenUC's insight:

Louisa Simmonds calls for drug law reform to reduce potential harm and increase the accessibility of treatment and support services for people like her son.

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‘They know it’s a potential fatal experience every time they put drugs in their system’ (Canada)

‘They know it’s a potential fatal experience every time they put drugs in their system’ (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The paper trays lie in neat rows on a stainless-steel table.

Each tray has everything a user needs to shoot up: a blue rubber strap to help find the vein in an arm, an alcohol wipe, a "cooker" to heat the drug, a filter, sterile water and a needle.

ReGenUC's insight:

London's (that's London, Canada) first Medically Supervised Injecting Centre has been operating since February. Here's an initial look at its services.

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State prisons fail to offer cure to 144,000 inmates with deadly Hepatitis C (USA)

State prisons fail to offer cure to 144,000 inmates with deadly Hepatitis C (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

State prisons across the U.S. are failing to treat at least 144,000 inmates who have hepatitis C, a curable but potentially fatal liver disease, according to a recent survey and subsequent interviews of state corrections departments.

ReGenUC's insight:

Cost to prison operators cited as main reason for states denying treatment to prisoners.

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Despite Success, Florida's Only Needle Exchange Still Faces Pushback

Despite Success, Florida's Only Needle Exchange Still Faces Pushback | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Though heroin-related deaths in Miami-Dade reached an all-time high in 2016 and South Florida continued to lead the nation in new HIV diagnoses, there's some good news: Opioid deaths are decreasing, according to a study from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. One possible reason is the University of Miami’
ReGenUC's insight:

While there has been significant progress in building community and political support for evidence based harm reduction in the US, there are still major barriers to be overcome. See today's related post on challenges for the 13 or more local campaigns to establish supervised injecting facilities: http://sco.lt/6E4N0L

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NSW police to crack down on motorists using mobile phones and drugs

NSW police to crack down on motorists using mobile phones and drugs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MOTORISTS could find themselves inadvertently driving on the wrong side of the law with a beef-up of road safety laws.
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt states intention to include 'new drugs' in schedule for roadside testing. No detail provided about how that might actually work (or cost).

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Why Aren’t Prison Officials Treating Inmates for Hepatitis C? (USA)

Why Aren’t Prison Officials Treating Inmates for Hepatitis C? (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Officials in many states say they can’t afford to treat all of their patients in prison for hepatitis C. Human rights experts say that’s not a good enough reason.
ReGenUC's insight:

The public health costs associated with not treating this number of people is also high (and higher than the cost of treatment).

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Brain changes responsible for the appetite effects of cannabis identified in animal studies (USA)

New research on how cannabis use alters eating behavior could lead to treatments for appetite loss in chronic illness, according to experts at Washington State University. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds how cannabis triggers hunger hormones and identifies specific brain regions that shift to 'hungry' mode while under the influence.

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Predictors of Opioid Overdose in High-Risk Users (USA)

Predictors of Opioid Overdose in High-Risk Users (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Having a hepatitis C virus infection, witnessing a friend or others experiencing a drug overdose, and having a history of frequent buprenorphine treatment are factors that may predict the risk for opioid drug overdose in high-risk opioid users.
ReGenUC's insight:

New study provides more evidence of key risk factors for overdose. Noting the impact of HCV infections, see today's related posts on access barriers to HCV treatment in the US (http://sco.lt/9KMkLp) and France (http://sco.lt/6R1pmT).

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Fed's Powell: Opioids people out of the workforce (USA)

Fed's Powell: Opioids people out of the workforce (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
America's opioid epidemic is exacting a massive human tool that also is impacting the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the economic impacts of drug dependence, with obvious implications for cost-benefit analysis of increasing treatment service funding.

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Health Canada ‘concerned’ by cannabis companies sponsoring music, public festivals

Health Canada ‘concerned’ by cannabis companies sponsoring music, public festivals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Many companies are attempting to get their brand names into public consciousness before they expect regulations to be enforced, lawyer says
ReGenUC's insight:

As cannabis becomes a consumer product like any other, governments will need to respond with appropriate regulation of product marketing to reduce potential public health risks.

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LGBQ teens more likely than peers to use dangerous drugs (USA)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning (LGBQ) teens are at substantially higher risk of substance use than their heterosexual peers, according to a new study led by San Diego State University researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the increased risk factors for LGBTIQ people. What the study doesn't appear to consider are the reasons (e.g. experience of stigma and discrimination) that contribute to higher levels of AOD use amongst this group.

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British public backs legalisation of cannabis so it can be sold like cigarettes and alcohol, poll reveals

British public backs legalisation of cannabis so it can be sold like cigarettes and alcohol, poll reveals | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A majority of the British public back the legalisation of cannabis so that it would be sold in shops like alcohol and tobacco, a poll has revealed. 

ReGenUC's insight:

The poll also found majority support for decriminalisation.

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Cities Planning Supervised Drug Injection Sites Fear Justice Department Reaction (USA)

Cities Planning Supervised Drug Injection Sites Fear Justice Department Reaction (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

In parts of the country hit hard by addiction, some public health officials are considering running sites where people can use heroin and other illegal drugs under medical supervision. Advocates say these facilities, known as supervised injection sites, save lives that would otherwise be lost to overdoses and provide a bridge to treatment.

ReGenUC's insight:

The article considers various political and community barriers to the 'at least 13' local campaigns to establish supervised injecting facilities, and the reasons why many local authorities don't want to be the first jurisdiction to do so. See today's related post on community pushback on Florida's only Needle and Syringe Program: http://sco.lt/72JN1l

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Youth in justice system need more drug, alcohol services: report (Aus)

Youth in justice system need more drug, alcohol services: report (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A new report has found young people in the youth justice system are 30 times more likely than their peers to need access to alcohol and drug services.
ReGenUC's insight:

See last week's coverage of the AIHW report: http://sco.lt/4jbZVx

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Dutch cut overdose deaths by dispensing pure heroin

Public-health experts in the Netherlands say free distribution of heroin is one reason that drug-related deaths are far less common than in the United States. The program also has reduced crime and improved the quality of life for many users.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the effectiveness of Heroin Assisted Therapy (HAT) for the small group of people for whom other treatment options are ineffective (and who are typically at high risk of overdose). See today's related posts on the challenges faced by local campaigns for greater acceptance of such evidence based harm reduction methods: http://sco.lt/72JN1l,  http://sco.lt/6E4N0L

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Toronto medical official calls for decriminalizing drugs as opioid overdoses skyrocket in Canada

Toronto medical official calls for decriminalizing drugs as opioid overdoses skyrocket in Canada | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The report recommends convening a task force “to explore options for the legal regulation of all drugs in Canada.”
ReGenUC's insight:

See last week's related coverage of Ms de Villa's push for drug law reform and increased funding for harm reduction and treatment services: http://sco.lt/8iypmb

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