Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Trial of North Richmond safe injecting room to begin by middle of next year (Vic)

Trial of North Richmond safe injecting room to begin by middle of next year (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Heroin users will be able to safely inject in a room in Melbourne as part of a trial in the overdose hotspot of North Richmond.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the Govt's announced support for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in North Richmond. Premier Andrews says his change of position is the result of a conversation with the mother of someone lost to overdose. The formal announcement is being made this morining. You can see the Govt's media release here: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/more-rehab-beds-better-treatment-and-safer-streets/

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Behind the headlines: The Herald Sun’s Ian Royall on the campaign for Richmond’s safe-injecting centre (Aus)

Behind the headlines: The Herald Sun’s Ian Royall on the campaign for Richmond’s safe-injecting centre (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Part 1 of a series of interviews with journalists looks at Ian Royall’s coverage of the campaign for a safe-injecting centre in Richmond..."

ReGenUC's insight:

Jenny Valentish interviews the Herald Sun's Ian Royall about his coverage of the campaign for a safe-injecting centre in Richmond

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Australian teenagers turn their backs on 'uncool' alcohol

Australian teenagers turn their backs on 'uncool' alcohol | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A study involving more than 40,000 adolescents observes a staggering drop in underage drinking.
ReGenUC's insight:

A good news story about the significant drop in teenage alcohol consumption in recent years. Professor John Toumbourou describes it as a "new, youth led revolution". 

 
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'Proven to work': scheme tackling alcoholism helps keep young offenders out of jail (Aus)

'Proven to work': scheme tackling alcoholism helps keep young offenders out of jail (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
At one time Domac Gile-Lul was drinking four litres of wine a day. Experts say the program that rescued him saves lives
ReGenUC's insight:

A program based in Melbourne's South East demonstrates the importance of diversion programs for young people experiencing alcohol and other drug issues. 

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Mass drug overdoses the new norm, says David Caldicott (Aus)

Mass drug overdoses the new norm, says David Caldicott (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Dr David Caldicott, emergency doctor and senior lecturer in medicine at the Australian National University, discusses the suspected overdose of nine people in Perth.
ReGenUC's insight:

Video of Lateline interview responding to the recent Perth overdoses. See yesterday's coverage: http://sco.lt/5b1Mob.

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Obama-era marijuana policy rescinded (USA)

Obama-era marijuana policy rescinded (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The US Justice Department has rescinded an Obama administration policy that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalised the drug, instead giving federal prosecutors wide latitude on pursuing criminal charges.
ReGenUC's insight:

As California legalises recreational cannabis use, the White House looks like it's preparing to make drug policy a battle ground. 

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U.S. looking to Canada for approach to opioid crisis

U.S. looking to Canada for approach to opioid crisis | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a two-part series looking at one of the many innovative ways different communities are fighting the opioid crisis. 

ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post about White House moves to strengthen the imposition of Federal laws over state-led drug policy reforms: http://sco.lt/5VKTo1

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The end of cheap beer: radical alcohol tax plan put to government (Aus)

The end of cheap beer: radical alcohol tax plan put to government (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Cheap schooners and pints at the pub would be a thing of the past under a radical tax hike proposed to the federal government.
ReGenUC's insight:

FARE Australia proposes equal taxation of all beer products.

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Australia aims to dominate global market for medicinal cannabis - audio

Australia aims to dominate global market for medicinal cannabis - audio | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Federal Government will allow Australian producers of medicinal cannabis to export their products overseas.
ReGenUC's insight:

AM interview featuring Health Minister Greg Hunt's plans for Australia to become the world's biggest supplier of medicinal cannabis products.

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“No Liberalisation”: How Drug Policy was Discussed in the Russian Parliament

“No Liberalisation”: How Drug Policy was Discussed in the Russian Parliament | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

On the 4th of December, the “Parliamentarians Against Drugs” conference saw deputies from 43 countries gather to discuss drug policy in Russia’s Parliament, known as the State Duma. The event, held with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), saw the majority of delegates come from Central and East Asia, including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Despite support from the UNODC, participants rallied against drug policies adopted by some European and NATO countries, such as light-drug decriminalization. Instead, they decided to work on a unified legislation to reject “Western” approaches and push against the “liberalisation” of drug policy. Open Russia reports what the speakers discussed.

ReGenUC's insight:

Troubling signs for the future drug policy directions (& political opposition to evidence based measures) in Central and East Asia. 

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The Failed War on Drugs (USA/Mexico)

The Failed War on Drugs (USA/Mexico) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Attacking rampant drug abuse by trying to shut off the supply has not worked. We need to try a new approach.
ReGenUC's insight:

George P. Shultz and Pedro Aspe call for an end to prohibitionist drug policy frameworks in the US and Mexico, decriminalisation and expanded treatment services.

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Opioid crisis: US and China spar about who is to blame for fentanyl availability

Opioid crisis: US and China spar about who is to blame for fentanyl availability | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
There's a new major player in America's battle against opioids and although it is happy to help, it is not sharing the blame.
ReGenUC's insight:

An extended piece providing a summary of some of the factors contributing to the US opioid crisis, local policy responses and discussions between the US and China about reducing the supply of illicit fentanyl.

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NSW cops weigh in on methadone and driving

People under the influence of methadone shouldnt be on the road, the NSW deputy police commissioner says.
ReGenUC's insight:

Deputy Commissioner Burn may have been verballed here, but her comments are contributing to the sort of misinformed and misleading coverage we warned about in our response to earlier reporting of this story: http://sco.lt/62EOvZ. This sort of reporting only serves to reinforce misinformation about methadone, and the people who use it to support their recovery. 

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Police charge 173 people with drug offences at Field Day Music Festival (NSW)

Police charge 173 people with drug offences at Field Day Music Festival (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Five people were also hospitalised for drug-related health issues at the New Year's Day event.
ReGenUC's insight:

An example of what's wrong with Australian drug policy: six charged with supply, 167 with possession and five people treated for overdose. We need decriminalisation of personal possession and use to allow police to focus on supply networks and enable evidence based harm reduction initiatives, like drug checking services, to prevent overdose related injuries or deaths. See today's related post on what has been achieved in the UK through the work of organisations like The Loop: http://sco.lt/5UYkgj

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Iran's easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners

Iran's easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Lifting of capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences set to be applied retrospectively to convicts on death row
ReGenUC's insight:

A change in Iran's drug laws could see thousands spared the death penalty. 

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Why making oxycodone tamper-proof has not made a dent in Australia's addiction to opioids

Why making oxycodone tamper-proof has not made a dent in Australia's addiction to opioids | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets haven't curbed opioid misuse of harm in the slightest, a major Australian study shows.
ReGenUC's insight:

Findings from the National Opioid Medications Abuse Deterrence (NOMAD) study, cited in this article, show the introduction of tamper-resistant oxycodone reduced use among those who had previously injected the tablets, but had no effect on population level use or harm. Highlights the importance of a comprehensive response to opioid use to reduce harm across the community. 

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'Avoid saying drug user' to combat stigma, report urges

'Avoid saying drug user' to combat stigma, report urges | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

"Policymakers and the media should avoid using terms such as "drug user", "addict" and "junkie", a report by a group of former world leaders has said."

ReGenUC's insight:

The latest report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy calls for change to the way we speak about drugs and the people who use them. The Commission's report urges political leaders and the media to avoid stigmatising and fear-based language and speak responsibly and respectfully. 

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Codeine ban sparks consumer complaints and fears of stockpiling (Aus)

Codeine ban sparks consumer complaints and fears of stockpiling (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pharmacy Guild of Australia says consumers unhappy about over-the-counter ban that will apply from 1 February
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Pain Australia's real relief campaign to help people adjust to the new codeine restrictions: http://realrelief.org.au/.

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We Must Treat Opioid-Related Deaths As A Public Health Issue (Canada)

We Must Treat Opioid-Related Deaths As A Public Health Issue (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
We've had little success in dealing with this crisis because we focus on it in terms that fail to see it as something other than an illegal drug problem.
ReGenUC's insight:

Tom McIntosh and Gabriela Novotna look at the logical next steps for Canadian drug policy: moving from first line harm reduction interventions to drug law reform to enable broad social and structural change.

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How alcohol damages stem cell DNA and increases cancer risk (UK)

How alcohol damages stem cell DNA and increases cancer risk (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Drinking alcohol produces a harmful chemical in the body that can lead to permanent genetic damage in the DNA of stem cells, increasing the risk of cance
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of alcohol's links with increased risk of cancer. British study examines the health impacts of acetaldehyde.

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California's New Marijuana Tracking System Gets A Slow Start

California's New Marijuana Tracking System Gets A Slow Start | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
California is experiencing a slow rollout of its marijuana tracking system, meaning pot sales could still slip into the black market.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting some of the challenges of implementing new regulated drug markets. See today's related post citing Aus Health Minister Greg Hunt's plan for Australia to 'dominate' global medicinal cannabis markets: http://sco.lt/83FaSn

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A Doctor With a Phone and a Mission (USA)

A Doctor With a Phone and a Mission (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Startled by the hard sell addicts face, a psychologist discovered the rehab industry’s customer acquisition tricks, one crank call at a time.
ReGenUC's insight:

Extended piece on unethical practice within the US treatment industry and one man's efforts to shine a light on the exploitation of vulnerable people.

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'We're trying to give up cigarettes', says Philip Morris ad (UK)

'We're trying to give up cigarettes', says Philip Morris ad (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Global tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has run a print ad claiming that it wishes "to stop selling cigarettes" in the UK.
ReGenUC's insight:

The repositioning of Big Tobacco continues as the industry shifts emphasis to alternative products. E-cigarettes are the most obvious one, but not mentioned here are the well-recognised plans to dominate regulated recreational cannabis markets.

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Perth drug overdose victim who escaped death laughs while three remain critical

Perth drug overdose victim who escaped death laughs while three remain critical | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"Their bodies were overheating, they were having seizures."
ReGenUC's insight:

There's no real detail about what drug(s) may have been responsible for the overdose, but this article continues a clear pattern in related coverage that frames the overdoses as the result of irresponsible behaviour by a group of young foreigners. As with much AOD coverage, it plays to lazy (and misleading) stereotypes. It's a reminder of the potential risks of stimulant overdose, but this is not the way to have an informed debate.

Update: test results show presence of hyoscine: https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/victoria-park-overdose-nine-snorted-date-rape-drug-hyoscine-found-in-delivered-parcel-ng-b88704302z?utm_content=buffere0665&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Deal to swing welfare reforms (Aus)

Deal to swing welfare reforms (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A welfare overhaul that cracks down on people gaming the system and streamlines Centrelink payments is on the verge of passing the Senate after the Turnbull government clinched a critical deal with the Nick Xenophon Team.
ReGenUC's insight:

NXT appears to have reversed its previous opposition to the measures. This is not good news for vulnerable Australians. The rest of the article is behind the NewsLtd paywall. No doubt, more coverage will follow.

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Scare stories ‘not working’ says drug expert (Aus)

Scare stories ‘not working’ says drug expert (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
YOU could be doing more harm than good if you express “extreme” views on drugs with teenagers, warns a health expert who says it’s better to talk openly through issues.
ReGenUC's insight:

Paul Dillon delivering Drug Ed 101 messages for parents:

  • Stick to the facts;
  • Don't assume that 'everyone is doing it';
  • Don't forget alcohol is the most likely source of drug related harm.
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