Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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This drop dead drug that creates 'zombies' tightens its grip (Aus)

This drop dead drug that creates 'zombies' tightens its grip (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
IT’S a drug so potent that it’s being considered for use in death row executions, and it’s strengthening its grip on Australia.
ReGenUC's insight:

Some pretty poor reporting here, taking the overblown perception of the current threat level in The Age's recent coverage of coronial findings from 2015 (http://sco.lt/8oZPrF) and wrapping it up in stigmatising language of 'zombies'. As we said previously, while there is evidence of importation of fentanyl into Australia (from police and customs seizures), there is little recent indication that illicit fentanyl is present within street drug markets. The consensus opinion at the recent APSAD conference was that, what fentanyl was being used in Australia was from diverted patches, not imported powder. The use of fentanyl extracted from patches appears to be geographically based, not a national issue, relying on local access. However, the overdose risk is very real and it probably is a question of 'when, not if' imports will become more prevalent. Getting naloxone into as many hands as possible will be a key strategy for ensuring that people are able to save lives when it does. And stop calling people zombies. It's not helpful.

See also this unhelpful contribution from former Premier (and head of the Andrews Govt's MSIC Expert Panel) Jeff Kennett: http://sco.lt/8egzwH.  

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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ABC Fact Check Controversial Pill Testing Claims (ACT)

ABC Fact Check Controversial Pill Testing Claims (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The meticulous ABC Fact Checking team at RMIT have today dispelled recent claims that pill testing at festivals encourages drug use. 
ReGenUC's insight:

Triple J's Hack program looks at the lack of evidence to support the ACT Shadow Attorney-General's recent claim on 2GB. 

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Youth forums to take on addiction, suicide and homelessness in regional NSW

Forty youth forums will be held across NSW as part of the government's bid to tackle drug addiction, youth suicide and homelessness in regional NSW.
ReGenUC's insight:

NSW Deputy Premier requests local MPs to host fora in their electorates as part of major community consultation.

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Coffee shop serves hope to people recovering from addiction (USA)

Coffee shop serves hope to people recovering from addiction (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A Pennsylvania town's newest coffee shop is offering people recovering from opioid addiction a fresh start, one steaming cup of java at a time.
ReGenUC's insight:

A nice example of community-driven supports for recovery.

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Decriminalizing pot doesn't lead to increased use by young people (USA)

Decriminalizing pot doesn't lead to increased use by young people (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

As a handful of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, some others have taken less dramatic steps toward decriminalizing pot by reducing the legal penalties associated with marijuana possession. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Analysis of arrest data from five states following decriminalisation shows declining arrest rates, but no increase in cannabis consumption.

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Alcohol-related liver disease deaths among millennials increased 10% each year since recession, according to study (USA)

Alcohol-related liver disease deaths among millennials increased 10% each year since recession, according to study (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Alcohol-related liver disease deaths increased among millennials in America more than any other age group in the years following the 2008 recession, a new study has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

This is the flipside of the population level data showing general reductions in alcohol and other drug use amongst young people (http://sco.lt/7RKkhV). While fewer young people are engaged in risky drinking patterns, those who are, are doing so at high levels and (as this research shows) experiencing high level harms as a result.

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Vaping and using nicotine patches in pregnancy linked to 'cot death' (UK)

Vaping and using nicotine patches in pregnancy linked to 'cot death' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
'Using e-cigarettes or nicotine patches during pregnancy could increase the risk of cot death in newborns, an early study has found' Sky News reports
ReGenUC's insight:

NHS Choices looks at recent coverage of US animal trials (http://sco.lt/8JFzJh), suggesting the need for human cohort studies before we can confirm the link between nicotine consumption during pregnancy and subsequent SIDS risk.

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North Richmond safe injecting room – Its progress so far

North Richmond safe injecting room – Its progress so far | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Medical Director of North Richmond’s safe injecting room, Dr Nico Clark, speaks with newsGP about the progress of the facility and its benefits for injecting drug users and the surrounding community.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's a very brief article, but Nico Clark reflects on client and community feedback to the first few weeks of operations. See today's related coverage of social and political barriers to opening similar services in Philadelphia (http://sco.lt/9DkiIb) and Glasgow (http://sco.lt/8ZaTOT). 

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Smoking in Victoria could be gone by 2025 

Smoking in Victoria could be gone by 2025  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
VICTORIA could go almost smoke-free by 2025 reportedly under a plan backed by 25 of the state’s health groups.
ReGenUC's insight:

VicHealth to lead a campaign to have less than 5% of Victorians smoking daily.

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World's biggest tobacco firm under fire over 'disgraceful' PR stunt (UK)

World's biggest tobacco firm under fire over 'disgraceful' PR stunt (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
NHS staff told to reject offer by makers of Marlboro cigarettes to help them quit smoking
ReGenUC's insight:

PMI seeks to co-brand with NHS as supporting public health. The Royal College of Physicians president says: 'The best way Philip Morris could help people stop smoking is to stop making cigarettes altogether'. See today's related coverage of threatened Govt action over PMI's marketing of 'healthier' tobacco products: http://sco.lt/53fDKT

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Resetting e-prescriptions for opioids helps curb use: study (USA)

Resetting e-prescriptions for opioids helps curb use: study (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—Lowering the default number of opioid painkillers in electronic prescription systems reduced overall use of the drugs, a new study finds.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's not much information here, about the study, or its findings, but it's interesting to see indicators of changes in prescribing practice having an impact.

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Vaping and nicotine patches during pregnancy linked to cot death (USA)

Vaping and nicotine patches during pregnancy linked to cot death (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Scientists warn against women smokers turning to nicotine replacement therapy while pregnant.
ReGenUC's insight:

US study finds prenatal exposure to nicotine can affect babies' cardiorespiratory responses to stressful environments, leading to increase risk of SIDS.

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Theresa May just says no to safe drugs facility in Glasgow

Theresa May just says no to safe drugs facility in Glasgow | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE Prime Minister has ruled out Glasgow opening a safe drugs consumption room.
ReGenUC's insight:

No great surprises here (given the PM's long established opposition to evidence based drug policy), but disappointing that the May Govt still refuses to take an obvious step towards reducing one of the highest overdose death rates in the UK. See today's related coverage of social and political barriers to establishing a similar service in Philadelphia: http://sco.lt/9DkiIb

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'Generation Sensible' in five charts (UK)

'Generation Sensible' in five charts (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Whether it's drinking or taking drugs, young people in the UK seem to be getting more sensible.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence that, in spite of the usual headlines, the kids are alright. UK data shows sustained reductions in alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use, teen pregnancies and offending.

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National Pain Week survey finds sufferers want their GPs to be able to prescribe them cannabis (Aus)

National Pain Week survey finds sufferers want their GPs to be able to prescribe them cannabis (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE results are in — overwhelmingly Australians wants access to medicinal cannabis.
ReGenUC's insight:

Chronic Pain Australia 'bombarded' with calls for access to cannabis. 75% of respondents to survey want to be able to use the drug to help manage pain.

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How recreational cannabis will be packaged (Canada)

How recreational cannabis will be packaged (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Health Canada released a report that summarized the regulation of its recreational cannabis consultation period. Come legalization, packaging for cannabis products must have a single colour with a standardized font style, cannot have “embossed, shiny or metallic” designs on it, and the use of branding and logos will be limited.
ReGenUC's insight:

Detail of marketing restrictions and harm reduction messages to be included in cannabis packaging.

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These pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say

These pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The growing use of anti-anxiety pills reminds some doctors of the early days of the opioid crisis.
ReGenUC's insight:

Doctors warn about the ongoing growth in numbers of benzos prescriptions, and the length of time for which people are taking them.

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Supervised injection centre may facilitate users of crack and cocaine as well as heroin users (Ireland)

Supervised injection centre may facilitate users of crack and cocaine as well as heroin users (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A supervised injection centre may facilitate users of crack and cocaine as well as those who take heroin.
ReGenUC's insight:

Drugs Strategy Minister, Catherine Byrne, says she will decide on whether the centre's remit should be widened after it has been in operation for six months.

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Second chances: how ex-convicts are lighting up the cannabis industry (USA)

Second chances: how ex-convicts are lighting up the cannabis industry (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
New Massachusetts law aims to help those previously jailed for non-violent marijuana offenses by training them to work in the legal pot industry
ReGenUC's insight:

Nice example of the potential transformative effects of drug law reform: helping people shift from criminal activity to contribute to legal business activity. 

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'Legal highs' crackdown reduces hospital admissions (Scotland)

'Legal highs' crackdown reduces hospital admissions (Scotland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Police and trading standards began a crackdown on the drugs in Edinburgh in 2015.
ReGenUC's insight:

Edinburgh University study finds restrictions on sale of legal highs (in place since 2015) have led to an 80% reduction in hospital admissions.

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Pill testing at festivals has hidden benefits that could reduce drug taking (Aus)

Pill testing at festivals has hidden benefits that could reduce drug taking (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia's first pill testing trial, held at Canberra Groovin' The Moo this year, brought out critics who thought testing results in more drug taking and higher rates of drug-related harm, but this doesn't check out.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David Caldicott (and others) on some of the health and public safety benefits associated with drug checking.

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A closer look at promising pill for ice addiction (Aus)

A closer look at promising pill for ice addiction (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A world-first trial is underway, signalling a new frontier in the way that ice addiction will be treated in the future.
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the new NAC trial, citing Deakin Uni's Olivia Dean and Noffs Foundation's Kieran Palmer on the potential for the drug to increase the range of treatment options available for methamphetamine dependence. 

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Myths and misinformation about law enforcement and fentanyl exposure (USA)

Myths and misinformation about law enforcement and fentanyl exposure (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Harm Reduction Coalition advances policies and programs that help people address the adverse effects of drug use including overdose, HIV, hepatitis C, addiction, and incarceration.
ReGenUC's insight:

Savannah O'Neill and Eliza Wheeler respond to misleading US reporting on overdose risks following skin exposure to fentanyl. 

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Low-dose ketamine found to be as effective as opioids for treating acute pain (USA)

Low-dose ketamine found to be as effective as opioids for treating acute pain (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Opioids are commonly prescribed in the emergency department for the treatment of acute pain, but due to the epidemic of opioid misuse, analgesic alternatives are being explored.
ReGenUC's insight:

Meta-analysis finds some evidence of adverse events linked to analgesic use of ketamine for acute pain in ED settings, but that few of them were clinically significant.

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Philadelphia's plan for opioid safe injection site splits opinion

Philadelphia's plan for opioid safe injection site splits opinion | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
More than 1,200 people died of accidental overdoses in the city last year – could bringing users in off the street be the answer?
ReGenUC's insight:

More on the social and political barriers to evidence based harm reduction in the US. The article opens with a great example of the benefits of peer distribution of naloxone, and the need for supervised facilities where people can be kept safe. See today's related post on the May Govt's refusal to consider such a service in Glasgow (http://sco.lt/8ZaTOT) and yesterday's coverage of growing Federal pressures on local campaigns to establish supervised facilities (http://sco.lt/8VFro9). 

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Government orders Phillip Morris to stop advertising "healthier" tobacco products or face legal action (UK)

Government orders Phillip Morris to stop advertising "healthier" tobacco products or face legal action (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Government will take one of the world's largest tobacco firms to court unless it stops illegally targeting UK consumers with tobacco adverts, a Minister has said.
ReGenUC's insight:

Govt action targets marketing of 'heat not burn' products.

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