Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Triple-fatal driver was heading home from methadone clinic (NSW)

Triple-fatal driver was heading home from methadone clinic (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Actress Jessica Falkholt and her sister Annabelle continue to fight for their lives as facts emerge about the south coast tragedy.
ReGenUC's insight:

Some pretty poor reporting here (and elsehwere: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/stars-rally-as-falkholt-sisters-fight-for-life/news-story/95a16bddcf8cc3a07f5bed89f8d4325d?from=rss-basic), assuming that consumption of methadone is the cause of the accident, when there is no evidence (at this stage). The fact that Mr Whitall was 'known to police' is not a contributing factor. Perhaps we should be asking about why someone has to make a daily 130km round trip to collect their medication? 

Update: see this response from NUAA's Mary Ellen Harrod: http://sco.lt/5NooTp.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Commissioner investigates drug & alcohol services (Vic)

Commissioner investigates drug & alcohol services (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The HCC has announced an investigation into the private drug and alcohol sector while a banned drug addiction counsellor has been charged with allegedly practising in Victoria.

ReGenUC's insight:

HCC reports on first use of her powers to target unethical or unsafe practice within the AOD treatment sector.

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‘War on ice’: Liberals pledge more resources for police (Tas)

‘War on ice’: Liberals pledge more resources for police (Tas) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Specialist investigators and more drug dogs are part of a Liberal Party plan to crack down on drug trafficking.
ReGenUC's insight:

Following a very well-trodden path, Premier Hodgman promises a 'tough on drugs' approach in his election platform. While it's usually a successful political strategy, law enforcement is not the most effective way to spend public funds on addressing drug related harm. See today's related drug seizure coverage from SA (http://sco.lt/8U7Jxp) or this post from NZ: http://sco.lt/7kpTZR

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Methamphetamine set to overtake cannabis as biggest drug burden on our court system (NZ)

Methamphetamine set to overtake cannabis as biggest drug burden on our court system (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Number of meth cases appearing before our courts is set to overtake cannabis for the first time.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing NZ Drug Foundation's Ross Bell on the need to provide alternatives to law and order models to enable sustainable change.

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Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes (USA)

According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, researchers from Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Stanford University found that this expanded screening would increase life expectancy and quality of life while remaining cost-effective.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the benefits of easy access to HCV treatment.

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10 Takeaways from the Latest Statistics on Drugs Misuse (UK)

10 Takeaways from the Latest Statistics on Drugs Misuse (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Last week the government released the Statistics on Drug Misuse: England, 2018. The report outlines the latest statistics (gathered in 2016/17) about drug use in adults and children, drug-related hospital admissions, drug-related deaths and drug seizures by the police. Here are the 10 main takeaways from the report. Drug use in children has risen. 37% of … Continued
ReGenUC's insight:

The article includes the link to the full report, but highlights the following headline findings:

  1. Drug use in children has risen. 
  2. Drug use among adults is relatively stable. 
  3. Cannabis is the most used illicit drug. 
  4. Drug-related deaths are at an all-time high. 
  5. Men aged 30-49 are dying at the highest rates. 
  6. Drug dependency is more common in men and decreases with age. 
  7. Drug seizures have fallen. 
  8. Drug-related hospital admissions have fallen. 
  9. Men are more likely to be admitted to hospital for a drug-related problem. 
  10. The North-West and North-East have the highest rate of drug-related hospital admission.
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Health experts lament alcohol floor price miss in WA liquor reforms

Health experts lament alcohol floor price miss in WA liquor reforms | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HEALTH experts say the State Government has squibbed an ideal chance to enact its highly touted floor price on alcohol.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Cancer Council WA's Terry Slevin & NDRI's Steve Allsop. See last week's coverage of the proposed WA reforms: http://sco.lt/6dgjxJ

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Canberra inmates smuggling heavy-duty prescription drugs to get high

Canberra inmates smuggling heavy-duty prescription drugs to get high | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Inmates locked-up at the Alexander Maconochie Centre are getting high on heavy duty prescription drugs smuggled inside the jail.

ReGenUC's insight:

AMC contraband seizure data indicates access to medications like pregabalin & quetiapine is significantly greater than for illicit drugs. It's important to note that pregabalin has been linked to increased overdose risk in the UK: http://sco.lt/5TW6Bl

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New Mexico to study possibility of safe injection sites to curb opioid deaths (USA)

New Mexico to study possibility of safe injection sites to curb opioid deaths (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

New Mexico is joining the list of states and cities that are studying whether overdose deaths linked to the nation’s opioid crisis can be curbed with the establishment of safe havens where addicts can inject themselves with heroin and other drugs while under medical supervision.

ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of increasing support for evidence based harm reduction approaches in the US. See last week's post on White House threats of 'legal action' against medically supervised injecting centres when they are established: http://sco.lt/4twYiX

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Will fentanyl deaths be the tipping point for our broken drugs policies? (UK)

Will fentanyl deaths be the tipping point for our broken drugs policies? (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Synthetic opioids are an escalating tragedy, but treatment for addicts doesn’t have to be a dead end, says the Guardian columnist John Harris
ReGenUC's insight:

John Harris on the pressing need for change to UK drug policy and the leadership being shown at a local level in the face of Govt resistance. See last week's coverage: http://sco.lt/8u8Jaj

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Government rejects calls for inquiry into synthetic cannabis (NZ)

Government rejects calls for inquiry into synthetic cannabis (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Government will not hold an inquiry into synthetic cannabis, despite appeals from the family of a 22-year-old who died after taking the drug last year.

ReGenUC's insight:

Health Minister David Clark says the current inquiry into mental health and drug issues will address the problem.

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We Spoke To Black Market Medical Cannabis Patients Who Don't Access The Drug Legally. Here's What They Said (Aus)

We Spoke To Black Market Medical Cannabis Patients Who Don't Access The Drug Legally. Here's What They Said (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australian patients using medicinal cannabis illegally say their only worry about being arrested would be having their medicine taken from them.
ReGenUC's insight:

Brad Esposito highlights some of the personal impacts of the ongoing access barriers to sanctioned medicinal cannabis products.

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The Trump Administration Says Proposed Heroin Injection Sites Could Face “Legal Action” (USA)

The Trump Administration Says Proposed Heroin Injection Sites Could Face “Legal Action” (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
They’ve been approved in San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia — and some local officials are ready to fight the DEA in court.
ReGenUC's insight:

See today's related post of the unanimous support for supervised injecting facilities by SF's Department of Public Health: http://sco.lt/7AsOnZ.

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"It's a National Problem": How Hospitals Are Treating Opioid Addiction's Youngest Sufferers (USA)

"It's a National Problem": How Hospitals Are Treating Opioid Addiction's Youngest Sufferers (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two babies, born 15 months apart to the same young woman overcoming opioid addiction. Two very different treatments.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the importance of providing consistent, evidence-based care for affected mothers and children. Hopefully the new funding announced last week by President Trump will help improve the uptake of pharmacotherapies (like methadone) within the US health system. See also last week's post about the benefits of keeping newborns with their mothers (rather than removing them to an ICU): http://sco.lt/5P5xlh

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Australia Federal Police prevent more than 300kg of ice worth $270m arriving in South Australia

Australia Federal Police prevent more than 300kg of ice worth $270m arriving in South Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
POLICE have busted a record 313kg methamphetamine importing racket, stripping about 270 million worth of the destructive drug from South Australian streets.
ReGenUC's insight:

We don't usually post this sort of story, but at least it's good to see it citing SANDAS' Michael White on the limited impact of police seizures on overall supply. See today's related coverage of the Tas Govt's 'tough on drugs' election pledge: http://sco.lt/5sc73B

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Odyssey supports call for regional drug facility (Vic)

Odyssey supports call for regional drug facility (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
DR STEFAN Gruenert, psychologist and CEO of Odyssey House Victoria is encouraging the Sunraysia community to continue its discussion about the need for a residential drug and alcohol facility, saying the community as a whole could “benefit greatly” from it.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Nicole Lee's needs analysis for AOD services in the region.

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Canadian facility offers answers on supervised consumption sites

Canadian facility offers answers on supervised consumption sites | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As debate continues throughout the Eastside, Vancouver’s Insite sheds light on the real impact of giving people a place to safely take drugs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Great, extended piece on the lifesaving work of Insite and the real world impacts of operating such a service within communities experiencing significant drug related harm.

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Merchants Quay Ireland wins drug injection unit tender

Merchants Quay Ireland wins drug injection unit tender | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Health Service Executive has moved a step closer to opening a supervised drug injecting facility in Dublin, after it confirmed that Merchants Quay Ireland is the preferred bidder to operate the centre on a pilot basis.
ReGenUC's insight:

A location for the new centre is yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to be open by the end of the year.

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Cannabis to become legal? Weed bill set for UK parliament this week

Cannabis to become legal? Weed bill set for UK parliament this week | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The legalization of cannabis UK will be debated by the Government in Parliament on Friday. Campaign groups are calling for a decriminalization of the drug for medicinal purposes.
ReGenUC's insight:

Second reading of medicinal cannabis bill to occur on Friday.

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Govt on collision course with Coles, Woolies over bottle shops (WA)

Govt on collision course with Coles, Woolies over bottle shops (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE State Government is on a collision course with retail giants Coles and Woolworths over moves to curb the proliferation of “booze barns”.
ReGenUC's insight:

If the big alcohol retailers are complaining, it's usually a sign that the proposed measures are likely to impact on consumption (and industry profits). See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/94flBp. If you have access behind the News Ltd paywall, see this article on a co-ordinated campaign by nine Victorian councils to remove 'beer barns' from local shopping precincts: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/nine-councils-push-boozebarn-ban-to-reduce-alcoholrelated-assaults/news-story/8d67f33331a5cedc5bc96efb484a7d96?csp=fe94f5c70dd8ed1d00c270f1d0c452d0

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WA drink drivers flouting alcohol interlock rules

WA drink drivers flouting alcohol interlock rules | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
THE number of drivers breaching alcohol interlock devices has more than doubled in three months, figures have revealed.
ReGenUC's insight:

The headline is misleading. There's no scandal here, other than the apparent lack of deterrent to repeat drink drivers posed by the threat of having a mandatory interlock. The legislation has been in place for a little over a year.

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Radical harm reduction: coming out from under the radar (Canada)

Radical harm reduction: coming out from under the radar (Canada) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The practice of providing alcohol to people with severe alcohol dependence is a complex and sometimes controversial approach to harm-reduction, and it’s one that many communities in Canada have tried—some very publicly and some quietly under the radar. These programs which give alcohol in measured, regular doses throughout the day, usually along with housing and other supports, are known as Managed Alcohol Programs, or MAPs.

ReGenUC's insight:

Drug & Alcohol Review collects peer-reviewed articles on managed alcohol programs. The work is part of a national study led by UVic's Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR).

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Taskforce seeks input over meth scourge (WA)

Taskforce seeks input over meth scourge (WA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Representatives from WA’s Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce met with community groups in Kalgoorlie-Boulder yesterday in a bid to break the methamphetamine scourge gripping the Goldfields.
ReGenUC's insight:

Community consultation highlights need for improved accessibility of treatment services.

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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder clinic wanted in Alice Springs amid misdiagnosis fears

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder clinic wanted in Alice Springs amid misdiagnosis fears | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

At Megan Brown's home in Alice Springs, sharp objects are out of sight and laminated signs encouraging good behaviour are blue-tacked to the wall.

ReGenUC's insight:

Foster carers, paediatricians and doctors are pushing for a dedicated fetal alcohol spectrum disorder clinic in central Australia, amid fears the invisible disability is going undiagnosed and untreated. See last week's related coverage of the WA study findings that 90% of young people in custody have at least one severe brain disorder (including FASD): http://sco.lt/8ysK4P

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Safe injection sites unanimously endorsed in San Francisco

Safe injection sites unanimously endorsed in San Francisco | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The nation's first safe injection sites were unanimously endorsed by San Francisco's Department of Public Health on Tuesday in an effort to help curb the opioid epidemic.
ReGenUC's insight:

More signs of progress towards a significant breakthrough for harm reduction in the US, but the Trump Administration says that it may use federal laws to block the establishment of medically supervised injecting centres: http://sco.lt/4twYiX

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Opioid addiction treatment behind bars reduced post-incarceration overdose deaths in Rhode Island

A new study suggests that treating people for opioid addiction in jails and prisons is a promising strategy to address high rates of overdose and opioid use disorder.

ReGenUC's insight:

It's an indicator of just how far the US AOD system has to come that providing prisoners with access to pharmacotherapy is seen as groundbreaking work. See today's related post on White House threats to use federal laws to block the establishment of medically supervised injecting centres: http://sco.lt/4twYiX

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