Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Welfare card expansion passes first hurdle (Aus)

The government's effort to extend cashless welfare card trials further into Western Australia and Queensland has passed the lower house.

ReGenUC's insight:

Goldfields (WA), Hervey Bay and Bundaberg (Qld) are one step closer to having trials of the card. It will be interesting to see how the bill fares in the Senate.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit 

Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
We're late learners when it comes to drug laws. But whether it's next year or a decade from now, legalising cannabis is no longer a question of if, but when, writes Matt Noffs.
ReGenUC's insight:

Matt Noffs argues that Australia leads the world in tobacco policy, but needs to catch up on cannabis. See today's related coverage of initial implementation challenges for Canada's legalisation policy: http://sco.lt/6VGcTJ

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Fentanyl test strips prove useful in preventing overdoses (USA)

Fentanyl test strips prove useful in preventing overdoses (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Among more than 72,000 deaths in the U.S. last year, fentanyl—a highly potent prescription opioid often used to lace other heroin or cocaine, but hard for drug users to detect—factored into many of cases.
ReGenUC's insight:

Brown University School of Public Health study finds high rates of utilisation of distributed strips and subsequent behaviour changes to reduce overdose risk.

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Canadians are still buying cannabis illegally as legal weed is 'too expensive'

Canadians are still buying cannabis illegally as legal weed is 'too expensive' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Canadians have been celebrating the legalisation of cannabis - but it has come at a price. And that price appears to be too steep for many smokers, with som
ReGenUC's insight:

Illicit cannabis half the price of regulated product: an indicator of the implementation challenges for drug law reform. See today's related post calling for Australia to follow Canada's example: http://sco.lt/5BwXhp

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NT alcohol regulation questioned after empty vanilla essence, mouthwash bottles found

NT alcohol regulation questioned after empty vanilla essence, mouthwash bottles found | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The mouthwash and vanilla essence found at the Palmerston Escarpment on the weekend equated to about 16 standard drinks and looked like they were mixed with a bottle of soft drink.
ReGenUC's insight:

Highlighting the limitations of supply reduction measures in the context of continuing demand, and the role restrictions can play in driving more harmful patterns of consumption.

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Women Imprisoned: When Substance Use and Treatment Become Means of Control (USA)

Women Imprisoned: When Substance Use and Treatment Become Means of Control (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Are you sure he’s not cheating on you?” I asked the woman next to me in rehab. She was silent
ReGenUC's insight:

 HAMS' April Wilson Smith considers some of the intersections between family violence and AOD use.

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Dispatches from the morgue: Toxicology tests don't tell the whole story of the opioid epidemic (USA)

The toll of the opioid epidemic is often derived from toxicology reports. These rely on drug tests. A medical historian explains these tests and how they fall short of capturing why people are dying.
ReGenUC's insight:

Justin Wade Hubbard highlights the limitations of toxicology data in explaining the various individual, social and structural factors contributing to overdose deaths.

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Trouble brewing: climate change to cause 'dramatic' beer shortages (UK)

Trouble brewing: climate change to cause 'dramatic' beer shortages (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Trouble is brewing for the world’s beer drinkers, with climate change set to cause “dramatic” price spikes and supply shortages, according to new research.

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Climate-related damage to global barley crop likely to reduce production of European beer. 

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Crackdown on painkillers amid addiction fears (UK)

Crackdown on painkillers amid addiction fears (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Two painkillers are to be reclassified as class C controlled substances amid concerns people are becoming addicted to them and misusing them.

ReGenUC's insight:

Home Office announces that pregabalin and gabapentin will be reclassified as class C drugs from April. You can see the Govt's announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pregabalin-and-gabapentin-to-be-controlled-as-class-c-drugs

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Church-led Coalition Calls for Drug Decriminalisation (Aus)

Church-led Coalition Calls for Drug Decriminalisation (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A church-led coalition of 60 organisations - including the Law Society of NSW and NSW Bar.
ReGenUC's insight:

Paul Gregoire on last week's launch of the Fair Treatment campaign for drug law reform in NSW.

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The bid to ban 'poppers': public health necessity or an act of discrimination? (Aus)

The bid to ban 'poppers': public health necessity or an act of discrimination? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Amyl nitrite is immensely popular among gay men - but now an outright ban on the liquid is being weighed up.
ReGenUC's insight:

Michael Koziol considers the potential impacts of the proposed TGA rescheduling of alkyl nitrites.

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These Two Landmark Reports Should Light a Fire Under Drug Policy Reformers 

These Two Landmark Reports Should Light a Fire Under Drug Policy Reformers  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Two landmark reports about drugs and harm reduction have been released in the past few weeks: Regulation: The Responsible Contro
ReGenUC's insight:

Helen Redmond considers the impacts of two new reports focusing on the need for harm reduction and human rights to be at the core of global drug policy frameworks.

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Are you suffering from Midlife Anxiety Drinking Disorder?

Are you suffering from Midlife Anxiety Drinking Disorder? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Many doctors report that women who were once moderate drinkers run into problems as bereavement, retirement, empty nests and illness enter their lives.
ReGenUC's insight:

Louise Chunn considers some of the reasons behind the broad  increase in alcohol consumption by middle aged women.

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Homelessness, Vaping and Fentanyl: Three More Examples of Bad Media Coverage of Drugs (USA)

Homelessness, Vaping and Fentanyl: Three More Examples of Bad Media Coverage of Drugs (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Inaccurate and biased media coverage of drugs, drug use, and harm reduction was in full swing over this past weekend
ReGenUC's insight:

Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard highlights some examples of poor AOD reporting, and the damage done by this sort of coverage.

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The case for calling alcohol a drug

The words that clinicians use matter. Professors Kypros Kypri and Jim McCambridge argue that the way we categorise these words is also important, particularly in relation to drug and addiction policy (doi:10.1136/bmj.k3944). Policy could deal with smoking, drugs, and alcohol separately. Or it could bring all addictive drugs together, including alcohol, among others.

ReGenUC's insight:

BMJ editorial supports Kyp Kypri and Jim McCambridge's call for the unification of policy models covering alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

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Safer Consumption Spaces: Three Underground Models (USA)

Safer Consumption Spaces: Three Underground Models (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
“For years, the idea of a safe consumption space captivated the imagination of drug users everywhere,” says Isaac Jackson, presiden
ReGenUC's insight:

Shilo Jama considers examples of local volunteer responses to the need for harm reduction services and the need for US policy change to enable the establishment of official (and funded) sites.

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Canada grew up and legalised cannabis. Over to you, Australia

Canada grew up and legalised cannabis. Over to you, Australia | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Depending on your political bent, Canada is typically a half-generation or so ahead of Australia on the path to enlightenment or perdition.
ReGenUC's insight:

Steven Lewis considers the prospects of Australia following his homeland's example of drug law reform. See today's related post on some of the implementation challenges for Canada's cannabis reforms: http://sco.lt/6VGcTJ

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The Language of Addiction: New York Times Insists on Perpetuating Stigma

The Language of Addiction: New York Times Insists on Perpetuating Stigma | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The debate over journalists’ language on drug use was reignited by a recent email from New York Times standards editor Phillip B
ReGenUC's insight:

Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard responds to the NY Times' justification of using stigmatising language because it is familiar to readers.

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Former PA governor calls out Trump administration on safe injection sites: “come and arrest me” (USA)

Former PA governor calls out Trump administration on safe injection sites: “come and arrest me” (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The Justice Department has threatened a federal crackdown against safe injection sites. Philadelphia seems undeterred.
ReGenUC's insight:

There's a long history of civil disobedience campaigns in progressing harm reduction policy, but it's rare for former Governors to be on the front line.

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“I do feel out of place”: why young people are risking their social lives to go teetotal (UK)

“I do feel out of place”: why young people are risking their social lives to go teetotal (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
16- 24-year-olds are boozing less, but is the UK’s drinking culture really changing? 
ReGenUC's insight:

More coverage of the latest evidence of reducing alcohol consumption amongst young people.

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Increased levies on alcohol prices needed to limit damage to society – report (UK)

Increased levies on alcohol prices needed to limit damage to society – report (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

A new “treatment levy” should be imposed on alcohol duties to help deal with the harm caused by heavy drinking, MPs and health groups have said.

ReGenUC's insight:

In the context of ongoing austerity measures reducing the capacity of the UK AOD sector to respond to community need, new tax measures proposed as new source of funding for treatment services.

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Alcohol labels warning of risk from drinking while pregnant 'will save lives' (Australia)

Alcohol labels warning of risk from drinking while pregnant 'will save lives' (Australia) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia-New Zealand agreement to mandate labels that were previously voluntary
ReGenUC's insight:

New agreement will make inclusion of warnings mandatory for all alcohol products, replacing the voluntary scheme that has been in place since 2011.

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ABC disingenuously makes ice the focus of its National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report coverage (Aus)

ABC disingenuously makes ice the focus of its National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report coverage (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Reporters are once again exaggerating and misrepresenting illicit drug use by retaining focus on prime time’s favourite drug scapegoat, methamphetamine.

ReGenUC's insight:

Liam Engel considers recent reporting of new ACIC wastewater analysis data for AOD Media Watch.

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The main high from Canada’s cannabis legalisation is financial

The main high from Canada’s cannabis legalisation is financial | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A BLACK dragon with white claws, its wings etched with Escher-like designs, has a vitrine of its own at the centre of the Boroheads glass gallery in Toronto. The “dab rig” (for smoking cannabis oil) sells for C$8,000 ($6,170). Such items are in high demand, according to the gallery’s co-owner, who calls himself James Bongd.
ReGenUC's insight:

Economist article highlights a few elements of the Canadian 'green rush', as the limited scope of Govt measures leave cannabis production and distribution largely to private business. 

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'Needless deaths': Calls for heroin antidote to be widely available (ACT)

'Needless deaths': Calls for heroin antidote to be widely available (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The ACT is experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic as great or greater than the previous epidemic of the 1990s, according to ATODA.
ReGenUC's insight:

Following three overdose deaths last week in Canberra, ATODA's Carrie Fowlie & CAHMA's Chris Gough highlight the need for increased community awareness (and distribution) of naloxone. Important to note here that higher purity heroin (not fentanyl) is suspected of being responsible for the recent deaths.

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Peter Dutton rejects pill testing at music festivals (Aus)

Peter Dutton rejects pill testing at music festivals (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
HOME Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has condemned measures to make drug use “acceptable” as he committed himself to a campaign against illicit substances.
ReGenUC's insight:

During yesterday's National Press Club speech, Mr Dutton said he is 'going to have a lot more to say on our fight against drugs, the importation of drugs, the use, the socialising of drugs.' Let's hope at least some of that commentary is based in evidence, not inflammatory and divisive political rhetoric.

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