Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Surge in ice use in Hume (Vic)

Surge in ice use in Hume (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ice-related ambulance call-outs in Hume have surged in recent years, with paramedics attending to more than 100 patients in 2016-17.
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing our Paul Aiken and Penington's John Ryan. Good to see the article includes comment about the broader context of methamphetamine use (and its impacts), not just the usual hyperbole.

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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'Evidence backs pill testing trials': physicians tell Berejiklian (Aus)

'Evidence backs pill testing trials': physicians tell Berejiklian (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Australia's peak body for physicians has called on premier Gladys Berejiklian to introduce trials at music festivals to save lives.
ReGenUC's insight:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners joins the AMA & PHAA (along with the AOD sector and wider community) in supporting pill-testing. Momentum for change continues to build.

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The ‘war on drugs’ is ineffective and violates human rights, say researchers and NGOs

The ‘war on drugs’ is ineffective and violates human rights, say researchers and NGOs | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A 130 per cent increase in poppy growing, more than 72,000 deaths by overdose during 2017 in the United States alone (the highest level on record), nearly 4,000 prisoners with death sentences executed worldwide since 2009 for drug-related crimes: these are some of the alarming figures quoted in the International Drug Policy Consortium's (IDPC) report published last October. The prohibitionist policies pursued by UN member states over the past decade as part of their ‘war on drugs' have failed to contain (...)
ReGenUC's insight:

Andréane Williams considers the evidence for change to global policy frameworks.

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Call to Develop Meth Addiction Meds Mustn't Obscure Woeful Lack of Access to Existing Tools (USA)

Call to Develop Meth Addiction Meds Mustn't Obscure Woeful Lack of Access to Existing Tools (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack of Meds to Combat the Addiction,” reads the headline of an article first published on Kaise
ReGenUC's insight:

Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard highlights the range of practical harm reduction resources available.

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Canadians Spent $1.6 Billion on Legal Weed in 2018: Report 

Canadians Spent $1.6 Billion on Legal Weed in 2018: Report  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The figure doubled from the year before.
ReGenUC's insight:

New report shows Canada is now the 3rd largest market for legal cannabis, following its legislative reform in October last year.

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Weekly Dose: new drug MDPV, or 'monkey dust', found in Australia. What is it and what are the harms?

Weekly Dose: new drug MDPV, or 'monkey dust', found in Australia. What is it and what are the harms? | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Monkey dust is in the "bath salts" family. Here's what that means.
ReGenUC's insight:

Samuel Bannister & Richard Kevin consider the risks associated with the emerging presence of MDPV within illicit drug markets as another example of the need for specialist, onsite pilltesting at festivals.

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McGowan rejects pill testing in WA

McGowan rejects pill testing in WA | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
"I've read a lot of the materials around it, if I genuinely thought it would save lives I'd say it was a good idea but I don't," Mr McGowan said.
ReGenUC's insight:

Premier McGowan makes the usual misleading claims justifying a govt's opposition to evidence based policy reform. Matt Noffs says the evidence for change is clear.

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40 years practicing criminal law showed me that UK drugs laws are a catastrophe

40 years practicing criminal law showed me that UK drugs laws are a catastrophe | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

I was a criminal lawyer for over 40 years – indeed I still am, now pushing my last couple of cases through the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  My big takeaway from such a long career? Easy, and here it is in one sentence. Our criminal justice approach to drugs is a national catastrophe.

ReGenUC's insight:

Blog post by Transform's Chair of Trustees, Jane Hickman on the pressing need for drug law reform.

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Fraction of US outpatient treatment centers offer medication for opioid addiction (USA)

Despite the mounting death toll of America's opioid crisis, only a minority of facilities that treat substance use disorders offer patients buprenorphine, naltrexone or methadone -- the three FDA-approved medications for the long-term management of opioid use disorder, according to a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
ReGenUC's insight:

While there have been recent gains in removing cultural and systemic barriers to pharmacotherapy in the US, findings like this provide a stark reminder of how much work remains to be done.

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Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on? 

Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on?  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The prevalence of drug overdoses and homicides is helping drive down life expectancy in the nation’s sixth largest city as premature deaths have been rising since 2015
ReGenUC's insight:

City seeks to open America's first official supervised injecting facility, but fears White House punishment.

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Pill testing: Ex-Premier Campbell Newman calls for drugs to be legalised (Qld)

Pill testing: Ex-Premier Campbell Newman calls for drugs to be legalised (Qld) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman has called for a public debate on drug use after the death of
ReGenUC's insight:

Mr Newman joins the long (and prestigious) list of political leaders who are willing to back evidence based drug policy, when they are no longer in a position to enact it. While his current position is in stark contrast to that when he was Qld Premier, hopefully it can help encourage current governments to take action.

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Rainbow Serpent video calls for "evidence-based" approach (Vic)

Rainbow Serpent video calls for "evidence-based" approach (Vic) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
After another death at a festival in NSW, dance festival Rainbow Serpent is joining calls for the state to authorise pill testing.
ReGenUC's insight:

Festival organisers call on state governments across Australia to allow onsite pill testing to help prevent overdose deaths.

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Family of Alex Ross-King will seek sit-down with the Premier to discuss drug reform (NSW)

Family of Alex Ross-King will seek sit-down with the Premier to discuss drug reform (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Grieving family says they will seek out an opportunity to discuss drug reform with Gladys Berejiklian in the wake of the 19-year-old's sudden death.
ReGenUC's insight:

Grieving families have a unique capacity to cut through the usual stereotypes and stigma within public drug policy debate. They provide a clear reminder of the human impacts (and the humanity) at the centre of these issues that is key to changing community attitudes and overcoming political opposition towards evidence based reform.

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Lessons from the heroin injecting room (NSW)

Lessons from the heroin injecting room (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
In the more than 18 years since it opened, there have been more than one million injections supervised in Kings Cross, 8000 overdoses, but not one single death writes Tracey Burton.
ReGenUC's insight:

Uniting NSW.ACT Executive Director Tracey Burton on why she wrote an open letter to the NSW Premier and Opposition Leader on the need to move forward on pill testing.

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Singapore Creates New Drug Offences with Lengthy Sentences

Singapore Creates New Drug Offences with Lengthy Sentences | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
On 15 January, Singapore's Parliament passed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act which introduce a range of new drug offences.
ReGenUC's insight:

New measures threaten to criminalise harm reduction.

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Duterte gov't allows 'drug war' deaths to go unsolved (Philippines)

Duterte gov't allows 'drug war' deaths to go unsolved (Philippines) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The systematic delay in solving killings does not help the Duterte administration in a landmark legal battle before the International Criminal Court
ReGenUC's insight:

No suspects identified in 70% of of the 5,050 cases involving police operations.

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Meth And Cocaine Are Spurring a “Fourth Wave” Of The Overdose Crisis (USA)

Meth And Cocaine Are Spurring a “Fourth Wave” Of The Overdose Crisis (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

“It’s not your father’s drug market,” said one expert. “We have a synthetic drug crisis caused by stronger and more potent drugs.”

ReGenUC's insight:

Citing Dan Ciccarone on the need for increased access to real time drug checking services to identify the presence of fentanyl & carfentanil.

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Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate

Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended.
ReGenUC's insight:

More reporting on the current proceedings targetting Purdue's alleged role in driving the US opioid crisis.

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Australian students launch national campaign to pressure MPs to allow pill-testing 

Australian students launch national campaign to pressure MPs to allow pill-testing  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Students for Sensible Drug Policy campaign comes as NSW coroner investigates five recent deaths at music festivals
ReGenUC's insight:

Coverage of last night's #BeHeardNotHarmed launch in Melbourne, citing SSDP, Dancewize, Richard DiNatale & Fiona Patten on the need for change.

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Dying patients to be given 'magic mushrooms' at Melbourne hospital

Dying patients to be given 'magic mushrooms' at Melbourne hospital | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The controversial trial aims to reduce anxiety about death among terminally ill patients.
ReGenUC's insight:

Six-month outcomes data of St Vincents trial finds synthetic psilocybin reduced anxiety & depressed mood, improved wellbeing in 80% of participants.

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Trump’s Attorney General Nominee Bill Barr Says He’s “Not Going After” Marijuana In States Where It’s Legal (USA)

Trump’s Attorney General Nominee Bill Barr Says He’s “Not Going After” Marijuana In States Where It’s Legal (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Bill Barr told senators he’d take the same stance of the Obama administration — not that of former attorney general Jeff Sessions.
ReGenUC's insight:

Incoming Attorney General says he will not target cannabis businesses that are complying with state laws.

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Government to press ahead with minimum alcohol pricing plans (Ireland)

Government to press ahead with minimum alcohol pricing plans (Ireland) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The government is set to press ahead with minimum unit pricing for alcohol, despite previously indicating that the measure would be introduced at the same time as Northern Ireland.
ReGenUC's insight:

'Political stalemate' in N. Ireland prompts Irish Govt to go it alone on alcohol policy reform.

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OxyContin maker expected 'a blizzard of prescriptions' following drug's launch (USA)

OxyContin maker expected 'a blizzard of prescriptions' following drug's launch (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Massachusetts accuses Purdue Pharma of ‘deceiving’ patients and doctors about the addictive and deadly risks of drug
ReGenUC's insight:

Court documents provide more evidence of the commercial interests at the heart of the US opioid crisis.

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NSW Coroner to hold hearing into music festival deaths

NSW Coroner to hold hearing into music festival deaths | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
The deaths of five young music festival revellers in as many months will be scrutinised before the NSW Coroner's Court next week.
ReGenUC's insight:

Coronial inquests have a unique capacity to help focus public and political debate. In Victoria, we've seen the role recent coronial recommendations played in progressing the case for the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injecting Room in Melbourne. Hopefully, this hearing will help support policy change on pill testing in NSW.

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'We're dealing with a black market': is taking pills becoming more dangerous? (Aus)

'We're dealing with a black market': is taking pills becoming more dangerous? (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Those calling for pill-testing and other harm minimisation say young people are dying while the debate becomes more polarised
ReGenUC's insight:

Citing David Caldicott and Alison Ritter on the urgent need for evidence based drug policy reform to reduce drug related harm within our communities.

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Pill Testing: Ultra Music Festival Is Pushing For A Sydney Trial Next Month

Pill Testing: Ultra Music Festival Is Pushing For A Sydney Trial Next Month | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Ultra Music Festival has approached Gladys Berejiklian about the prospect of holding a pill testing trial at their event in Sydney next month.
ReGenUC's insight:

Festival operators seek to work with NUAA on pill testing trial

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