Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Law enforcement agencies break national record for 2013-14 drug seizures and arrests (Aus)

More drugs have been seized than ever before and more people arrested for illicit drugs offences, according to a new report by the Australian Crime Commission. Today I released the Illicit Drug Data Report 2013-14 with ACC chief executive Chris Dawson which shows Australian law enforcement agencies seized a record 27 tonnes of illicit drugs in 93,000 seizures and made more than 110 000 arrests.

ReGenUC's insight:

Minister Keenan's media release accompanying the release of the ACC report (http://sco.lt/6RppAn). While he's obviously focusing on Justice issues, this release highlights the problems with the Federal Govt's approach to drug policy. While he boasts of the higher seizures of illicit drugs and that the Govt has, 'invested heavily in law enforcement agencies' in its first 18 months, there is no recognition that supply reduction measures are (at best) only part of the solution. Nor is there any mention of the Federal funding cuts to AOD treatment services.

Perhaps most galling is his seeking to single out people who use illicit drugs (many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised in our societies) to allocate blame for, 'the unknown health impacts, the psychological affects, the dangers of drug manufacturing, and the contribution of drug use to wider crimes such as thefts, robberies, assaults, family violence, deaths and even terrorism.'

We need more than this from our government.

 

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Alcohol & other drug issues in the media
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Andrew Barr gives second pill-testing trial the green light (ACT)

Andrew Barr gives second pill-testing trial the green light (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has given the go-ahead for what he says will be a potentially life-saving pill-testing trial at this year's Groovin the Moo music festival.

ReGenUC's insight:

2nd (& larger) pill-testing pilot approved for Groovin the Moo in April.

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'We went to Iraq on less evidence': Q&A panel clash over pill testing (Aus)

'We went to Iraq on less evidence': Q&A panel clash over pill testing (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Amid a contentious debate on Monday's Q&A, it fell to former Federal Police chief Mick Palmer to own the night in a few simple words.
ReGenUC's insight:

Summary of last night's QANDA drug policy discussion.

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Trump Said China Doesn't Have a Drug Problem. The Data tells a different story

Trump Said China Doesn't Have a Drug Problem. The Data tells a different story | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump said China doesn't have a drug problem because it can use the death penalty. Here's the truth about drugs in China.
ReGenUC's insight:

President says US should emulate Chinese approach (including use of death penalty for drug offences), in spite of the evidence that it does not work. See today's related coverage: http://sco.lt/6nXtpI

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I smoked pot but I don't want my children to (UK)

I smoked pot but I don't want my children to (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Some of the friends I used to get stoned with did end up depressed, paranoid or underachieving.
ReGenUC's insight:

Jemima Lewis reflects on her own experience & new evidence of links between cannabis & mental health.

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Inside the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court: Helping addicts help themselves (NZ)

Inside the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court: Helping addicts help themselves (NZ) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court supports users who want to break their habit. It's a successful system, so why might it be shut down, asks Paul Little.

ReGenUC's insight:

Extended piece on the potential impacts of a therapeutic jurisprudence approach to supporting recovery.

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QANDA Pill-Testing Special (Aus)

QANDA Pill-Testing Special (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Chief Superintendent Stuart Smith, NSW Acting Assistant Commissioner Kerryn Redpath, Author, drug educator and former drug user Dr David Caldicott, Pioneer of pill testing in Australia Dr Marianne Jauncey, Medical Director, Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre Mick Palmer, Former AFP Commissioner
ReGenUC's insight:

Tonight sees the first of two national tv discussions of the need for pill-testing in Australia (the second will be on SBS' Insight program soon).

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No arrests, fines or stigma. Why we should legalise cannabis in Canberra

No arrests, fines or stigma. Why we should legalise cannabis in Canberra | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
My first experience with cannabis did not result in the attention of law enforcement. For many, this is not the case.
ReGenUC's insight:

Michael Petterson MLA discusses his Private Member's Bill and it's likely impacts on law enforcement and the justice system.

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Tobacco heating products may not be safer than traditional cigarettes, early stage study finds (Aus)

Tobacco heating products may not be safer than traditional cigarettes, early stage study finds (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Tobacco heating products, also known as ‘heat-not-burn’ products, can be as damaging to lung cell functioning as cigarette smoke, a study published in ERJ Open Research has found.
ReGenUC's insight:

University of Tasmania study compares toxicity of different concentrations of tobacco smoke, e-cigarette and heated tobacco vapour to lung tissue.

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How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients (USA)

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients (USA) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Pain patients are frequently denied drugs to relive suffering, forced into withdrawal, and cut off from medical care. Stigma against addiciton is to blame.
ReGenUC's insight:

Elizabeth Brico highlights the negative impacts of opioid policy responses on pain management practice and the accessibility of methadone for people in recovery.

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How Bristol's Recovery Orchestra is helping musicians beat their addictions

How Bristol's Recovery Orchestra is helping musicians beat their addictions | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

Bristol Drugs Project already runs a successful choir and theatre group
ReGenUC's insight:

Another great example of harnessing people's skills to support recovery.

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Cannabis legalisation to be delayed by new parliamentary rules (ACT)

Cannabis legalisation to be delayed by new parliamentary rules (ACT) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
While the bill has in-principle support from most of the ACT's parliament, the legislation will be exposed to a new level of scrutiny, delaying its passage.
ReGenUC's insight:

Amendments to private member's bill require passing through scrutiny process over three sitting periods. Debate unlikely to conclude before middle of the year.

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Opioid strong enough to sedate elephants on rise in Ohio, coroners warn

Opioid strong enough to sedate elephants on rise in Ohio, coroners warn | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Carfentanil, described as ‘extremely potent’ and often undetectable, involved in multiple overdose deaths
ReGenUC's insight:

County coroners issue warning following recent carfentanil overdoses & increased police seizures.

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'It is time': City of Sydney councillors back pill-testing 'dry-run'

'It is time': City of Sydney councillors back pill-testing 'dry-run' | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it

The councillors unanimously backed calls for a drug summit, and supported a pill-testing demonstration in a bid to drive down the number of young people dying at music festivals.

ReGenUC's insight:

Unanimous resolution recognises the urgent need for change.

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Pill testing: Drug users tell us what they really think (Aus)

Pill testing: Drug users tell us what they really think (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Recreational drug users and experts take us to the heart of the pill testing debate about whether attitudes can change and lives can be saved.
ReGenUC's insight:

Preview of tonight's Insight program on SBS. Good to see the voices of those directly affected by the issue being heard. See also the summary of last night's QANDA drug policy discussion: http://sco.lt/4urgEi 

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‘There’s no reason not to trial pill testing’: UNSW drug policy scholar stands firm on the evidence

ReGenUC's insight:

Interview with Alison Ritter on the repositioning of the Drug Policy Modelling Program within UNSW.

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Trump “Most Excited” About China Executing People for Selling Fentanyl

Trump “Most Excited” About China Executing People for Selling Fentanyl | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
President Trump has lauded the use of the death penalty for people convicted of drug offences, and claims to have convinced the Chinese president to execute people who
ReGenUC's insight:

Latest example of President Trump's support for the use of the death penalty, in spite of its demonstrated ineffectiveness in preventing drug trafficking and supply. See today's related coverage of the President's speech: http://sco.lt/7v5Le4

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It's time to change our drug dog policies to catch dealers, not low-level users at public events (NSW)

It's time to change our drug dog policies to catch dealers, not low-level users at public events (NSW) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
It's ineffective to use drug dogs at festivals and in public places because they're much more likely to catch small-time users than suppliers.
ReGenUC's insight:

Caitlin Hughes & Winifred Agnew-Pauley highlight the need for significant reform to NSW drug policy.

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'It just gets bigger': Canberra sales surge for DIY pill-testing kits

'It just gets bigger': Canberra sales surge for DIY pill-testing kits | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
As the debate surrounding pill testing continues, many Canberrans are resorting to testing pills themselves.
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of community demand for access to information to help with informed decision making about drug consumption

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Teen girls influenced by fathers' heavy drinking (Aus)

Teen girls influenced by fathers' heavy drinking (Aus) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Teenage girls are more influenced by their fathers’ drinking habits than boys of the same age.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another reminder of the role parents play in shaping their children's AOD consumption patterns.

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The Defining Health Crisis of Our Time (Canada)

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, educates on the importance of harm reduction and why we need to rise up to support and care fo

ReGenUC's insight:

Recent (15 min) TEDx talk on the need for harm reduction to be at the centre of policy responses to opioid overdose risk.

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Many Rural Americans Have No Access to Buprenorphine

Many Rural Americans Have No Access to Buprenorphine | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Rural Americans do not have enough access to medication assisted treatment (MAT), the gold standard for treating opioid use disorder.
ReGenUC's insight:

Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard highlights the impact of opioid treatment service access disparities, along with efforts to address them.

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Number of US teens using e-cigarettes surges to 5m in one year – study

Number of US teens using e-cigarettes surges to 5m in one year – study | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Vaping among young people increased by 1.5 million in 2018, prompting calls for regulation
ReGenUC's insight:

You can see the CDC report here: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/youth-tobacco-use/

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Smoking in pregnancy: Stigma 'causes women to do it in private' (UK)

Smoking in pregnancy: Stigma 'causes women to do it in private' (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Expectant mothers are smoking in private because of judgement from doing so in public, a study claims.
ReGenUC's insight:

Welsh study highlights the role stigma plays in increasing immediate harm and making it harder for people to seek help.

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England hospital admissions for addiction soar as treatment budgets fall 

England hospital admissions for addiction soar as treatment budgets fall  | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
MPs say freedom of information data reveals cuts ‘simply a false economy’
ReGenUC's insight:

More evidence of the impacts of austerity: treatment funding cuts simply shift demand to (more expensive) hospital services.

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Louella Fletcher-Michie: Boyfriend tried six times to help TV star’s daughter as she died of drug overdose at Bestival, court hears (UK)

Louella Fletcher-Michie: Boyfriend tried six times to help TV star’s daughter as she died of drug overdose at Bestival, court hears (UK) | Alcohol & other drug issues in the media | Scoop.it
Louella Fletcher-Michie’s boyfriend tried six times to get help to her as she overdosed before responding to the suggestion he call an ambulance by saying he was worried about getting arrested, a court heard.
ReGenUC's insight:

Another example of the importance of drug law reform in reducing drug related harm.

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