ABC News reports on the rising use of prescription opiates in QLD prisons, with comments by NDARC Director Michael Farrell.
The number of Queensland prisoners testing positive to drugs has doubled in the last year, with a prescription opiate known in prison as "subbies" increasingly becoming the drug of choice.
Experts say Queensland has the nation's worst access to drug treatment programs, and figures obtained by the ABC show desperate prisoners are smuggling in buprenorphine, which, like methadone, is used to treat drug dependence.
A recent report released by The Australian Crime Commission highlighted increasing availability of crystal methylamphetamine (ice) and the involvement of serious and organised crime has prompted Prime Minister Tony Abbott to establish an ice taskforce.
The taskforce, to be led by the former Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay, will develop a co-ordinated approach to education, health and law enforcement surrounding ice use.
NDARC Director Michael Farrell has welcomed a multi-lateral approach to the problem.
The death of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter at a music festival on the weekend from a suspected ecstasy overdose could possibly have been avoided with a simple harm-minimisation intervention. Pill testing, or drug checking as it’s known in Europe, provides feedback to users on the content of illegal drugs, allowing them to make informed choices.
"Cannabis as addictive as heroin" announced the headlines in The Daily Mail (UK) and The Telegraph (UK). The news outlets were reporting on a paper published this week in the journal Addiction which reviews the last 20 years of research into the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use.
But the headlines were misleading, as author of the paper and NDARC conjoint Professor Wayne Hall explains:
NDARC was lucky enough to host a presentation by cardiologists Professor Gemma Figtree and Dr Rebecca Kozor on 21 August about the effects of cocaine on the heart.
NDARC's 11 year study of heroin users - the longest running study of heroin users ever undertaken in Australia - is nearing completion. Professors Maree Teesson and Shane Darke spoke to ABC Television's Lateline program about their landmark findings, including what treatments have proven most effective at tackling heroin dependence.