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NDARC in the news 2015

NDARC is regularly approached by media outlets to provide an evidence-based perspective on drug and alcohol issues. In addition, NDARC researchers disseminate key findings to the general public via the media.

Below is a selection of our media coverage in 2015.


Ice killers: How the toxic drug effects the brain to fuel rage and violence (7/12/2015)
The Daily Telegraph
In this feature, NDARC researcher Dr Sharlene Kaye offers insights on how crystal methamphetamine works in the user's brain.

Stereosonic drug deaths: Should we be testing illegal drugs to see if they’re safe? (6/12/2015)
Adelaide Advertiser
Professor Alison Ritter gives an overview of the evidence supporting the harm reduction benefits of pill testing at music festivals.

Can testing make drugs safer for those who ignore calls not to take them? (4/12/2015)
The Sydney Morning Herald
Professor Alison Ritter, Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at NDARC, comments on drug testing, which is used in some European countries.

Common painkillers to remain over the counter until 2017 after ruling delay (20/11/2015)
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced that a final decision on the rescheduling of codeine will be delayed until 2016. NDARC researcher Amanda Roxburgh comments on a recent study of codeine-related deaths.

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre: Ice use up among most disadvantaged (14/10/2015)
The Sydney Morning Herald
New NDARC research released at the 2015 National Drug Trends Conference shows that the use of crystal methamphetamine has increased among injecting drug users but decreased among casual drug users.

WA druggies more violent (14/10/2015)
The West Australian
NDARC findings indicate that injecting drug users in WA are more likely to commit crimes such as drug dealing and violence than those in other States.

More using cannabis as older people turn to pot (19/10/2015)
The Australian
Reporting on policy discussions regarding medicinal cannabis, with NDARC figures showing more drug users prefer cannabis, and more older people use the drug.

Oxycodone prescriptions surge five-fold in 10 years (23/9/2015)
The Sydney Morning Herald
Dr Suzanne Nielsen provides expert background on prescription opioids following the news of two NRL players being rushed to hospital with a suspected oxycodone overdose.

Oxycodone: If abused, it’s a very dangerous painkiller (23/9/2015)
The Australian
Dr Suzanne Nielsen provides expert background on prescription opioids following the news of two NRL players being rushed to hospital with a suspected oxycodone overdose.

Inside an ice rage: what methamphetamine does to your brain (12/9/2015)
The Sydney Morning Herald
Professor Michael Farrell provides some insights into psychosis related to crystal methamphetamine use.

Opinion: Ice use guesswork for most (17/8/2015)
Newcastle Herald
Prof Jan Copeland discusses misperceptions about ice use in Australia as revealed by a recent NCPIC survey.
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre ice surveybusts myths (13/8/2015)
Sydney Morning Herald
Prof Jan Copeland warns that increased attention on crystal methamphetamine could encourage new users to try the drug.


When is it safe to drink alcohol while on medication? (28/12/2015)
In this episode of Health Report, Dr Suzanne Nielsen talks about the risks of drinking alcohol when using benzodiazepines or opioid pain medications like oxycodone and morphine.

Alcohol the main problem in hospital staff assaults, Queensland doctors and nurses say (11/12/2015)
ABC Radio Australia
Professor Anthony Shakeshaft comments on this story reporting on frequent violence towards hospital emergency staff caused by alcohol intoxicated patients.

Cocaine arrests up by 50 per cent in NSW, but smaller rise in amphetamine arrests 'more concerning' (9/12/2015)
ABC Radio PM
Professor Michael Farrell comments on a report about an increase in arrests relating to cocaine and amphetamine across NSW.

The debate around 'drug checking' at music festivals (7/12/2015)
SBS Online
DPMP researcher Dr Monica Barratt comments on a feature about drug testing at music festivals.

Interview with Professor Alison Ritter on pill testing at music festivals (1/12/2015)
ABC News Radio
Professor Alison Ritter on pill testing and other harm reduction measures following the death of a young woman at a music festival in Sydney.

Living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (2/11/2015)
Triple J Hack
Clare McCormack provides background information on drinking in pregnancy and the risk for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Ice use is not increasing in the general population, researchers say (14/10/2015)
ABC Radio AM
Professor Michael Farrell speaks about new figures that show ice use is not increasing in the general population, despite a rise in use among injecting drug users. Amanda Roxburgh says there is a rise in methamphetamine related hospital presentations.

Research finds Australia is one of five countries responsible for majority of online drug trade (16/9/2015)
ABC Radio National Breakfast
Researcher Joe Van Buskirk speaks to Fran Kelly about drug marketplaces on the 'dark web'; new research shows that Australia is one of five countries responsible for the majority of drug transactions on the dark web.

Experts fear stricter drug-related penalties will have no effect on usage (31/8/2015)
ABC Radio PM
New NSW laws see increased penalties and lower tresholds for methamphetamine dealing convictions. DPMP Professor Alison Ritter says this will have no impact.

Australians have an inflated sense of the ice problem: survey (13/8/2015)
ABC Radio PM
Professor Jan Copeland on a new survey conducted by NCPIC that found Australians are overestimating the prevalence of ice use in Australia.


Opioid problem “displaced” (7/12/2015)
MJA InSight
A report on the rising issue of prescription opioid-related deaths, with comments by NDARC Director Professor Michael Farrell.

Why LSD is being used in workplaces in Silicon Valley (30/11/2015)
A report on a new trend in the use of psychedelics, quoting NDARC data on LSD use in Australia.

Australians fight back against crystal meth epidemic (15/11/2015)
The Telegraph, UK
A report on crystal methamphetamine use in Australia, quoting NDARC Director Prof Michael Farrell.

US trial sees drink-driving offenders who can't pass twice-daily breathalyser test jailed (9/11/2015)
ABC News Online
NDARC Director, Professor Michael Farrell comments on a new US trial to reduce heavy alcohol consumption in drink driving offenders.

Crystal meth use in Australia up by 6 percent, study finds (15/10/2015)
International Business Times
Reporting on new NDARC findings that crystal methamphetamine use increased by 6% among injecting drug users.

Drug experts warn of dangerous new hallucinogen ‘flakka’ (15/10/2015)
9News Online
A new, potentially dangerous synthetic hallucinogen may be available in Australia according to a toxicologist. NDARC is monitoring the drug.

Australia's binge drinking culture puts mental health at risk, experts warn (9/10/2015)
ABC News Online
A feature reporting on Australia's drinking culture, with comments by Professor Michael Farrell.

Medicinal cannabis users will need adverse effect advice expert (8/10/2015)
Australian Journal of Pharmacy
NDARC director Michael Farrell comments on a report on medicinal cannabis and says patients should be advised that the adverse effects of long term use are unclear.

Warning over prescribed painkillers (23/9/2015)
NT News
Dr Suzanne Nielsen provides expert background on prescription opioids following the news of two NRL players being rushed to hospital with a suspected oxycodone overdose.

Methadone initially increases death risk (16/9/2015)
9News Online
Reporting on a new NDARC study that shows that methadone carries a much higher death risk in the first four weeks of opioid substitution therapy than buprenorphine.

Methadone raises death risk in first month of treatment for opioid dependence (16/9/2015)
Health Canal
A new study shows that opioid-dependent patients are five times more likely to die in the first four weeks of treatment if they are prescribed methadone rather than the alternative treatment, buprenorphine.

Ice dealers face life imprisonment, $500,000 fines under changes to NSW laws (31/8/2015)
ABC News Online
New NSW laws see increased penalties and lower tresholds for methamphetamine dealing convictions. With comments by DPMP Professor Alison Ritter.

Riverina research project aiming to reduce alcohol related violence in Aboriginal communities (24/8/2015)
ABC News Online
NDARC Research Officer Mieke Snijder on a new project that uses community youth programs to reduce alcohol-related harm in rural Indigenous communities.

Opinion Piece - Why marriage equality matters 
NSW Labor MP Stephen Jones discusses the public health benefits of marriage equality as found by recent DPMP research.

Drug more deadly than meth is the scourge of the suburbs(15/4/2015)
15 April 2015, news.com.au
News.com.au reports on opioid addiction, with comments by Louisa Degenhardt.

Drugs in prison: Number of Qld prisoners testing positive doubles as jailed addicts turn to prescription opiate buprenorphine(15/4/2015)
15 April 2015, ABC News Online
NDARC Director Professor Michael Farrell comments on the increasing use of prescription opiate in Queensland prisons.


Leniency for ice offenders? (15/9/2015)
Ten Eyewitness News
Reporting from the NDARC Annual Research Symposium 2015, Channel Ten News reports on keynote speaker Angela Hawken's successful trial program to reduce incarceration and reoffending rates in crystal methamphetamine users; the dark web and the changing face of opioid dependence in Australia.

Police targeting the 'dark web' (19/8/2015)
Channel 10 News
NDARC researcher Joe Van Buskirk on trends in drug marketplaces on the 'dark web'.