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December 15, 2017

Happy Holidays from Dovetail

The Dovetail team would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. It's been a busy year in the Dovetail office. In fact it's been so busy, that we've broken some records.  2018 is shaping up to be bigger than ever, with some exciting projects on the horizon. We would like to thank you all for your support throughout 2017, and we look forward to working with you in 2018. The Dovetail office will be closed from Friday 22nd of January until Monday the 15th of January.

Some Dovetail highlights below!

377 people came to a full day training (from 1st of July until 14th of December 2017)

733 people came to a part day training (from 1st of July until 14th of December 2017)

424 people received support and assistance in 2017!

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December 15, 2017

NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY: CONSULTATION OPEN NOW

The Department of Health is inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on the National alcohol strategy 2018-2026.  As a sub-strategy of the National drug strategy 2017-2026, the National alcohol strategy aims to ideintify national priority areas and opportunities for action, as well as promoting collaboration between the government and non-government sector.  The strategy is also attempting to reduce harmful alcohol consumption by 10%. The online submission process is now open and will close on 11 February 2018.

You can view the draft National alcohol strategy 2018-2026 here.

To lodge a submission, please email the nationaldrugstrategy@health.gov.au

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December 15, 2017

2017 NEEDLE AND SYRINGE PROGRAM NATIONAL MINIMUM DATA COLLECTION REPORT

The 2017 Needle Syringe Program (NSP) National Minimum Data Collection Report has recently been released.  This is the second annual national data report which presents national and state/territory NSP data for the 2016/17 financial year.  Australia currently operates 3,627 NSPs around the country and during the 2016/17 reporting year, 49 million needles and syringes were distributed in Australia.  Of that amount, over 10 million needles and syringes were distributed by Queensland NSPs.

Data was collected on a nominated snapshot day in February 2017 for participating NSPs. Among young people (aged less than 25 years) attending NSPs on the snapshot day, 35% reported injecting stimulants, 31% reported injecting anabolic steroids and 20% reported injecting opioids. NSPs play a key role in the prevention of blood-borne viruses, including the provision of safe injecting equipment, information on reducing drug related harms and referral to support services.

Read the full report here (2.90MB PDF)

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December 8, 2017

EFFECTIVE RESPONSES TO INHALANT USE

Inhalant use continues to be a concern around Queensland.  In Townsville, two young people have died after using inhalants in the recent past. There is also some evidence of an increase in inhalant use in Cairns and in the greater Brisbane region. To assist in responding to these increases, Dovetail has published a handy fact sheet titled "Effective responses to inhalant use."  The fact sheet provides a succinct overview of some of the strategies to manage acute intoxication, providing support for families, reducing the supply of inhalants, and coordinating service delivery. The fact sheet also includes an overview of some approaches to avoid, such as using scare tactics, ineffective school-based prevention programs and overly punitive approaches, that result in displacing the problem to another region.  The fact sheet builds on some of the existing approaches to managing inhalant use, including the "NHMRC Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Volatile Substance Misuse in Australia".


Download "Effective Responses to Inhalant Use" (142KB PDF)


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December 8, 2017

REALITY BITES: AUSTRALIA'S YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN A MILLENNIAL ERA

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has published a report titled "Reality Bites: Australia's Youth Unemployment in a Millennial Era."  Despite widespread media reporting on Australia's falling unemployment rate, the unemployment rate amongst young people is more than double that for the whole population. This high rate of unemployment amongst young people accelerated following the global financial crisis in 2008, and alongside this increase has been an increase in the number of young people who are unemployed long term (more than one year).

Download "Reality Bites: Australia's youth unemployment in a millennial era" (420KB PDF)

 

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December 8, 2017

DO DIFFERENT DRINKS MAKE YOU DIFFERENT DRUNK?

Does rum make you angry? Or does gin make you cry? There are many different beliefs about different types of alcohol causing different effects, and a recent article in The Conversation tackles the question "Do different drinks make you different drunk?". Professor Nicole Lee describes some of the common beliefs, and provides a simple answer - no, different alcohol does not make you different drunk. However, people do develop beliefs about particular alcoholic drinks causing particular effects. These expectancies are formed from a young age and can shape some of our experiences of alcohol.

Go to "Do different drinks make you different drunk?"

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November 30, 2017

THE EFFECTS OF METHAMPHETAMINE ON THE BRAIN AND BODY WEBINAR

Professor Nicole Lee recently presented a webinar for "Cracks in the Ice" entitled "Effects of ice on the brain and body, and implications for responding."  This one hour webinar is now available to view online.  The presentation helps workers to understand the effects of methamphetamine on the brain and body and the subsequent impacts on people's functioning. Professor Nicole Lee also discusses ways workers can adapt and adopt more effective strategies to respond to people who use methamphetamine in light of these implications.

Watch "Effects of ice on the brain and body, and implications for responding" here.

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November 30, 2017

QUEENSLAND UNISHARP 1ML SYRINGE LAUNCH

Last year we blogged a story from the Anex Bulletin about the introduction of the Korean made 1ml Terumo syringes that have been causing problems for people who inject. Needle and Syringe Programs around the country began receiving complaints about the new syringes including blunt or weak needles and difficult-to-use plungers.  You can read about it here.


In response to this issue a new range of 1ml syringes have been released in Australia and the Queensland launch for the new Unisharp 1ml Syringe happened this week. Andrew Preston, Managing Director of Exchange Supplies has presented a one hour webinar for Insight Queensland explaining the history of the Unisharp coloured syringes and provides all the information needed for workers supporting clients who are injecting drug users.

You can watch it here.

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November 30, 2017

DEVELOPMENTS TO STRENGTHEN SYSTEMS FOR CHILD PROTECTION ACROSS AUSTRALIA

A report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies outlines the latest changes and reforms within Australian child protection systems. The report "Developments to Strengthen Systems for Child Protection Across Australia" uses results from a survey completed by child protection departments across Australia on change and reform since July 2010.  The report aims to document the changes in Australia's child protection system so States and Territories can learn from reform happening elsewhere. The report also includes observations on how our child protection systems are evolving and areas of focus for reform.  Addressing the overrepresentation and high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering out of home care was found to be an area of particular focus for reform for all jurisdictions.

You can read the full report here.

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November 24, 2017

DMT: A TRIP THROUGH THE GARDEN VIDEO

Dovetail is currently producing a series of short videos, covering a wide range of substances. The first series of videos are going to be focused on naturally occurring substances - psychoactive plants and fungus. DMT is a naturally occurring hallucinogen, in the tryptamine family. It occurs in a number of native Australian acacias, and there is some evidence of increasing rates of use in the community. This video provides an overview of the forms of DMT, prevalence, and effects.

Watch DMT (Episode 1 - A Trip Through the Garden - A Short Guide to Plant-based Substances) here.

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