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January 25, 2018

2017 NATIONAL WASTEWATER DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM

The University of Queensland and University of South Australia have been commissioned to provide drug consumption data to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission using a National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. Wastewater analysis is a technique for delivering population-scale consumption of substances. The 2017 collection covers 61 per cent of Australia's population, approximately 14.2 million Australians. A total of approximately 50 wastewater treatment sites were assessed, bimonthly in the case of capital city sites and every four months for regional sites.

 

Drug specific parameters in the data showed that alcohol and nicotine were consistently the highest consumed drugs in all states and territories. Compounds of concern that were tested include nicotine from tobacco, ethanol from alcohol intake, pharmaceutical opioids with abuse potential, illicit substances such as methylamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine, as well as a number of new psychoactive substances. The wastewater analysis did not test for cannabis. Data comparisons from August 2016 and August 2017, show an increase in population averages for cocaine consumption in capital city and regional sites.

 

Elevated consumption levels of fentanyl were observed at several regional sites, with weighted average consumption in regional sites more than double that of capital city sites. The fourth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is scheduled to be released in March 2018.

Find out more at the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program website.

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January 25, 2018

MISSION AUSTRALIA YOUTH SURVEY REPORT 2017

Every year, Mission Australia conducts a survey of young people, in order to find out the issues of concern for young people.  A total of 24 055 young people aged 15-19 completed the survey in 2017, with 19.1% of participants from Queensland, with 4.1% of those young people identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.  The Queensland young people identified "Coping with stress" as their top issue of concern, with 42.5% of young people indicating they were either extremely concerned or very concerned with this.  The second most commonly nominated issue of concern was "School or study problems", with 34.1% of young people indicating they were either extremely or very concerned.  The third most nominated issue of concern was "Body image" with 28.2% of respondents either extremely or very concerned.


Read more about the Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2017

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January 25, 2018

PRESCRIPTION OPIOID USE AND MISUSE IN AUSTRALIA: OPTIONS FOR A REGULATORY

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released a discussion paper titled "Prescription strong (Schedule 8) opioid use and misuse in Australia - options for a regulatory response: consultation paper."  The paper provides an overview of the challenges of balancing access to opioids for legitimate purposes, while reducing the risks associated with opioid misuse.  The TGA are seeking input from any interested person or service, and feedback can be provided until Friday 2nd of March.


Find out more here.

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January 19, 2018

DOVETAIL'S TOP BLOG POSTS FOR 2017

As we slowly return to work, we thought it would be worthwhile to have a look back at the most popular Dovetail blog stories from 2017.  So here are the top five stories from the Dovetail blog in 2017.

5) "So your school has been approached by an external organisation"

4) "Lifeline Coping Kit Resource"

3) "The effects of methamphetamine on the brain and body webinar"

2) "Strategies for managing abuse related trauma"

1)  "Dovetail's Drug Slang and Acronym List Version 2.0"

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January 19, 2018

CHANGES TO OVER-THE-COUNTER CODEINE FROM 1ST OF FEBRUARY 2018

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that from 1 February 2018, all medicines containing codeine will require a prescription due to the up-scheduling of codeine. NPS Medicinewise has published information and resources for health professionals as well as consumer/ patient fact sheets on the new rules for medicines containing codeine written in English and plus a range of community languages. There is also information for clients regarding access to codeine for Australians in rural and remote areas.

 

Find out more here.

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January 19, 2018

MEDICALLY ASSISTED TREATMENT OF OPIOID DEPENDENCE

Harm Reduction Australia have released a report from the Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) consultations held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The consultation forum held in Queensland in October 2017 was attended by a number of stakeholders including consumer representatives. Some of the key issues identified included improving access and retention in Opioid Treatment Programs by further developing prescribing and shared care arrangements.  Workforce development and support, enhancement of consumer engagement programs and improved support for specialist programs such as OTP in the Queensland prison system were also identified in the recommendations. It was particularly noted at the Queensland forum that natural disasters such as flooding and tropical cyclones can be disruptive to the OTP and identified a need for Emergency Management plans for OTP dispensing pharmacies.


Download the Harm Reducation Australia "Opioid Treatment Program Forum: Queensland Report" (368KB PDF)

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January 19, 2018

YOUTH DETENTION POPULATION IN AUSTRALIA 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) "Youth Detention Population in Australia 2017" bulletin reports on rates of young people aged 10 and over in youth detention over a 4 year period from 2013-2017. On an average night during the reporting period more than 950 young people were in detention. Over half (53%) of those in detention identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This level of Indigenous over-representation can be expressed as a rate ratio; there were 37 Indigenous young people per 10 000 in detention on an average night compared with 1.5 per 10 000 non-Indigenous people, therefore as a national average Indigenous young people aged 10-17 were 24 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be in detention. Excluding Victoria, 64% of young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2017 were unsentenced. The state of Queensland had the second largest rates of young people in detention after New South Wales. 

 

Read the full report here.

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