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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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November 24, 2017

DRUG TESTING IN SCHOOL

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a paper titled "Drug testing in schools."  The paper considers the research into random drug testing of school students, to consider whether it is an effective deterrent, or whether it has unintended consequences.  The authors located seven studies all conducted in the united States, among students aged between 13 and 19 years.  The authors found that drug testing school students had little or no effect on actual rates of drug use among those tested and their peer group.  The paper found that student drug testing was associated with increased use of illicit drugs other than cannabis.

Go to "Drug Testing in Schools"

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November 24, 2017

PRESCRIPTION KILLER: AUSTRALIA'S IMMINENT FENTANYL EPIDEMIC

ABC Radio National's "Background Briefing" has broadcast a radio documentary titled "Prescription killer: Australia's imminent fentanyl epidemic". Fentanyl and its derivatives killed over 20 000 people in the United States in 2016, and new research is showing increasing numbers of Australians are dying from fentanyl overdose. In the past, fentanyl has been prescribed mostly for late stage cancer pain. However, there is evidence that it is increasingly being prescribed for other types of pain, leading to increased availability in the community.

Go to "Prescription Killer: Australia's imminent fentanyl epidemic"

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November 17, 2017

DRUG HUNTERS: MEET THE SCIENTISTS BUILDING A LIBRARY OF DESIGNER DRUGS

The technology website The Verge recently published an article titled "Drug Hunters: Meet the scientists building a library of designer drugs."  The article describes the rise of novel psychoactive substances - new drugs, designed to mimic the effects of existing drugs, but modified in order to subvert drug laws.  The article focuses on the role of forensic chemists in identifying and describing these drugs, often following health related emergencies.

 

Go to "Drug Hunters: Meet the scientists building a library of designer drugs"

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November 17, 2017

AUSTRALIA'S WELFARE 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have published their annual "Australia's Welfare 2017" report.  The report includes information on the amount of money spent on welfare services, along with the population factors that influence the demand for these services.  It includes information on young people with regards to child protection, youth justice and domestic and family violence, as well as data on the community services workforce, indigenous specific data, a special focus on housing and homelessness and more.  This report collates data from a broad range of services, giving a comprehensive overview of some of the key indicators of the wellbeing in the community.

Go to "Australia's Welfare 2017"

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November 17, 2017

THE HEALING FOUNDATION: ADDRESSING THE TRAUMA CAUSED BY THE STOLEN GENERATIONS

The Healing Foundation is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that works with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. Their website includes a number of resources to support communities, including stories of healing projects from across Australia, and at various times, funding for projects to address trauma within communities.


Go to "The Healing Foundation" website for more information.

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November 10, 2017

DRUG CHECKING FOR HARM REDUCTION: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a paper titled "Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: Opportunities and challenges".  The paper provides an overview of the history of drug checking (sometimes known as "pill testing") and describes the variety of programs that are currently in operation in Europe.  The article describes the type of testing equipment that is available at each site, and provides a simple overview of the accuracy of each type of test employed. The article covers some of the common criticisms of drug checking programs, as well as the proposed benefits, and provides references for various research studies that have considered these factors.

Go to "Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: Opportunities and challenges".

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