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September 29, 2017

POLICE CAUTIONS REDUCE REOFFENDING IN YOUNG PEOPLE

The Victorian Crime Statistics Agency has published a research report titled "The Cautious Approach: Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending."  The research project tracked 5981 young people who were recorded as allegedly committing an offence between April 2015 and March 2016.  56% of these young people received a caution, while the remaining 44% were charged. The young people in these two groups were then matched according to demographics, offending history, and characteristics of the incident.  The authors found that the young people within twelve months of the original offence, 35.9% of young people who were cautioned had reoffended, versus 47.8% of those who were charged. Other notable findings include differences in rates of cautioning - young people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander were twice as likely to be charged rather than cautioned, when compared with non-Indigenous young people.

Download "The Cautious Approach: Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending" (515KB PDF)

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September 29, 2017

UNDERSTANDING CHRONIC PAIN AND WHY OPIOIDS ARE NOT A SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

Chronic pain is a complex condition that can be difficult to understand, however improving our knowledge about pain and what helps, can assist us to support people who are living with chronic pain conditions. A couple of years ago, the team from Hunter Integrated Pain Service, University of South Australia, University of Washington and Hunter Medicare Local developed a series of short, easy to digest animated videos to help workers understand pain and why opioids are not considered the best course of action for managing chronic pain conditions. With codeine being rescheduled as a prescription only medication form February 2018, its worth building an understanding of chronic pain, and the latest best practice approaches in pain management.

 

"Understanding Pain in less than five minutes" explains the differences between acute and chronic pain, the complex nature of chronic pain and provides workers with an overview of successful management strategies.

"Understanding Pain: Brainman stops his opioids" summarises why opioids (like morphine, oxycodone and tramadol) are not recommended in the management of chronic pain.

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September 22, 2017

SO THE MEDIA WANT TO INTERVIEW ONE OF YOUR CLIENTS

Hearing directly from people with lived experience of substance use can be a really useful way to increase the community's understanding of substance issues.  Services are often contacted by media outlets, looking to be connected with clients who can share their stories. However, there are risks in this type of public disclosure, and  workers need to be able understand these risks, in order to assist clients in making informed decisions about sharing their story publicly.  The good folks at AOD Media Watch have published a great article, that covers the issues and can assist a worker or a client to make the decision to tell their story.  It includes an overview of the risks involved, the types of stories that journalists frequently publish, and some key questions to consider before speaking to a journalist.

Go to "AOD Media Watch Guideline for Consumers"

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September 22, 2017

THE SOCIAL LIFE OF OPIOIDS

An article has been published in the magazine "Scientific American" which we think will be of interest to Dovetail subscribers.  "The Social Life of Opioids"describes a number of articles that look at the links between social factors and opioid dependence.  One article referenced includes a study that showed that for every 1% increase in unemployment in the United States, opioid overdose death rates would rise by 4%.  Another study found U.S. counties with the lowest levels of social capital had the highest rates of opioid overdose death.

Go to "The social life of opioids"

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September 22, 2017

WHAT'S UP WITH GEN Y?

The Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne has published a paper by Professor Johanna Wyn, Professor Helen Cahill and colleagues titled "Gen Y on Gen Y."  The paper draws longitudinal research which has been tracking Gen Y members (now aged 28 - 29) since 2005. The research describes insecure employment, high housing costs and the costs of education as contributing to increasing levels of stress, with 14% of men and 28% of women in the research experiencing poor mental health.

Download "Gen Y on Gen Y" here (450KB PDF)

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September 15, 2017

A TRIP THROUGH THE GARDEN: PLANT BASED PRESENTATIONS

There are a wide variety of substances occurring in the natural environment. Some plants and mushrooms have long histories of use in different cultures. Dovetail's Cameron Francis recently presented a webinar looking at some of the naturally occurring substances that clinicians may encounter in their work.  In this presentation, Cameron covers DMT, magic mushrooms, mescaline containing cactus, opium poppies and datura with information on prevalence, effects and potential risks and harms.

Watch "A Trip Through The Garden: Plant based presentations"

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September 15, 2017

UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR WORKING WITH ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE ENGAGING IN NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY

There has been a recent update to the Mental Health First Aid guidelines for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI).  The redevelopment of the guidelines were based on the expert opinions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clinicians from across Australia to ensure that they reflect current evidence and best practice and can be shared with Indigenous and non-Indigenous frontline workers.  The re-developed guidelines outline some significant cultural elements that are important for workers to consider when assisting an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is engaging in NSSI.

There are two other Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Guidelines that are useful for workers to be used in conjunction - "Communicating with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Adolescent" and "Guidelines for Providing Mental Health First Aid to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviour"

Download the "Guideline for providing mental health first aid to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engaging in non-suicidal self-injury" (321KB PDF)

 

 

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September 15, 2017

OPIOID OVERDOSE FACT SHEET AND RESPONSE PLAN

The Community Overdose Prevention and Education initiative is funded by the Victorian government, and is designed to improve community understanding and responses to opioid overdose.  They have recently developed a handy fact sheet on opioid overdose, which includes risk factors that can contribute to overdose, signs and symptoms, and a response plan that includes first aid and naloxone administration.

Download the "Opioid Overdose Fact Sheet and Response Plan" (1.6MB PDF)

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September 8, 2017

DOES ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE USE LEAD TO CIGARETTE SMOKING IN YOUNG PEOPLE

A research report has been published in the journal Tobacco Control, titled "Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study." The study tracked 2836 young people aged 13 - 14 over a twelve month period.  At baseline, 34.2% of young people reported having ever used an electronic cigarette.  By the end of the twelve month period, there was a strong association between electronic cigarette use, and commencing or escalating tobacco smoking. A small but significant minority of young people (19.9%) had only ever used electronic cigarettes, indicating that there could be risks associated with commencing nicotine dependence with electronic cigarettes in young people.

Go to "Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study"

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September 8, 2017

GROWING UP IN AUSTRALIA: THE LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN 2016 REPORT

The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is a representative study that tracks to development of two groups of young people - those who were born in 2003 / 04, and those who were aged 4-5 in these years. The two groups have been tracked and were aged between 10 and 15 years by the sixth wave of analysis. The study tracks career aspirations, teaching practices in schools, parental influence on alcohol use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour, the experiences of young carers, and family factors that impact on development.  The study showed parental risky drinking leading to higher rates of risky drinking in young people, but it also showed links to parental supervision and the role of peers who also drink alcohol.

Download "Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children 2016" (2.6MB PDF)

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