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February 23, 2018

THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF DRINKER: WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

The Conversation has recently published an article by Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche and Dr Sarah Callinan titled "There are four types of drinker - which one are you?". The article describes the motivational model of alcohol use, which describes our motivations to drink alcohol in terms of the effects that we expect to achieve.  The model proposes four categories of drinking motives: enhancement (to increase positive feelings), coping (to decrease negative feelings), social (to have fun with friends) or conformity (to fit in with other people). Understanding these motivations can assist us in understanding how to effectively address problem drinking.

Go to "There are four types of drinker - which one are you?"

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February 22, 2018

THE EFFICACY AND ACCEPTABILITY OF ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS

A significant study has been published in The Lancet, titled "Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: A systematic review and network meta-analysis."  This review included 522 placebo-controlled and head-to-head trials involving 116 477 participants. The authors found that all the antidepressants included in the study were more effective than placebo. They found that some antidepressants had a relatively higher response and lower dropout rate than others, indicating that a balance between efficacy and tolerability is needed to ensure that the benefits of antidepressant medications are maximised.

Go to "Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: A systematic review and network meta-analysis."

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February 2, 2018

FESTIVAL GOERS' PERCEPTIONS OF DRUG CHECKING AT MUSIC FESTIVALS

A study titled "Music fesitval attendees' illicit drug use, knowledge and practices regarding drug content and purity: A cross-sectional survey" has been published in the Harm Reduction Journal. The study involved a cross-sectional survey completed at an Australian music festival by over 600 festival attendees. Results showed nearly three-quarters of participants had reported use of illicit drugs in the past 12 months (mostly cannabis and ecstasy) and the majority of festival attendees supported free drug checking at festivals, reporting that the results a drug test would be likely to influence their drug taking behaviour.

Read the full article here.

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February 2, 2018

ICE PSYCHOSIS: WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DO ONLY SOME PEOPLE GET IT?

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "Ice Psychosis: What is it, and why do only some people get it?".  The article, authored by Dr Shalini Arunogiri, describes a systematic review of risk factors for methamphetamine-associated psychosis published in January 2018 in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. The study aimed to ascertain why some methamphetamine users are more likely to experience psychosis than others. The study found that the majority of people who use methamphetamine do not experience psychosis and that frequency and amount of methamphetamine used, and the severity of dependence, were the factors most commonly associated with the risk of psychosis. Factors such as age, gender, income or employment status and the way in which people used methamphetamine (for example by smoking versus injecting), did not appear to affect the likelihood of psychosis.

 

These findings can assist healthcare workers and treatment services to identify people who might be at greatest risk of methamphetamine psychosis and support those who aren't ready to stop using the drug to change the frequency or pattern of their use which might help them avoid developing psychosis.

Read "Ice Psychosis: What is it, and why do only some people get it?"

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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 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

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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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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