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October 13, 2017

2016 NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY HOUSEHOLD SURVEY: DETAILED RESULTS

We wrote about the "National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016" (NDSHS) back in June, however since then the full results have been released. The NDSHS is Australia's largest population based survey of alcohol and other drug use. The 2016 results show a continued decline in young people's use of alcohol and other drugs. The survey showed that fewer young people were taking up smoking tobacco and furthermore, young people who were smoking were smoking less. Binge alcohol use was also down. The proportion of 14 to 19 year olds consuming 5 or more standard drinks significantly declined between 2013 and 2016 (from 25% to 18%). Among people in their 20s, there was a significant decline between 2013 and 2016 in recent use of methamphetamine (from 5.7% to 2.8%).  Most of the increases in alcohol and other drug use occurred in the older age groups.


Go to the "National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016: Detailed findings"

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October 13, 2017

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN JUST MINI ADULTS

The September issue of Advocate, the e-magazine of the Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA), features a range of stories and articles on youth issues in alcohol and other drug treatment. Dovetail's own Cameron Francis features in the magazine and provides a really clear overview of the nuanced differences in providing alcohol and other drug treatment to young people compared to adults. Cameron also provides some handy tips on how to make your service youth friendly.


Download NADA's Advocate e-Magazine here (1.8MB PDF)

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October 13, 2017

QUEENSLAND MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION CONSULTATION REPORT

In response to significant reform occurring across sectors, the Queensland Mental Health Commission is preparing to renew the "Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-2019". The Commission has released a consultation report called "Your voice, one vision" which outlines the issues raised during consultations with stakeholders, including people with lived experience, their families, as well as policy, planning, service managers and frontline service providers from a wide-range of sectors. The findings from the "Your Voice, One Vision Consultation Report" will inform the Queensland Mental Health Commission's renewed strategic plan. Some of the future directions for reducing AOD related harm outlined in the report include:

  • A harm minimisation approach that addresses all drug types (legal and illegal
  • Improved community awareness to combat stigma and discrimination
  • Increased availability of AOD services
  • Increase support for families
  • Improved responses within the criminal justice system to reduce AOD related harm
  • New options for harm reduction initiatives
  • Enhancement of workforce development in the AOD sector

Download  "Your Voice, One Vision Consultation Report 2017" (2.7MB PDF)

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October 13, 2017

THE ECSTASY AND RELATED DRUGS REPORTING SYSTEM 2017 KEY FINDINGS

The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) is an annual study that monitors trends in price, purity and availability of a range substances and attempts to identify trends and changes in the drug market. The EDRS involves interviews with regular drug users, as well as interviews with key informants from the sector. There is a Queensland component, which is one of the few studies that provides insight in local drug trends. The 2017 EDRS key findings included a significant decline in use of 'any' methamphetamine, with a particularly significant decrease in the use of crystal methamphetamine. Ecstasy use remained stable and the ecstasy market continued to diversify in 2017.  Pills were the most common form of MDMA used, however there were significant increases in the use of MDMA crystal, capsules and powder.  Another interesting trend was an increase in the use of magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine and DMT, although the frequency of use was low.


Go to the 2017 Ecstasy and Related Drugs Preliminary findings

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October 6, 2017

FETAL ACLHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD) HUB WEBSITE LAUNCH

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Hub Australia is a website funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a 'one stop shop' for evidence based information, tools and resources about FASD. The website has information on how alcohol use during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus, tools and information for workers on how to diagnose FASD and importantly, resources for health professionals and families on how they can work together to give the best possible support to people living with FASD. A current understanding of FASD is key for any health professional working with young people and families.

Go to the FASD Hub

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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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August 31, 2017

HUMAN ENHANCEMENT DRUGS

We recently came across a great website on Human Enhancement Drugs, sometimes known as "Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs." This large and growing class of substances includes things like steroids and weight loss drugs, but also cognitive enhancers, sexual enhancers, and substances like tanning drugs designed to improve appearance. The Human Enhancement Drugs website includes overviews of common substances across various classes, health promotion resources, information on services, legislation and more.

Go to the "Human Enhancement Drugs" website

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August 31, 2017

TARGETING ANTI-SMOKING EFFORTS FOR DISADVANTAGED POPULATION GROUPS

Australia now has the lowest rates of tobacco smoking in the world.  A number of measures have contributed to this, including taxation, plain packaging, advertising restrictions and restrictions on smoking in public places. Now that smoking rates have declined significantly, we can see that there remain specific disadvantaged population groups that continue to have higher rates of tobacco use than the general population.  This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and people from low socio-economic communities.  The Medical Journal of Australia has recently posted a podcast featuring an interview with Professor Billie Bonevski where she describes some of the issues with specific population groups, and provides suggestions for better reaching these groups.

Listen to "Targeted anti-smoking efforts with Professor Billie Bonevski"

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August 25, 2017

REDUCING DEPENDENCE ON OPIOID PAINKILLERS IN RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

The Conversation recently published an article titled "How we can reduce dependency on opioid painkillers in rural and regional Australia?" The article discusses the unique challenges faced by people living in rural and remote communities in accessing support for opioid dependence.  Issues related to a lack of services or long travel times to treatment, as well poor help seeking and a general lack of knowledge around the limitations of opioid treatment for chronic pain were all noted as some of the barriers. However, services have been looking at innovative ways to provide support to our rural communities through the use of technology. Telehealth chronic pain initiatives as well as online websites with education for chronic pain sufferers as well as training for community workers have been developed to help close the opioid treatment service gap.

Go to "How we can reduce dependency on opioid painkillers in rural and regional Australia?"

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