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June 23, 2017

A DECISION-SUPPORT TOOL TO INFORM AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING SUICIDE AND SUICIDAL BEHAVIOUR

An article has been published in the journal "Public Health Research & Practice" titled "A decision-support tool to inform Australian strategies for preventing suicide and suicidal behaviour".  The article describes a dynamic simulation modelling approach to understanding the likely impacts of different combinations of policies and interventions, before they are implemented in the real world.  The authors found that the largest reductions in suicide were associated with GP training and coordinated aftercare approaches.

Go to "A decision-support tool to inform Australian strategies for preventing suicide and suicidal behaviour"

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June 9, 2017

GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY 2017: RESULTS OUT NOW

Global Drug Survey 2017 results are in with over 115,000 people from around the world (5,750 from Australia) providing information on their drug use, harm, harm reduction strategies and more. The survey gives a great snapshot of a population that often don't come into contact with treatment services. Some interesting facts from the survey are that 44% of the Australian participants desire to drink less and 1/3 of those would like help.  Cannabis remains the world's most widely used illicit drugs and if it was to be regulated 75% of all participants would like to see cannabis regulation guidelines similar to alcohol. Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) with a psychedelic effect profile including LSD analogues are increasing and represent over 50% of the NPS drugs used by the sample.

Check out many interesting facts from Global Drug Survey 2017 here

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June 2, 2017

2016 NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY HOUSEHOLD SURVEY RESULTS

Australia's largest population based survey of alcohol and other drug use has published results collected in 2016. The "National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016" results show a continued decline in young people's use of alcohol and other drugs. The survey showed that young people are smoking less tobacco, with the proportion who have never smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime increasing from 95% of young people in 2013 to 98% in 2016. The decline in young people's alcohol consumption has also continued with the proportion of 12 - 17 year olds abstaining from alcohol increasing significantly from 2013 with 72% abstaining, increasing to 82% abstaining in 2016. Most of the increases in alcohol and other drug use occurred in older age groups. More people aged between 40 - 49 recently used an illicit drug (16.2% - an increase of 3% since 2013) compared with young people aged 10 - 19 (15.9% - a decrease of 1.6% since 2013).

Find out more about the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016

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May 26, 2017

DRUG PROFILES FROM THE EUROPEAN MONITORING CENTRE

The European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction website has a page on drug profiles which provides detailed descriptions of psychoactive drugs, most of which are controlled internationally by United Nations conventions. Each profile includes information on the chemistry and pharmacology of these substances, their physical form, and the ways they are used.

View the EMCDDA drug profiles here.

 

 

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May 26, 2017

HOW RESILIENCE CAN BREAK THE LINK BETWEEN A BAD CHILDHOOD AND THE YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Conversation has published an article titled "How resilience can break the link between a bad childhood and the youth justice system."  The article looks at data from Victoria showing young people involved in the youth justice system tend to have significant problems within their family backgrounds, including high rates of child protection involvement and histories of abuse and neglect.  The article goes on to describe how a range of dynamic factors can offset these risks but developing resilience that can assist in overcoming adversity.

Go to "How resilience can break the link between a bad childhood and the youth justice system"



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May 26, 2017

HOW HITLER USED HEROIN AND METHAMPHETAMINE TO FUEL THE THIRD REICH

ABC Radio National recently featured an interview with Norman Ohler, author of the book "Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany".  In the interview, Ohler describes some of the startling findings of his research into substance use during World War 2, including that Hitler receiving regular methamphetamine injections from his personal physician throughout the war.  Ohler goes on the propose that following the allied bombing of the factories producing methamphetamine, Hitler's mental health declined - possibly due to substance withdrawal, which proceeded the end of the war, and Hitler's eventual demise.

Listen to "How Hitler used heroin and methamphetamine to fuel the Third Reich"

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May 19, 2017

DRUG FACTS VIDEOS

The Drug Policy Alliance has produced a series of four short videos about MDMA, Methamphetamine, Heroin and Cocaine which aim to present straightforward, factual information. Each video is only two minutes long and covers the history of each of these drugs, how they work, the major health risks of each substance and practice harm reduction advice.

Read more and watch the videos here.

 

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May 12, 2017

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CANNABIS IS LEGALISED?

There are a number of places around that world that have either legalised cannabis, or are in the process of legalising.  But what happens after legalisation? The Volteface drug policy website has recently published an article titled "Let's learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers."  The article provides an overview of a recent edition of the International Journal of Drug Policy, which considered a broad range of implications of legal cannabis markets including controlling the use of pesticides, the interface between medical cannabis markets and recreational cannabis markets, and impacts on public health.

Go to "Let's learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers"

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April 21, 2017

WHAT IS "SUCCESS" IN REHAB?

The recent Australian Story, 'Breaking Good', has created some discussion about what works in treatment. Professor Nicole Lee from the National Drug Research Institute and Stephen Bright from Edith Cowan University have published an article in 'The Conversation', examining how anecdotal evidence of success in treatment can be convincing but this does not mean the treatment is "evidence based". The authors discuss evidence based treatment, success rates and finding effective treatment and highlight the fact that there is no "one size fits all" approach when it comes to health care.

Go to the article "What is 'success' in rehab?"

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April 21, 2017

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH REPORT 2012 - 2016

Mission Australia and Black Dog Institute have released the "Youth Mental Health Report 2012 - 2016". The report presents five years of mental health data collected from young people across Australia aged 15 - 19 on their psychological distress, their concerns and the people and places they go to for help. Probable serious mental illness (PSMI) has increased from 18.7% in 2012 to 22.8% in 2016 with girls twice as likely to meet the criteria than boys. The rates were higher, 31%, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. The top three concerns identified were coping with stress, school or study problems and depression and the top three sources of help were friends, parents and the internet.

Go to the Mission Australia "Youth Mental Health Report 2012 - 2016"

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