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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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November 10, 2017

SORTLI: SORT OUT YOUR LIFE APP FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TRANSITIONING FROM CARE

When young people in the care of child safety services start to get older, they begin to think about and plan for living independently. Transitioning out of care can be scary for some young people, however It can also be an empowering experience.  We can support young people's transition by helping them have access to the right information. CREATE Foundation and the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services have developed a free mobile app for young people called 'Sortli' (sort out your life) to help young people with their transition to independence. Sortli is a fun and easy-to-navigate app that provides a step-by-step guide for all the important things a young person in care needs to transition to independence, such as finding somewhere to live, looking after their health and wellbeing, managing finances, finding a job, training or education and other important life skills.

Sortli can be downloaded from Apple, Android and Windows stores.  Read more about Sortli here.

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November 10, 2017

WEBINAR ON FASD IN THE YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM: WEDNESDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 12PM

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong condition relating to permanent brain damage caused by fetal alcohol exposure.  The majority of young people who have FASD live with significant cognitive, behavioural and learning difficulties.  Being FASD informed is important for all workers who support young people. The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre is hosting a free webinar on FASD on Wednesday 29 November with guest presenter Dr Raewyn Mutch from the Alcohol, Pregnancy and FASD department at Telethon Kids Institute.  The webinar will run for approximately one hour, and will discuss FASD with a focus on the prevalence of FASD in the youth justice system.

To read more about joining the webinar visit.

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November 3, 2017

AOD PREVENTION FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SCHOOL STUDENTS

Positive Choices have launched a new AOD prevention portal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.  Positive Choices is a website developed to help school communities access accurate, up-to-date AOD education resources and prevention programs.  The new portal includes information and resources for school staff on 'what works' for AOD prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and also tips for effectively communicating about AOD use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  The portal also has information for parents on how to protect their young people from AOD related harms and booklets and resources that are culturally and developmentally appropriate.

Go to the Positive Choices Indigenous AOD prevention portal.

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November 3, 2017

HOW DO YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THEIR COMMUNITY?

A report has been released using findings from Mission Australia's Youth Survey 2016 with young people grouped according to whether they lived in low, moderate or high socio-economic status (SES) areas.  The Mission Australia report, "Concepts of community: young people's concerns, views and experiences - findings from the Youth Survey 2016" explores young people's concerns about a variety of community issues, such as AOD use, feelings of trust and safety within their community, experiences of discrimination and their participation in social activities. The findings highlight some of the particular disadvantages faced by young people living in low SES areas.  For example, young people from low SES areas were considerably more concerned about the use of AOD in their community, they were more likely to identify personal safety, suicide and family conflict as issues of personal concern and importantly, were the least likely to have participated in social or community activities.

You can read the full report here.

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