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May 11, 2018


The Young Australians' Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS) is a National research project that provides insights into the risky drinking patterns of young people. The 2016-2017 surveys were conducted with 3,500 14 to 19 year olds in every jurisdiction of Australia. Young people who were identified as drinking at risky levels were surveyed by taking a 'snapshot' of their most recent experience of risky drinking.

Results showed that half of the young people surveyed were consuming 11 or more standard drinks per session at least once a month and over three quarters said they had been injured as a result of their drinking in the past 12 months. The report demonstrates the significant levels of harm and vulnerability for this particular group of young people and the need for carefully targeted interventions.

The report also asked young people about the most common harm reduction strategies they used to help moderate their alcohol use or mitigate related harms.

You can cehck out the National Young Australians' Alcohol Reporting System report here.

You can download the results for Queensland are here.


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May 4, 2018


The program for 2018's Youth AOD Conference been released and registrations are now open! The annual conference held by YSAS in Melbourne will be on 16-17 August 2018 with a theme of "Assertive Advocacy", seeking to advance practice by strengthening knowledge and skills in advocacy for the youth AOD workforce. The program hosts a diverse range of speakers and explores themes of child protection, attachment and trauma, domestic violence, legal rights and more.

To see the full program or register click here.

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May 4, 2018


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada's ABC) has been publishing a podcast series that looks at the broad range of ways that drugs have shaped our world. The "On Drugs" podcast features episodes that the history of caffeine, the outcomes of legalisation of cannabis, and the use of drugs during war. There is also a special feature episode with an interview with Bruce Alexander, the researcher who conducted the famous "Rat Park" experiments.

Find out more about "On Drugs" at this link or subscribe via iTunes.

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May 4, 2018


The term "Angel Trumpets" refers to one of two types of plant - Datura stramonium or a species of Brugmansia. The distinct trumpet-shaped flowers contain the substances scopolamine and atropine (and others) which cause delirium when consumed. There are occasional reports of hospitalisations related to Angel Trumpet consumption, sometimes in young people experimenting. This short video provides an overview Angel Trumpets, and the nature of some of the hospital presentations.

Watch "A trip through the garden episode 4: Angel Trumpet (Datura) (1min 52sec)

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May 4, 2018


Professor Nicole Lee has recently published an article on "The Conversation" website, titled "Drug rehab: what works and what to keep in mind when choosing a private treatment provider." When people hear "rehab" they usually think of residential rehabilitation or 'live in' treatment, but there are many other options such as outpatient treatment, day programs and home based detox.


Day programs are very similar to rehab except that people go home in the evenings. Having these options with varying levels of intensity is important so that there are treatment options for a wide range of people. There are a number of alcohol and other drug therapies that have an established evidence base for individual and group therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy.


When choosing options for rehabilitation, it is important to assess the program content and consider factors such as the cost, the program duration and what is important to the individual such as family involvement. Also account for the service delivering the program, some questions to ask include- do the staff running the program have appropriate skills and qualifications in alcohol and other drug treatment, is the service accredited and is the program delivery informed by the evidence base?  Something to keep in mind is that there is no evidence that a higher cost of treatment leads to better treatment outcomes.


To access the full article click here.

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