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January 13, 2015

NEW NATIONAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNCIL ANNOUNCED

In December last year the Hon Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health, announced a new look advisory council on drugs and alcohol identifying methamphetamine - in particular "ice" - as its priority focus.  Formerly the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), the new Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD) will have the role of providing advice to the Government on a range of national drug and alcohol issues, including emerging issues and new substances. In her media release Minister Nash acknowledged the outgoing Chair , Dr John Herron AO, and announced the new chair as former National Party MP Ms Kay Hull, who controversially champions an abstinence policy on drugs over harm minimisation.

Read the full media release outlining the new Council membership here

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October 31, 2014

AMA NATIONAL ALCOHOL SUMMIT

The Australian Medical Association's National Alcohol Summit was held on the 28th and 29th October in Canberra bringing together representatives from all tiers of government, community leaders, medical and health experts, police, families of victims, and other stakeholders to look at the impact of excessive alcohol use across several different domains including alcohol-related violence and the social costs of alcohol; culture, advertising and sport; the harmful use of alcohol in Indigenous communities and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Click here to view the AMA National Alcohol Summit Communique

Click here to visit the Summit website which contains videos of every presentation.

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January 21, 2014

QUEENSLAND MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION - HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIRST 6 MONTHS

Queensland's Mental Health Commissioner has released a paper outlining their key achievements from the Commission's first six months.  Download their report to get a picture of the types of projects and reviews the QMHC are undertaking as they assemble their Advisory Council and prepare to release their inauagural Strategic Plan.  You can also contribute your thoughts and ideas to the policy direction of the Commission by completing their online survey here.

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November 22, 2013

ANCD RELEASES ALCOHOL ACTION PLAN

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has launched their "Alcohol Action Plan".  The plan pulls together information from a range of different sources and identifies key issues of immediate concern and recommendations for action.  Amongst the findings noted in the "Alcohol Action Plan" include that almost one in four hospitalisations and one in eight deaths of young people aged under 25 is attributable to alcohol.  Some of the recommendations in the plan include recognising the critical role regulating alcohol availability should play in addressing alcohol related harms, and regulating alcohol advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Download "ANCD Alcohol Action Plan" here (285KB PDF)

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September 20, 2013

HOW YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FARING 2013

The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has published their annual "How young people are faring 2013" report.  The report now in its 15th year looks at education and training outcomes for young people as they transition from school to further study or work.  The report also looks at other social issues including life satisfaction, independence, marriage and housing.  Important findings include increasing rates of year 12 completion, increasing unemployment and a longer transition from education into full-time work.

Go to "How young people are faring 2013"

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July 5, 2013

CHILD PROTECTION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT RELEASED

The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry has released its findings. The 733 page report contains a number of recommendations that will shape the child protection system into the future. Some of the recommendations include the development of a "secure care" facility for young people considered at significant risk of harm. Other recommendations include greater use of non-government organisations in the delivery of child protection services and an increased focus on early intervention and prevention. The Commission found that the current system is geared too heavily towards statutory intervention, which usually occurs once harm has already occurred. The report has many implications for services working with young people affected by substance use.  It's vital that Queensland based services are aware of and actively engage with these reforms as they roll out, to ensure the best outcomes for the young people we work with.

Go to the "Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry" website to download the report.

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March 22, 2013

SEX, DRUGS AND ILLNESS: WHY YOUNG PEOPLE NEED MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY

A recent article has appeared on The Conversation website titled "Sex, drugs and illness: why teens need medical confidentiality", by Rony Duncan, Senior Research Fellow at Murdoch Children's Research Institute.  The article talks about the perspectives of parents -  some parents believe that the best way to help their children become independent was to step back, letting them see doctors on their own.  Other parents felt that the best way to support their children becoming independent was to keep track of everything going on in their child's lives including their health care.

Read "Sex, drugs and illness: why teens need medical confidentiality"

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September 21, 2012

DRUG POLICY TIMELINE

The University of New South Wales Drug Policy Monitoring Program have released an updated edition of their Australian Illicit Drug Policy Timeline, which now covers the period from 1985 to June 2012.  The timeline contains an overview of major events in drug policy including legislative changes, significant seizures, as well as notable research reports which impact on drug policy.  The timeline is a very useful tool for anyone interested in the recent history of drug policy in Australia, and includes a number of important events relevant to Queensland.

Click here to read the latest "Australian Illicit Drug Policy Timeline"

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September 7, 2012

YOUNG PEOPLE: HAVING A SAY ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ISSUES

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) which is the council appointed by the Prime Minister to provide advice on drug policy, have launched an online survey designed for young people aged 16-25 to have their say about alcohol and drug policy.  The survey takes about 15 - 20 minutes and young people who complete the survey can go into the draw to win one of two iPads.  This is a great opportunity to get input from young people, so encourage your clients to participate and share the survey around your networks.

The survey website is http://www.youthdrugsurvey.com.au

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July 6, 2012

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES INQUIRY INTO CHILD PROTECTION

The Queensland Government have announced an inquiry in the child protection system in Queensland.  This inquiry will look at the progress of outcomes related to the Forde Inquiry and will set the scene for the child protection system for the next decade.  It's important that workers from the youth alcohol and other drug sector have their voices heard in this inquiry, as many of the young people that we work with are involved in the child protection system in some capacity.   It will be interesting to see how the inquiry addresses some of the complex issues relating to substance use in young people, particularly in light of the Commission for Children and Young People's "The Chroming Report" which highlighted the difficulties experienced by the child protection system in dealing with high risk substance use and complex behaviour.  Stay tuned for more information as the inquiry rolls out.

http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/

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