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September 8, 2017

DOES ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE USE LEAD TO CIGARETTE SMOKING IN YOUNG PEOPLE

A research report has been published in the journal Tobacco Control, titled "Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study." The study tracked 2836 young people aged 13 - 14 over a twelve month period.  At baseline, 34.2% of young people reported having ever used an electronic cigarette.  By the end of the twelve month period, there was a strong association between electronic cigarette use, and commencing or escalating tobacco smoking. A small but significant minority of young people (19.9%) had only ever used electronic cigarettes, indicating that there could be risks associated with commencing nicotine dependence with electronic cigarettes in young people.

Go to "Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study"

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September 8, 2017

GROWING UP IN AUSTRALIA: THE LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN 2016 REPORT

The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is a representative study that tracks to development of two groups of young people - those who were born in 2003 / 04, and those who were aged 4-5 in these years. The two groups have been tracked and were aged between 10 and 15 years by the sixth wave of analysis. The study tracks career aspirations, teaching practices in schools, parental influence on alcohol use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour, the experiences of young carers, and family factors that impact on development.  The study showed parental risky drinking leading to higher rates of risky drinking in young people, but it also showed links to parental supervision and the role of peers who also drink alcohol.

Download "Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children 2016" (2.6MB PDF)

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September 8, 2017

NONSUICIDAL SELF INJURY WITHIN LGBTI COMMUNITIES

The LGBT Health Alliance Mindout project is hosting a webinar for workers on responding to nonsuicidal self-injury.  The webinar is being presented by Madeline Wishart from Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) in Melbourne.  Madeline has a special interest in nonsuicidal self-injury and was the Project Officer on the Managing Deliberate Self Harm Project. The webinar aims to help workers better understand the functions of nonsuicidal self-injury and how the behaviour differentiates from suicide. Madeline will also present her own research on the impact of sexual orientation on nonsuicidal self-injury.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 26th September 2017 from 1pm to 2pm.

To register go here.

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September 8, 2017

RETURN UNWANTED MEDICINES PROJECT

The most recent Australian Secondary School Students Alcohol and Drug Survey (2016) found that 18% of all students reporting using medications, such as sleeping tablets or benzodiazepines like diazepam, other than for medical reasons. This highlights the importance for workers to talk with young people and their families about safe use and storage of medications. The Return Unwanted Medicines or the RUM Project provides people with a safe and easy way to dispose of expired or unwanted medications. Anyone can return medications to their local pharmacy for safe collection and disposal. So remember, read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines.

To learn more about the RUM Project click here.

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August 31, 2017

HARM REDUCTION VIDEOS FROM VICE MEDIA: SAFE SESH

Vice Media have developed a series of harm reduction videos, including substances such as MDMA, cocaine., cannabis, nitrous oxide and more.  The videos use a scientist from The Loop, a drug testing service from the UK, to answer some key questions that users often have, with practical suggestions to reduce the harms. Obviously, the only way to reduce all of the harms is to not use. However for those who do use, there are some strategies that can be implemented to reduce the harms. Some of the tips in the videos include: not to use MDMA more than once every three months, to reduce the risks of developing tolerance and increasing some of the potential cognitive effects of MDMA.

Go to Vice Media's "Safe Sesh" videos.

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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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August 25, 2017

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT YOUTH ENGAGEMENT HUB

As part of the Queensland Youth Strategy, the Queensland Government has launched the Youth Engagement Hub online platform to give young people a voice and share information about Queensland Government policies, programs and broader issues that impact them. As projects and activities are developed under the Queensland Youth Strategy young people can join the conversation through forums, polls, crowd-sourcing ideas and feedback. Some of the current projects on the Ehub seeking feedback from young people include the "Finding work - how to make it easier" project and the upcoming Women of the World Festival in Brisbane.

Go to the Queensland Government Youth Engagement Hub

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August 24, 2017

QUEENSLAND HEALTH ANNOUNCES OUTCOMES OF AOD PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTION REQUEST FOR OFFER

Queensland Health has announced the successful organisations who have received funding from the recent Request for Offer for Alcohol and Other Drug Psychosocial Interventions. Below is a list of services who have received funding across various Hospital and Health Service districts, along with the target population group for the service.

Cairns and Hinterland
• Youth Empowered Towards Independence (Young people)
• Community Services Tablelands Inc (Young people)

Townsville
• Lives Lived Well (Young people)
• The Salvation Army (Young people)

Mackay
• Drug Arm (Adults)
• Lives Lived Well (Young people and adults)

Central Queensland
• Drug Arm (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples)

Wide Bay
• Bridges Health and Community Care (Adults and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples)

Sunshine Coast
• Lives Lived Well (Young people)

Brisbane
• Open Doors Youth Service (Young people and LGBTIQ+)

West Moreton
• Anglicare (Young people)
• Drug Arm (Adults)

South West
• Anglicare (Young people)
• Drug Arm (Adults and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples)

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