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April 20, 2018

WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE USING INHALANTS

Dovetail has been receving an increasing number of calls in 2018 regarding young people using inhalants. We thought it might be useful to remember some of the resources available to workers to assist in respoding to inhalant use.

 

The National Health and Medical Research Council developed a guideline in 2011 which is still relevant today for working with young people using inhalants. The guideline is designed to assist health professionals to identify, assess and treat people who are using volatile substances and can be found here.


Dovetail's Cameron Francis has a presention called "Understanding Inhalants" which you can watch here.


Download Dovetail's "Effective Responses to Inhalant Use" fact sheet here (143 KB PDF)



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April 13, 2018

A TRIP THROUGH THE GARDEN EPISODE 3: OPIUM POPPIES

Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) contain a number of opiates including morphine, codeine, thebaine and more.  The seeds from opium poppies sometimes have small traces of opiates on the outside shell of the seed. Occasionally, services may encounter people who are attempting to extract the opiates from opium poppies or seeds, which can result in overdose or dependence. In this video, Cameron describes some of the main constituents of opium poppies, how they are used, and some of the risks and harms.

Click here to watch "A trip through the garden episode 3: Opium poppies" (2min 45sec)

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April 13, 2018

ALCOHOL RELATED DEATHS AND HOSPITALISATIONS IN AUSTRALIA

The National Alcohol Indicators project bulletin recently published "Estimated attributable deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 2004 - 2015".  Some of the findings from the bulletin include that an estaimted 5785 Australians aged 15 years and over, died from an alcohol-attributable disease and injury in 2015.  Cancer was the leading cause of these deaths, accounting for 36% of deaths, followed by injuries, cardiovascular disease and digestive diseases being the next leading causes, each comprising around 17% of the deaths.

Read more about "Estimated attributable deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 2004 - 2015"

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April 13, 2018

LIVING WITH FASD

Radio National's Life Matters program recently featured an episode titled "Living with FASD". The radio program features an interview with Anne Russell, whose son has FASD. Anne describes how FASD impacts her son, and some of the challenges of getting appropriate diagnosis and support. The show also features Dr Doug Shelton, a paediatrician who specialises in FASD, who talks about some of the impacts of FASD, and the approaches to better recognising and managing FASD.

Listen to "Living with FASD" here.

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April 6, 2018

AUSTRALIAN BURDEN OF DISEASE STUDY

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the 2011 'Impact of alcohol and other drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia' report on the 29th March 2018. Alcohol use was responsible for 4.6% of the total burden in 2011, one-third of this burden was due to Alcohol dependence. Opioids accounted for the largest proportion (41%) of the illicit drug use burden in 2011, followed by amphetamines (18%), cocaine (8%) and cannabis (7%). Rates of burden of illness and injury from specific illicit drugs based on geographical remoteness, compared major cities, regional and remote areas, found low rates of regional variation in rates of Amphetamine dependence with a general pattern of attributable burden increasing as degree of remoteness increased. For the first time this report includes analysis the impact of individual drugs and unsafe injection practices on the Australian population and predicts the potential effect of alcohol and other drug use on the burden of disease over the next decade.

Read the full report go here.

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April 6, 2018

ONLINE MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND SUPPORT FOR WORKERS

In 2017 e-Mental Health in Practice Project (eMHPrac) released a resource guide which outlines all the different support and training options for workers.  The project aims to raise health practitioners and workers' awareness and knowledge of digital mental health and to provide free training and support in its use to GPs, allied health professionals and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The resource is broken down into specific mental health diagnosis and areas of concern as well as specific sub-groups including working with parents, children and young people, aboriginal and/or torres strait islander people and more.

Download the resource guide here (901KB PDF)

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April 6, 2018

SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS: MORE HARM THAN GOOD?

Dr David Armstrong from Flinders University has recently published an article on The Conversation website titled "Why suspending or expelling students often does more harm than good." Research over the years has shown that young people who are suspended or excluded from school tend to be further disadvantaged and more at risk of engaging in substance use, become involved in criminal activity or develop mental health concerns. This article explores how our school system accommodates disadvantaged students and how we can best respond.

Go to "Why suspending or expelling students often does more harm than good"

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April 6, 2018

NEW SERVICE TO HELP PROTECT COUNSELLING RECORDS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

The Counselling Notes Protect (CNP) is a new free legal service delivered by Legal Aid Queensland and the Women's Legal Service.  The service has been developed under new legislation which protects the counselling records of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence for court proceedings that commenced on or after 1st December 2017. The legal protection covers notes made by sexual assault counsellors, domestic violence counsellors or support services, healthcare professionals, psychologists and doctors. Under the new legislation, these records are protected from being available during a court case, unless the victim or the court gives permission for records to be produced.

For more information, visit theLegal Aid website or contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 267 762.

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March 30, 2018

INROADS: ONLINE PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR ALCOHOL USE AND ANXIETY

Researchers from UNSW and Macquarie University have recently developed a program for young adults who are concerned about their anxiety and alcohol use. Inroads is a CBT based online program which is aimed to develop new skills to assist young people with their anxiety and alcohol use.  The modules are completed weekly and follow up support via phone or email is provided by an experienced psychologist. Inroads are currently seeking people aged 17 to 24 living anywhere in Australia to participate in a free trial of the program.  A recent webinar by Inroads discussed the link between anxiety and alcohol use problems, and ways to help people with these issues (including an overview of the Inroads program).

For more information, visit the Inroads website.

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March 30, 2018

DOES LANGUAGE MATTER?

The language we use can be powerful, especially when working with vulnerable populations. The Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (NADA) and NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) have developed a resource called Language Matters; it aims to provide workers with best practice on how to utilise language in a way that empowers clients. Words and labels used within the drug and alcohol sector can have connotations attached to them and create stigma for users which can create further disadvantage.

The resource was developed through consultation with people who use drugs and non government AOD workers and can be accessed here.

 

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