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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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October 27, 2017

THE SOCIAL COSTS OF METHAMPHETAMINE IN AUSTRALIA

The National Drug Research Institute has published a report titled "The Social Costs of Methamphetamine in Australia 2013 / 14."  The report considers the costs to the community of the estimated 160 000 dependent methamphetamine users, along with 108 000 non-dependent users.  It included consideration of the costs associated with prevention, supply reduction, harm reduction and treatment programs that target the use of methamphetamine.  Within these domains were costs associated with premature mortality, crime, child maltreatment, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and productivity and more.  The total costs are estimated to be just over $5 billion dollars.

Download "The social costs of methamphetamine in Australia 2013 / 14"

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October 27, 2017

THE WELFARE OF ALL AUSTRALIANS

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released its 13th report in the Australia's Welfare series.  The report examines the welfare of Australians in the broad context of well-being, 'being secure, happy, healthy and safe'.  The 2017 report highlights the diversity of disadvantage that exists in our communities, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, vulnerable young people and those experiencing family and domestic violence.  Some results for vulnerable young people included, 46,500 children in out-of-home care in 2016 with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being 10 times more likely to be in care.  Young people aged between 10 and 17 under youth justice supervision were 15 times as likely as the general population to be involved with the child protection system in the same year.  5.1% of young people aged 15-19 were not engaged in education, employment or training in 2016.  Read more results from the report here.

http://apo.org.au/node/115091

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October 13, 2017

2016 NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY HOUSEHOLD SURVEY: DETAILED RESULTS

We wrote about the "National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016" (NDSHS) back in June, however since then the full results have been released. The NDSHS is Australia's largest population based survey of alcohol and other drug use. The 2016 results show a continued decline in young people's use of alcohol and other drugs. The survey showed that fewer young people were taking up smoking tobacco and furthermore, young people who were smoking were smoking less. Binge alcohol use was also down. The proportion of 14 to 19 year olds consuming 5 or more standard drinks significantly declined between 2013 and 2016 (from 25% to 18%). Among people in their 20s, there was a significant decline between 2013 and 2016 in recent use of methamphetamine (from 5.7% to 2.8%).  Most of the increases in alcohol and other drug use occurred in the older age groups.


Go to the "National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016: Detailed findings"

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October 13, 2017

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN JUST MINI ADULTS

The September issue of Advocate, the e-magazine of the Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA), features a range of stories and articles on youth issues in alcohol and other drug treatment. Dovetail's own Cameron Francis features in the magazine and provides a really clear overview of the nuanced differences in providing alcohol and other drug treatment to young people compared to adults. Cameron also provides some handy tips on how to make your service youth friendly.


Download NADA's Advocate e-Magazine here (1.8MB PDF)

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October 13, 2017

QUEENSLAND MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION CONSULTATION REPORT

In response to significant reform occurring across sectors, the Queensland Mental Health Commission is preparing to renew the "Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-2019". The Commission has released a consultation report called "Your voice, one vision" which outlines the issues raised during consultations with stakeholders, including people with lived experience, their families, as well as policy, planning, service managers and frontline service providers from a wide-range of sectors. The findings from the "Your Voice, One Vision Consultation Report" will inform the Queensland Mental Health Commission's renewed strategic plan. Some of the future directions for reducing AOD related harm outlined in the report include:

  • A harm minimisation approach that addresses all drug types (legal and illegal
  • Improved community awareness to combat stigma and discrimination
  • Increased availability of AOD services
  • Increase support for families
  • Improved responses within the criminal justice system to reduce AOD related harm
  • New options for harm reduction initiatives
  • Enhancement of workforce development in the AOD sector

Download  "Your Voice, One Vision Consultation Report 2017" (2.7MB PDF)

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October 13, 2017

THE ECSTASY AND RELATED DRUGS REPORTING SYSTEM 2017 KEY FINDINGS

The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) is an annual study that monitors trends in price, purity and availability of a range substances and attempts to identify trends and changes in the drug market. The EDRS involves interviews with regular drug users, as well as interviews with key informants from the sector. There is a Queensland component, which is one of the few studies that provides insight in local drug trends. The 2017 EDRS key findings included a significant decline in use of 'any' methamphetamine, with a particularly significant decrease in the use of crystal methamphetamine. Ecstasy use remained stable and the ecstasy market continued to diversify in 2017.  Pills were the most common form of MDMA used, however there were significant increases in the use of MDMA crystal, capsules and powder.  Another interesting trend was an increase in the use of magic mushrooms, LSD, ketamine and DMT, although the frequency of use was low.


Go to the 2017 Ecstasy and Related Drugs Preliminary findings

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