Subscribe to the Dovetail weekly digest & magazine

 
 

Required fields

 
 

September 22, 2017

WHAT'S UP WITH GEN Y?

The Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne has published a paper by Professor Johanna Wyn, Professor Helen Cahill and colleagues titled "Gen Y on Gen Y."  The paper draws longitudinal research which has been tracking Gen Y members (now aged 28 - 29) since 2005. The research describes insecure employment, high housing costs and the costs of education as contributing to increasing levels of stress, with 14% of men and 28% of women in the research experiencing poor mental health.

Download "Gen Y on Gen Y" here (450KB PDF)

Read More

 

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

Read More

 

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"

Read More

 

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?"

Read More

 

August 11, 2017

WHY ARE ECSTASY-RELATED DEATHS RISING IN THE UK?

The AOD policy website Volteface has published an article titled "Fired up: Why are Ecstasy related deaths increasing in the UK?".  The article provides evidence that in 2015, there were 72 ecstasy (MDMA) related deaths in the UK, the second highest number of deaths on record.  The article attempts to compare rates of ecstasy use with the numbers of deaths in order to show the degree of risk associated with ecstasy use.  The authors found the mortality rate of ecstasy-related deaths to be one death per 6968 last-year users (approximately one death per 10 000 users).  This is broadly equivalent to the risk posed by motor sports, water sports, mountain hiking, being a road user, giving birth, liposuction, taking anti-depressants or being in police custody.

Go to "Fired up: Why are Ecstasy related deaths increasing in the UK?"

Read More

 

August 11, 2017

CODEINE SCHEDULING CHANGES: FEBRUARY 2018

Commencing in February 2018, medications containing codeine will require a prescription. The re-scheduling has been introduced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration following evidence of increasing misuse of over-the-counter codeine. It's possible that this change in scheduling could lead to an increase in people seeking treatment for codeine dependence, and workers in the youth and alcohol and other drugs sector should be aware of this change and start thinking about how your service can prepare to best support people who might be having problems with codeine dependence.

Find out more from the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Read More

 

August 11, 2017

OVERVIEW OF FORENSIC TESTING DEVICES FOR HARM REDUCTION POINT-OF-CARE

An article has been published in the "Harm Reduction Journal" titled "An overview of forensic drug testing methods and their suitability for harm reduction point-of-care services".  The article describes the range of devices that are able to determine the contents of substances, and considers their potential utility in harm reduction point-of-care services including drug checking services. Technology in this area evolves rapidly and this article considers issues such as the amount of training required to use a particular device, the accuracy and portability.

Go to "An overview of forensic drug testing methods and their suitability for harm reduction point-of-care services."

Read More

 

August 4, 2017

AOD TREATMENT IN AUSTRALIA 2015-16

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently published "Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2015 -16".  This report collates the National Minimum Data Set information, submitted by 796 AOD services from across Australia.  Nationally, there were estimated to be 134 000 clients in AOD treatment 2015-16, with about 35 000 of these living in Queensland. Alcohol was the most common drug of concern (32%), however that number has been falling. The number of people seeking treatment for amphetamines has risen substantially, making up only 12% of treatment episodes on 2011-12, and in 2015-16 making up 23% of treatment episodes in 2015-16.

Go to "Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2015 -16"

Read More

 

August 4, 2017

IS THE WELLBEING OF METHAMPHETAMINE USERS WORSE THAN HEROIN USERS?

The latest Illicit Drug Reporting Reporting System (IDRS) Drug Trends Bulletin is titled "Is the wellbeing of people who inject drugs worse for those who use methamphetamine rather than heroin?".  The report considers data from the IDRS which involved 877 people who regularly inject substances.  Of the sample, 59% of people regularly injected opioids, 34.9% regularly inject methamphetamine.  There were a number of statistically significant differences between the two groups, with 41.4% of the methamphetamine users reporting a very high distress score of the K-10, compared with 14.5% of opioid users.

Download "Is the wellbeing of people who inject drugs worse for those who use methamphetamine rather than heroin?"

Read More

 

July 20, 2017

LOWER-RISK CANNABIS USE GUIDELINES: A COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE OF EVIDENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The American Journal of Public Health has published a systematic review by Fischer and colleagues called "Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines: A Comprehensive Update of Evidence and Recommendations", examining the evidence on the adverse health outcomes from cannabis that may be modified by the user. Ten major recommendations were developed for lower risk use, some of which include avoiding early initiation, particularly before 16 years, choosing low potency THC or balanced THC to CBD ratio products, avoiding synthetic cannabinoids, deep inhalation practices, high frequency use and driving while under the influence. The authors conclude that poor health outcomes may be reduced by informed behavioural choices among users and with cannabis laws evolving in North America, suggest Lower-Risk Use Cannabis Guidelines could serve as a population level education tool to help improve public health outcomes.

Read and download the review here

Read More