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February 20, 2015

THE INTERNET AND DRUG MARKETS

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a report titled "The Internet and Drug Markets: Summary of results from an EMCDDA Trendspotter study". The study aimed to map online drug markets and to better understand the role of social media, the sale of new psychoactive substances, online sales of medicinal products for illicit use, and the sale of drugs on the so-called dark net - encrypted online marketplaces simialr to the now defunct Silk Road.

Go to "The Internet and Drug Markets: Summary of results from an EMCDDA Trendspotter study".

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February 6, 2015

MANUAL OF PSYCHEDELIC SUPPORT

With the summer music festival season well underway a timely publication has been released in Europe, titled "The Manual of Psychedelic Support: A practical guide to establishing and facilitating care services at music festivals and other events."  The manual builds on decades of practice wisdom in managing difficult psychedelic experiences in entertainment settings.  It includes information on the principles and ethics of supporting people through difficult psychedelic experiences, recruiting teams, providing training, logistics of working in entertainment settings, risk management and more.  The manual has contributions from more the 50 people and organisations from around the world, with a diversity of experience in establishing and managing support services at music festivals and other entertainment settings.

Find out more at the Psych Sitter Website.

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October 31, 2014

2014 IDRS / EDRS KEY FINDINGS AVAILABLE

Every year, the National Drug and Alcohol Research and Education Centre (NDARC) conduct two studies of regular drug users.   The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Study (EDRS) interview people in all states of Australia, and looks at trends in price, purity and availability of various drugs.   The results from the most recent study indicates that whilst heroin continues to be the most commonly injected drug of choice, the use of ice / crystal form of methamphetamine has increased significantly with purity reported as being "high".  Similarly whilst the most popular form of ecstasy consumed is in tablet form, there has been an increasing trend in the use of MDMA crystal which is considered a much more potent form of ecstasy.

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October 17, 2014

NCPIC WEBINAR: SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

The National Cannabis Prevention and Intervention Centre (NCPIC) has announced a webinar on Monday 3rd of November 2014 on the topic of "Synthetic Cannabinoids" with Professor Steve Allsop, Director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).  The presentation will provide an up to date overview of synthetic cannabinoids including prevalence, short and long term risks, consumer's views about synthetic cannabinoids and more.  If you are interested in attending you need to register in advance.

Register here for Professor Steve Allsop presenting on "Synthetic Cannabinoids"

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June 20, 2014

THE ETHICS OF COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "Put down the smart drugs: Cognitive enhancement ethically risky business".  The article, authored by Associate Professor Nicole Vincent  from Georgia State University, and Emma Jane from University of New South Wales, considers the growing body of research into the use and implications of the use of cognitive enhancing substances such as Modafinil, Ritilin and Donepezil, as well as emerging technologies such as Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation devices.  While research appears to indicate increases in the use of these products, there are potentially a number of serious health concerns, but there are also ethical implications that require interrogation.

Go to "Put down the smart drugs: Cognitive enhancement ethically risky business".

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May 30, 2014

SAFER INJECTING INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WHO USE NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

New Psychoactive Substances (sometimes referred to as Emerging Psychoactive Substances) have been appearing with increasing regularity over the past few years.  There is evidence that some of these substances are being injected, particularly the cathinone-type stimulants such as MDPV.  There are a number of potential injecting harms from these substances, yet very little accurate information is currently available.  To help remedy this, the Scottish Drugs Forum have published a guide for people who may be injecting New Psychoactive Substances, called "Safer Injecting Basics for New Psychoactive Substances."  The guide can be downloaded as a PDF and includes a general overview of some of the possible risks associated with these substances and strategies to reduce the harms.

Go to "Safer Injecting Basics for New Psychoactive Substances"

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May 9, 2014

UPDATED INFORMATION ON NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

The Australian Drug Foundation have updated their information on new and emerging psychoactive substances.  They have published a general fact sheet on new and emerging drugs, designed to provide an overview of the issue for people who only need a basic description, but they've also got specific facts sheets for synthetic cannabinoids and the NBOMe-type substances.

Go to the Australian Drug Foundation's "New psychoactive substances" page for more information.

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November 15, 2013

THE NEW ZEALAND APPROACH TO EMERGING PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

Many countries around the world are grappling with the rise of new and emerging substances.  These substances present many challenges for policy makers, and currently a range of different policy responses are being trialled.  New Zealand has taken a unique approach, allowing manufacturers the opportunity to have their products tested to establish some level of safety.  Substances that are found through clinical trials to meet the safety criteria will be allowed to be supplied to people aged over 18.  Ross Bell, the Executive Director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, recently have an interview where he described the history of emerging drugs in New Zealand and he explains the policy approach.

Go to "Ross Bell: Discussion on the New Zealand Psychoactive Substances Bill"

 

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September 13, 2013

PUBLIC HEALTH AND LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS

The journal "Addiction" has dedicated its current online September edition to the issue of emerging psychoactive substances. Included is a report on acute toxicity from confirmed consumption of synthetic cannabinoids, an overview of the New Zealand approach to regulating these substances, health impacts of mephedrone and public health challenges posed by the rapid changes occurring in this area.  The journal is freely available without a subscription until the 30th of September.

Go to "Addiction" journal website.

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August 30, 2013

NBOME: A VERY DIFFERENT KETTLE OF FISH

A recent edition of the Medical Journal of Australia has published an article by Dr David Caldicott, Stephen Bright and Monica Barratt titled "NBOMe - A very different kettle of fish".  The article describes the recent media interest in the substance 25I-NBOMe, believed responsible for the death of Sydney teenager Henry Kwan.  Numerous media reports stated that this substance was available online for $1.50 per tab, and that it was being sold as LSD.  The authors believe that this type of reporting is likely to result in increased use of the substance and may in fact lead some to on-sell NBOMe as LSD in order to make a significant profit. Observations of online marketplaces indicate that NBOMe tabs are available for purchase in Australia containing 1200 micrograms per tab, however an effective dose may be as small as 200 - 1000 micrograms.  There is significant risks of further harm from this substance, as emerging evidence indicates possible cardiovascular complications, hyperthermia, metabolic acidosis, organ failure and death.

Read "NBOMe: A very different kettle of fish"

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