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June 15, 2012

REFORMING THE VICTORIAN AOD SECTOR

The Victorian government has released a document titled "New Directions for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services: A Road Map."  The document articulates the reform agenda of the current Victoria government around alcohol and other drug service delivery.  At the heart of this document is the concept of "new recovery", which is currently asserting itself as a new paradigm for alcohol and drug treatment in Australia.  This document gives us insight into what the future may hold for Queensland, but also for Australia as governments move towards activity based funding for alcohol and drug services.

Download "New Directions for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services: A Roadmap"

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June 15, 2012

AIVL RELEASE POSITION PAPER ON "NEW RECOVERY'

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), the peak body representing people who use illicit drugs in Australia, have released a position paper addressing the rise of the "new recovery" model in Australia.  The paper is titled 'New Recovery, Harm Reduction and Drug Use" and provides a consumer perspective on this emerging philosophy.  It is vital that consumer voices are heard through the process of service re-orientation, and this document commences the dialogue.  It is likely that there will be a lot more said about this issue in coming months and years.

Download "New Recovery, Harm Reduction and Drug Use: Policy Statement"

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May 18, 2012

HARM REDUCTION AND "NEW RECOVERY"

There has been increasing talk internationally of the new concept of "recovery-orientated" systems of care.  In its most recent incarnation in the United Kingdom, it has led to a re-orientation of the entire funding system for the alcohol and drug treatment sector, to one which focuses on payment for results: and the result that gets the payment is abstinence.   As this concept is beginning to emerge here in Australia, ANEX (the peak body for harm reduction services in Australia) have published a discussion paper which proposes an Australian definition of this concept, incorporating the harm minimisation approach which has been so successful in this country.

An Australian "New Recovery"?

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March 16, 2012

YOUNG PEOPLE CONSENTING TO HEALTH CARE

Queensland Health have published a document titled "Guide to Informed Decision Making in Health Care".   The document contains a chapter specifically dealing with informed consent and young people, which would be of interest to many people working in the young alcohol and drug field.   This is a complex area of practice, and in the past there has been a dearth of reliable information available specifically dealing with the Queensland health care context.  While this guide is designed specifically for use within Queensland Health, other services will find it useful to refer to when considering developing their own policies.

 

Queensland Health: Guide to Informed Decision-making in Healthcare (1.9MB PDF)

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January 20, 2012

INQUIRY INTO A MODEL OF INVOLUNTARY DETOX AND REHAB IN QUEENSLAND

The Health and Disabilities Committee of the Queensland Parliament is holding an inquiry into a model for the involuntary detoxification and rehabilitation of people with severe substance dependence.  The deadline for written submissions to the Committee is Monday 13th of February 2012, and public hearings will be held in March 2012.   The committee have published an information paper which includes an overview of a model proposed by Queensland Health, as well as an overview of similar programs operating in New South Wales and Victoria.

Severe Substance Dependence: A Model for Involuntary Detoxification and Rehabilitation

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September 9, 2011

ANCD CONDUCTS BRISBANE CONSULTATION

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) provides advice to Government on drug and alcohol policy, and they are coming to Brisbane to hear the views of sector.   There will be presentations from the ANCD, Queensland Government and QNADA (Queensland Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies) and opportunities for workers and services to share their views about current issues around alcohol and other drug use in Queensland.


Date:  Tuesday 20th of September, 2011

Time: 9.00am - 11.15am

Venue:  The Holiday Inn, 159 Roma Street, Brisbane
RSVP by Monday 12th of September:  ancd@ancd.org.au

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August 5, 2011

TRIPLE J DEBATES DRUGS

Triple J's Hack program recently interviewed Professor Steve Allsop and author Lisa Prior about the realities of drug use.   Lisa has recently published a book which challenges the traditional pathologising of drug users.  Instead, Lisa looks at evidence suggesting that most people who use illicit drugs do not go on to develop problems, but these "uneventful" stories are not the stories which are usually told.   The whole story is now available online.

Triple J Hack Debates Drugs (10MB mp3)

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July 27, 2011

2010 NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY HOUSEHOLD SURVEY REPORT

The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was conducted between late-April and early-September 2010. This was the 10th survey in a series which began in 1985, and was the fifth to be managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). More than 26,000 people aged 12 years or older participated in the survey, in which they were asked about their knowledge of and attitudes towards drugs, their drug consumption histories, and related behaviours.

The Survey report shows positive and significant reductions since 2007 in daily tobacco smoking; mixed findings on alcohol consumption and risk; and a small overall rise in illicit drug use. In terms of attitudes to drugs, excessive alcohol use and tobacco smoking were nominated as the two most serious concerns to the community - and there were higher levels of support than previously for tobacco and alcohol harm reduction policies.

For more information or to review the report, visit the AIHW website here: AIHW National Drug Stategy Household Survey 2010 Report

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July 25, 2011

ALCOPOPS TAX WORKS BUT MORE IS NEEDED

A recent article in the Medical Journal Australia states that 3 years after the "alcopop" tax increase, it is clear that while there was some substitution for straight spirits, overall alcohol consumption has still declined - particularly in young people.   Following the introduction of the tax, sales of drink spirits declined by 30%, and the total amount of pure alcohol sold declined 1.5% overall.   Despite this, the authors state that the evidence overwhelmingly supports volumetric taxing:  that is, a tax on the pure alcohol content, regardless of the form that it comes in.  Volumetric taxing makes lower alcohol beverages cheaper and has been proven to reduce alcohol related harms.

MJA: Is the "alcopops" tax working? Probably yes but there is a bigger picture

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July 22, 2011

EVALUATING EFFECTIVE HARM REDUCTION IN YOUR SERVICE

The Harm Reduction Network of Manitoba, Canada have created an excellent check-list for agencies wanting to ensure they provide best practice harm reduction services to their clients.  The check list considers 5 key principles of harm reduction policies and practice including:

  • Human dignity: provision of inclusive, respectful, equitable services.
  • Common sense: programs and services are based on realistic and achievable and measurable objectives.
  • Focus on harms: acknowledge that harms occur within a social context that includes determinants of health and provision of basic needs.
  • Balanced: services are provided from a balanced approach and are based on sound evidence and ongoing evaluation.
  • Dealing with priority issues: services are provided along a continuum of care that addresses the needs and priorities of the client.

Guidelines for evaluating harm reduction services (pdf)

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