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May 11, 2018


Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is now happening within Queensland, aiming to increase community awareness of domestic and family violence. The month provides an opportunity to encourage support seeking and increase awareness and knowledge of community and workers. Dovetail thought it would be an opportune time to share a few helpful resources we've come across recently.


Queensland Health have created a 'Response to Disclosure' flowchart to assist frontline staff working with clients who may have been impacted by domestic and family violence.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a short video in response to violence against women and the important role of the healthcare system in responding which you can watch here.

Find out about other events happening across Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month here.

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May 4, 2018


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada's ABC) has been publishing a podcast series that looks at the broad range of ways that drugs have shaped our world. The "On Drugs" podcast features episodes that the history of caffeine, the outcomes of legalisation of cannabis, and the use of drugs during war. There is also a special feature episode with an interview with Bruce Alexander, the researcher who conducted the famous "Rat Park" experiments.

Find out more about "On Drugs" at this link or subscribe via iTunes.

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May 4, 2018


The term "Angel Trumpets" refers to one of two types of plant - Datura stramonium or a species of Brugmansia. The distinct trumpet-shaped flowers contain the substances scopolamine and atropine (and others) which cause delirium when consumed. There are occasional reports of hospitalisations related to Angel Trumpet consumption, sometimes in young people experimenting. This short video provides an overview Angel Trumpets, and the nature of some of the hospital presentations.

Watch "A trip through the garden episode 4: Angel Trumpet (Datura) (1min 52sec)

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May 4, 2018


Professor Nicole Lee has recently published an article on "The Conversation" website, titled "Drug rehab: what works and what to keep in mind when choosing a private treatment provider." When people hear "rehab" they usually think of residential rehabilitation or 'live in' treatment, but there are many other options such as outpatient treatment, day programs and home based detox.


Day programs are very similar to rehab except that people go home in the evenings. Having these options with varying levels of intensity is important so that there are treatment options for a wide range of people. There are a number of alcohol and other drug therapies that have an established evidence base for individual and group therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy.


When choosing options for rehabilitation, it is important to assess the program content and consider factors such as the cost, the program duration and what is important to the individual such as family involvement. Also account for the service delivering the program, some questions to ask include- do the staff running the program have appropriate skills and qualifications in alcohol and other drug treatment, is the service accredited and is the program delivery informed by the evidence base?  Something to keep in mind is that there is no evidence that a higher cost of treatment leads to better treatment outcomes.


To access the full article click here.

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February 23, 2018


The Queensland Government has launched a whole-of-government "Action on Ice" plan, which addresses the use and harms caused by crystal methamphetamine.  Throughout 2017, the Queensland Government engaged with the community, seeking input to understand the impacts of methamphetamine, particularly in rural and regional communities. The plan contains a broad range of actions including the establishment of a new residential rehabilitation service in Rockhampton, expanded access to specialist family support services, and an increase in alcohol and other drug treatment services provided through the non-government sector.

Find out more about the Queensland Government's "Action on Ice"

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January 25, 2018


The University of Queensland and University of South Australia have been commissioned to provide drug consumption data to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission using a National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. Wastewater analysis is a technique for delivering population-scale consumption of substances. The 2017 collection covers 61 per cent of Australia's population, approximately 14.2 million Australians. A total of approximately 50 wastewater treatment sites were assessed, bimonthly in the case of capital city sites and every four months for regional sites.


Drug specific parameters in the data showed that alcohol and nicotine were consistently the highest consumed drugs in all states and territories. Compounds of concern that were tested include nicotine from tobacco, ethanol from alcohol intake, pharmaceutical opioids with abuse potential, illicit substances such as methylamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine, as well as a number of new psychoactive substances. The wastewater analysis did not test for cannabis. Data comparisons from August 2016 and August 2017, show an increase in population averages for cocaine consumption in capital city and regional sites.


Elevated consumption levels of fentanyl were observed at several regional sites, with weighted average consumption in regional sites more than double that of capital city sites. The fourth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is scheduled to be released in March 2018.

Find out more at the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program website.

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January 19, 2018


As we slowly return to work, we thought it would be worthwhile to have a look back at the most popular Dovetail blog stories from 2017.  So here are the top five stories from the Dovetail blog in 2017.

5) "So your school has been approached by an external organisation"

4) "Lifeline Coping Kit Resource"

3) "The effects of methamphetamine on the brain and body webinar"

2) "Strategies for managing abuse related trauma"

1)  "Dovetail's Drug Slang and Acronym List Version 2.0"

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July 20, 2017


The National Drug Strategy 2017-2026 has been released by the Commonwealth Department of Health and maintains the harm minimisation focus on supply, demand and harm reduction. The National Drug Strategy is a long term framework for reducing and preventing the harms associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. This latest strategy is built on the principles of partnerships, coordination and collaboration, national direction and evidence informed responses with the aim of building safe healthy and resilient Australian communities.

Read and download the National Drug Strategy here

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July 20, 2017


The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Orygen, has published a clinical practice guide called " Addressing barriers to engagement-Working with challenging behaviour". The guide is designed to support service providers who are engaging young people, 12 - 25 years of age, who present with behaviour that is seen to be 'challenging'.The practice guide explains how to respond appropriately to challenging behaviour, better understand the contributing factors, manage personal responses and identify the barriers associated with different types of behaviour.

Read and download the practice guide here

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