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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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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?"

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May 26, 2017

HOW HITLER USED HEROIN AND METHAMPHETAMINE TO FUEL THE THIRD REICH

ABC Radio National recently featured an interview with Norman Ohler, author of the book "Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany".  In the interview, Ohler describes some of the startling findings of his research into substance use during World War 2, including that Hitler receiving regular methamphetamine injections from his personal physician throughout the war.  Ohler goes on the propose that following the allied bombing of the factories producing methamphetamine, Hitler's mental health declined - possibly due to substance withdrawal, which proceeded the end of the war, and Hitler's eventual demise.

Listen to "How Hitler used heroin and methamphetamine to fuel the Third Reich"

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May 19, 2017

DRUG FACTS VIDEOS

The Drug Policy Alliance has produced a series of four short videos about MDMA, Methamphetamine, Heroin and Cocaine which aim to present straightforward, factual information. Each video is only two minutes long and covers the history of each of these drugs, how they work, the major health risks of each substance and practice harm reduction advice.

Read more and watch the videos here.

 

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May 8, 2017

CRACKS IN THE ICE

Cracks in the Ice is an online toolkit providing, evidence-based, and up-to-date information and resources about crystal methamphetamine (ice) for the Australian community. Cracks in the Ice has been developed with input from community members across Australia in consultation with researchers from the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW and  the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University. The website consists of a community toolkit, information for schools,  families and significant others and resources for health professionals.

View Cracks in the Ice here

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March 10, 2017

ADF DRUG FACTS

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (formerly known as the Australian Drug Foundation) have re-launched their Drug Facts website.  The site contains information on a broad range of drugs, in an accessible format suitable for any worker.  Each fact sheet contains information on the specific substance including how the substance is used, an overview of the effects and harms, and information on rates of use in the population.

Go to the ADF Drug Facts website

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January 27, 2017

METH CHECK: RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WHO USE METHAMPHETAMINE

As a part of Queensland Health's response to increasing use of crystal methamphetamine, Insight produced a number of resources to support workers.  There's a free, self-paced online learning package, a flow chart designed for emergency departments, a harm reduction guide and a brief intervention tool for workers who are engaging with people who use methamphetamine.  The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) have also contextualized the resources for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  To order free copies of the resources, or to find out more go to the Meth Check website.

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October 14, 2016

FREE METHAMPHETAMINE RESOURCES FOR QUEENSLAND WORKERS

Insight, the Queensland Health alcohol and other drug training and workforce development unit, have recently released a suite of tools and resources for health and community service workers who engage with people who use methamphetamine. The "Meth Check" toolkit consists of an eLearning module, medical early intervention flowcharts, an ultra-brief intervention tool, a harm reduction booklet and a factsheet for families. The resources are freely available for download. Hard copies of the resources are also available.

For more information and to download the resources click here

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September 30, 2016

METHAMPHETAMINE IN WORLD WAR TWO

The Guardian has published an article titled "High Hitler: Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history".  The article includes an interview with German author Norman Ohler, who has written a book titled "Blitzed" which explores the role that substances played in Hitler's Germany. It is well known that drugs like methamphetamine were used by both sides of the conflict in World War 2, but Ohler believes that methamphetamine played a significant role in Hitler's declining physical and mental health throughout the war.  He uncovered documents from Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, which indicated that Hitler had a significant methamphetamine dependence.  Ohler discovered a letter from Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary, suggesting that the "medication" being supplied to Hitler needed to be regulated, due to his failing health.  The factories producing methamphetamine were destroyed by allied bombing in 1945, cutting off Hitler's supply and causing him to go into withdrawal.  Ohler suggests that this explains the widely reported poor state of Hitler's physical and mental health in the final weeks of World War 2.

Go to "High Hitler: Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history"

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March 10, 2016

BREAKING THE ICE PODCAST

This Radio National podcast "Breaking the Ice" from the All in the Mind program looks at the effects of methamphetamine use, treatment and a personal account of methamphetamine dependence.

Listen to the podcast here.

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