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March 10, 2017


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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October 31, 2014


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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November 2, 2012


There has been growing evidence that deaths from prescription opioid use is on the increase across Australia.  Drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl have been increasingly prescribed for chronic non-cancer pain, leading to concerns that doctors may be over-prescribing.  Professor Louisa Degenhardt from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has written an article for the ABC's Drum Opinion site titled "Prescription opioids: a painful problem".  Professor Degenhardt explains these trends by showing that there are in fact a number of complex factors at play which has led to the increasing use of opioids in Australia.  This includes the aging population, leading to increasing numbers of people living with chronic pain, but also the overlap between chronic pain and mental health problems like depression.  There also seems to be a disproportionate focus on people who inject illict drugs, despite most of the evidence suggestsing this population consume only a very small amount of the oxycodone being prescribed.

Read "Prescription opioids: a painful problem" here

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March 23, 2012


Many workers have been concerned about the use of sustained release naltrexone for opiate dependence, despite limited evidence of safety or efficacy.  The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) have now released a position paper on this issue, where they describe the current situation (where implants are being accessed via the "Special Access" scheme run by the Therapeutic Goods Administration) as "ethically problematic as it puts patients at risk of unknown harms, for an unknown benefit."

ANCD Position Statement:  Naltrexone Sustained Release Preparations (Injectible & Implants) (385KB PDF)

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July 27, 2011


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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April 28, 2011


The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) have published a report titled "Injecting Drug Use and associated harms among Aboriginal Australians".   While there are only small numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who inject, this group is particularly vulnerable to injecting related harms such as blood borne virus transmission.   This report examines the rates of injecting drug use, gaps in the service system and ways to move forward and provide better services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who inject.

Read the full report

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