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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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February 21, 2014


The National Drug Strategy 2010 - 2015 has a number of sub-strategies, with the most recent addition being the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action. The framework aims to reduce the misuse of pharmaceuticals and enhance the quality use of pharmaceuticals. The framework identifies nine priority areas such as the development of a coordinated medication management system, supporting prescribers, pharmacists and other health professionals and enhancing treatment and harm reduction.

Download "National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action 2012 - 2015" (1.7MB PDF)

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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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July 27, 2012


A recent international neuropharmacology conference included a session on the use of cognitive enhancers, such as methylphenidate (Ritilin) and modafinil (Modavigil).  The session featured a discussion between Professor David Nutt (director of the Neuropsychopharmacology unit at the Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London) and Nora Volkov (Director of the United States National Institute on Drug Abuse).  The two speakers have different opinions on the potential risks and benefits of cognitive enhancers, and a number of related ethical implications which arise out of the use of these drugs.  The audio from this fascinating discussion is available for download, or alternatively there's a transcript of the discussion available also.

Go to "Cognitive Enhancement in Healthy People"

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September 16, 2011


Lifeline (United Kingdom) have developed a new website highlighting the dangers of benzodiazepines like Valium (diazepam).   The site features an amazing animated video where Wobbly Stan the Benzo Man explains the harms of benzo use.   The content for the video was developed by people experiencing benzo dependence, and while this resource is UK specific, it's a great example of a creative way to engage people in discussion about drug related harms.

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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 8, 2011


There has been increasing concern about the misuse of prescription drugs throughout the community.   From over the counter codeine preparations, to opiate based pain killers, there is evidence of increasing use and harm from this class of drugs.   In response to this, the now defunct Ministerial Council of Drug Strategy initiated the development of a national policy specific to prescription drug misuse.   The policy is being developed by a consortium led by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA).   The closing date for submissions is Friday may 27th, 2011.

Find out more about the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Strategy

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