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April 20, 2018

HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS SAFE TO CONSUME?

The Lancet has just published a paper titled "Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: Combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies".  The study pooled data from three large scale data sources from 19 high income countries, and looked at the health implications of alcohol consumption across eight different levels of alcohol consumption.  The study found a relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed per week and life expectancy. People who drank between 10 and 20 standard drinks per week had reduced life expectancy by 6 months at age 40.  Those who consumed more than 35 standard drinks per week had 4-5 years of reduced life expectancy by age 40.


Go to "Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: Combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies".

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April 20, 2018

IS THAT A STEROID IN MY SUPPLEMENT?

ABC Radio National's Background Briefing program has recently broadcast a series of stories on performance and image enhancing drugs.  The series, titled "Is that a steroid in my supplement?" looks at the growing industry in importing and producing performance and image enhancing drugs, some of which as mislabeled and sold as legal products.  The radio documentary includes interviews with supplement importers and people who use performance enhancing drugs.


Go to "Is that a steroid in my supplement?"

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April 20, 2018

AOD STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION REPORT

The Queensland Mental Health Commission has released a report titled "Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Options to reduce stigma amd discrimination for people experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use." The report explores stigma and discrimination faced by people using alcohol or other drugs, recent research in this space and options for reform. The report forms part of the Queensland Government's Alcohol and other Drugs Action Plan 2015-2017 and outlines how stigma and discrimination might affect people using drugs in a problematic way.  In particular the areas of health care, welfare services, police, employment and society at large are where stigma and discrimination are most pervasive for this group. Experiencing stigma and discrimination can create barriers for people and impact on their help seeking behaviours and future outcomes such as their ability to reconnect with community or obtain employment.  The report recommends that stigma and discrimination can be addressed through a number of reforms.


Download "Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Options to reduce stigma amd discrimination for people experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use" (1MB PDF)

For more information go to the Queensland Mental Health Commission website.

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April 20, 2018

WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE USING INHALANTS

Dovetail has been receving an increasing number of calls in 2018 regarding young people using inhalants. We thought it might be useful to remember some of the resources available to workers to assist in respoding to inhalant use.

 

The National Health and Medical Research Council developed a guideline in 2011 which is still relevant today for working with young people using inhalants. The guideline is designed to assist health professionals to identify, assess and treat people who are using volatile substances and can be found here.


Dovetail's Cameron Francis has a presention called "Understanding Inhalants" which you can watch here.


Download Dovetail's "Effective Responses to Inhalant Use" fact sheet here (143 KB PDF)



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April 13, 2018

A TRIP THROUGH THE GARDEN EPISODE 3: OPIUM POPPIES

Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) contain a number of opiates including morphine, codeine, thebaine and more.  The seeds from opium poppies sometimes have small traces of opiates on the outside shell of the seed. Occasionally, services may encounter people who are attempting to extract the opiates from opium poppies or seeds, which can result in overdose or dependence. In this video, Cameron describes some of the main constituents of opium poppies, how they are used, and some of the risks and harms.

Click here to watch "A trip through the garden episode 3: Opium poppies" (2min 45sec)

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April 13, 2018

ALCOHOL RELATED DEATHS AND HOSPITALISATIONS IN AUSTRALIA

The National Alcohol Indicators project bulletin recently published "Estimated attributable deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 2004 - 2015".  Some of the findings from the bulletin include that an estaimted 5785 Australians aged 15 years and over, died from an alcohol-attributable disease and injury in 2015.  Cancer was the leading cause of these deaths, accounting for 36% of deaths, followed by injuries, cardiovascular disease and digestive diseases being the next leading causes, each comprising around 17% of the deaths.

Read more about "Estimated attributable deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 2004 - 2015"

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April 13, 2018

LIVING WITH FASD

Radio National's Life Matters program recently featured an episode titled "Living with FASD". The radio program features an interview with Anne Russell, whose son has FASD. Anne describes how FASD impacts her son, and some of the challenges of getting appropriate diagnosis and support. The show also features Dr Doug Shelton, a paediatrician who specialises in FASD, who talks about some of the impacts of FASD, and the approaches to better recognising and managing FASD.

Listen to "Living with FASD" here.

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April 6, 2018

AUSTRALIAN BURDEN OF DISEASE STUDY

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the 2011 'Impact of alcohol and other drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia' report on the 29th March 2018. Alcohol use was responsible for 4.6% of the total burden in 2011, one-third of this burden was due to Alcohol dependence. Opioids accounted for the largest proportion (41%) of the illicit drug use burden in 2011, followed by amphetamines (18%), cocaine (8%) and cannabis (7%). Rates of burden of illness and injury from specific illicit drugs based on geographical remoteness, compared major cities, regional and remote areas, found low rates of regional variation in rates of Amphetamine dependence with a general pattern of attributable burden increasing as degree of remoteness increased. For the first time this report includes analysis the impact of individual drugs and unsafe injection practices on the Australian population and predicts the potential effect of alcohol and other drug use on the burden of disease over the next decade.

Read the full report go here.

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April 6, 2018

ONLINE MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND SUPPORT FOR WORKERS

In 2017 e-Mental Health in Practice Project (eMHPrac) released a resource guide which outlines all the different support and training options for workers.  The project aims to raise health practitioners and workers' awareness and knowledge of digital mental health and to provide free training and support in its use to GPs, allied health professionals and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The resource is broken down into specific mental health diagnosis and areas of concern as well as specific sub-groups including working with parents, children and young people, aboriginal and/or torres strait islander people and more.

Download the resource guide here (901KB PDF)

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April 6, 2018

SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS: MORE HARM THAN GOOD?

Dr David Armstrong from Flinders University has recently published an article on The Conversation website titled "Why suspending or expelling students often does more harm than good." Research over the years has shown that young people who are suspended or excluded from school tend to be further disadvantaged and more at risk of engaging in substance use, become involved in criminal activity or develop mental health concerns. This article explores how our school system accommodates disadvantaged students and how we can best respond.

Go to "Why suspending or expelling students often does more harm than good"

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