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February 16, 2018

INTRODUCING NEW DOVETAIL TEAM MEMBERS

Dovetail has recently undergone a small expansion, and we'd like to introduce two new staff members. Clare Mason and Jade Phillips are Social Workers with a wealth of experience in youth alcohol and other drug treatment.  To help introduce them to the sector in Queensland, we've made a short video where Clare and Jade tell us a bit about their background and interest areas. Feel free to drop us a line anytime to say hello to our wonderful new staff!


Watch "Introducing Clare and Jade - New Dovetail Staff'

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February 16, 2018

MJA PODCAST ON CODEINE DEPENDENCE

On the 1st of February 2018 medications containing codeine were rescheduled by the Therapeutic Goods Administration so that they can only be obtained with a prescription from a doctor.  This was in response to the harms associated with codeine use, such as opioid dependence, codeine poisoning and overdose.  As part of the Medical journal of Australia's podcast series, Dr Suzanne Nielsen, a Senior Research Fellow with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, provides workers with insights into the ways of identifying and treating codeine dependence.

Follow this link below to listen to the podcast online.

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February 16, 2018

PREVALENCE OF FASD IN YOUTH DETENTION POPULATION

A multidisciplinary study recently conducted among youth people in youth detention found a significant prevalence of Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), highlighting the vulnerability of young people, particularly Indigenous young people in the justice system. The study used a representative sample of young people sentenced in detention in Western Australia. A clinical assessment was conducted by a multidisciplinary team including a paediatrician, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, and provisional neuropsychologists with supervision including the use of interpreters where required, for each participant. The team prepared a report for each young person detailing the results of the assessment and recommendations for working with the young person including their strengths. The study found that the majority of young people with FASD had severe impairment in the academic (86%), attention (72%), executive functioning (78%) and/or language (69%) domains. Severe impairment in memory (56%), motor skills (50%) and cognition (36%) were also commonly found in the young people with FASD. These findings have significant implications in rehabilitation, therapeutic interventions and the youth justice system. Previous to this study there was an absence of data on the prevalence rates of FASD in the youth detention population in Australia.

You can view the study abstract here.

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February 9, 2018

QUEENSLAND DRUG AND ALCOHOL COURT LAUNCHES

Following a review of the Drug and Specialist Courts system, the Drug and Alcohol Court has been reinstated in Queensland. The Penalties and Sentences (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 has been passed, enabling a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order to be included into Queensland's existing sentencing framework. The Drug and Alcohol Court was launched on the 29th January 2018. The Court aims to provides an intensive and targeted response to adult offenders with severe drug and alcohol use directly associated with their offending and facilitate access to treatment. The Drug and Alcohol Court is currently operating in Brisbane, and decisions around expansion to regional centres is not likely to take place until 2023, after the court has been evaluated.

 

Find out more about the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court here.

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February 9, 2018

ALCOHOL AND DRUG CLINICAL ADVISORY SERVICE FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) has launched a trial of a new telephone service in partnership with a number of Addiction Medicine Specialists from across Queensland.  The Alcohol and Drug Clinical Advisory Service (ADCAS) is a specialist telephone support service for health professionals in Queensland, providing clinical advice regarding the management of patients with alcohol and other drug concerns including opioid pharmacotherapy, management of withdrawal, intoxication and drug interactions. This free service is available from 8.00am-11.00pm, 7 days a week and can be reached on 1800 290 928.

 

More information on the Alcohol and Drug Clinical Advisory Service is availble here.

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February 9, 2018

COORDINATED CARE FOR VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE

Young people experiencing multiple and complex issues usually require coordinated care approaches.  As our service system continues to become more and more complex, there is an increasing need to develop processes to coordinate care across multiple agencies, from both the government and non-government sector.  In Cairns, the Coordinate Care for Vulnerable Young People (CCYP) process has been running for a number of years.  The Queensland Department of Education recently created a short video that describes CCPY - why it was developed, how it operates, and how it benefits young people, their families and the broader community.

 

Watch "Coordinated Care for Vulnerable Young People" (4min 37sec)

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February 9, 2018

FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL ONLINE STI TESTING

Queensland residents aged 16 years or older are eligible to take a free urine test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea through the new 13 HEALTH webtest program.  The program is funded by the Queensland Government and does not require young people to provide a Medicare number.

There are two options for accessing the free test- either in person at a pathology collection centre or by mail using a home mailing kit, which involves providing a urine sample and sending it in for analysis.  In either case, the young person will be contacted confidentially with the test results. If the result is positive , 13 HEALTH can support the young person to find a suitable service for treatment.

Find out more about the program below to start recommending it as an option for young people here.

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February 2, 2018

INSIGHT 2018 TRAINING CALENDAR AND NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH

Insight has launched a brand new website, along with their workshop and webinar calendar for Semester 1, 2018. The workshops include AOD core skills training and specialised workshops for AOD, mental health and community health practitioners. Workshops are held in Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville.  Some of the new workshops include:

  • 1-day "AOD Crash Course" for new and generalist workers

  • Advanced Harm Reduction

  • Culturally-secure Narrative Therapy within a SEWB context

  • Sensory Approaches in AOD

  • Family Interviews: Towards Therapeutic Outcomes

  • Introduction to Mindfulness in AOD

All workshops are free however bookings are essential.  Visit Insight's new and improved website to view the training calendar and other excellent resources and online training.

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February 2, 2018

FESTIVAL GOERS' PERCEPTIONS OF DRUG CHECKING AT MUSIC FESTIVALS

A study titled "Music fesitval attendees' illicit drug use, knowledge and practices regarding drug content and purity: A cross-sectional survey" has been published in the Harm Reduction Journal. The study involved a cross-sectional survey completed at an Australian music festival by over 600 festival attendees. Results showed nearly three-quarters of participants had reported use of illicit drugs in the past 12 months (mostly cannabis and ecstasy) and the majority of festival attendees supported free drug checking at festivals, reporting that the results a drug test would be likely to influence their drug taking behaviour.

Read the full article here.

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February 2, 2018

ICE PSYCHOSIS: WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DO ONLY SOME PEOPLE GET IT?

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "Ice Psychosis: What is it, and why do only some people get it?".  The article, authored by Dr Shalini Arunogiri, describes a systematic review of risk factors for methamphetamine-associated psychosis published in January 2018 in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. The study aimed to ascertain why some methamphetamine users are more likely to experience psychosis than others. The study found that the majority of people who use methamphetamine do not experience psychosis and that frequency and amount of methamphetamine used, and the severity of dependence, were the factors most commonly associated with the risk of psychosis. Factors such as age, gender, income or employment status and the way in which people used methamphetamine (for example by smoking versus injecting), did not appear to affect the likelihood of psychosis.

 

These findings can assist healthcare workers and treatment services to identify people who might be at greatest risk of methamphetamine psychosis and support those who aren't ready to stop using the drug to change the frequency or pattern of their use which might help them avoid developing psychosis.

Read "Ice Psychosis: What is it, and why do only some people get it?"

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