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Many people believe that vomiting, drinking strong coffee, fresh air, food or even having a shower will help someone to sober up if they have been drinking. The only thing that will actually lessen the effects of alcohol is time.
 

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September 19, 2014

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: 5TH - 12TH OF OCTOBER

National Mental Health Week is fast approaching and events are planned right around Queensland.  The theme of Mental Health Week in Queensland is "Mind Clicks: Where minds meet".  The theme refers to "the moment you click with a person, activity or group and find a sense of understanding and support that helps you feel more positive, more in control and more aware of your mental health."

Find out more information at the Queensland Mental Health Week website.

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September 19, 2014

MEDICINAL USE OF CANNABIS: BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION PAPER

The Australian National Council on Drugs has published a paper titled "Medicinal use of cannabis: Background and information paper."  With medical cannabis issues continuing to be in the media, this paper provides an excellent overview of what is known about medicinal cannabis use in Australia.  The paper takes no position on the complexities of the issue, rather it identifies areas that require further investigation.  The article summarises the research on the pharmaceutical cannabinoid preparations such as nabilone and dronabinol (not currently registered for use in Australia) as well as nabiximols (Sativex) which is currently a schedule 8 substance, available on prescription from a medical practitioner.

Download "Medicinal use of cannabis: background and information paper" (525KB PDF)

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September 19, 2014

PARENTS MAY BE PUTTING THEIR CHILDREN ON A PATH TO DRINKING

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has published the results of study into the effects of parental supply of alcohol to young people aged under 18.  Many parents believe that supplying alcohol to their children can assist in developing responsible drinking patterns, however the results of this study indicate that it may in fact have the opposite effect.  This is the largest study of its kind into this issue, and the researchers found that early parental supply of alcohol through school years 7 to 9 was the single biggest predictor of drinking in year 10.  Children who were supplied alcohol by parents were more likely to also access alcohol from "non-sanctioned" sources (eg peers, older friends etc).

Read more about this research at the NDARC website.

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September 12, 2014

CLEAR HEADS NEEDED TO RESPOND TO CRYSTAL METH

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "Don't panic, we need a clear head to respond to crystal meth".  The article considers recent news headlines which seem to indicate that there has been a significant increase in methamphetamine use.  The author, Brendan Quinn from the Burnet Institute, looks at the statistics from the National Household Survey indicating that methamphetamine rates are stable, however increasingly methamphetamine users are accessing the more pure crystal form.  Brendan points out that "essentially, people already using the drug now purchase more actual methamphetamine for any given purchase size."  Brendan goes on to critique mass media campaigns which are well known to not only fail to prevent substance use but in many cases appear to actually increase intentions to use substances.

Read "Don't panic, we need a clear head to respond to crystal meth".

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September 12, 2014

FUNDING AVAILABLE: INDIGENOUS ADVANCEMENT STRATEGY

The Federal Government has announced funding is available under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).  This competitive grant round opened on Monday the 8th of September and will close at 2pm on Tuesday October 7th.  This strategy brings together more than 150 individual funding programs and activities into 5 flexible, broad-based programs including "Jobs, Land and Economy", "Children and Schooling", "Safety and Wellbeing", "Culture and Capability" and "Remote Australia Strategies".  The total funding pool available over 4 years is $4.8 billion.

For more information go to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Indigenous Affairs website.

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September 12, 2014

WORKING WITH DIVERSITY IN ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG SETTINGS

The NSW peak body for the non-government alcohol and other drug sector (NADA) has published a resource titled "Working with diversity in alcohol and other drug settings."  The resource contains examples of best practice approaches as well as useful resources for service providers.  The resource covers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people and older people.

Download "Working with diversity in alcohol and other drug settings" (1.1MB PDF)

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September 5, 2014

KNOW4SURE.ORG.AU

Children by Choice, the Brisbane-based non-profit organisation that provides unbiased information on unplanned pregnancy options, has launched a new website designed for young people: know4sure.org.au.  The website includes information on common myths about contraception, pregnancy and abortion, tips on being a supportive friend, information on pregnancy testing options, and options for young pregnant women.  This site uses easy to understand language, and includes links to get support in real life, if required.

Go to know4sure.org.au

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September 5, 2014

SHOULD AUSTRALIA LIFT ITS BAN ON E-CIGARETTES?

An article has appeared on The Conversation website titled "Should Australia lift its ban on e-cigarettes?" In this article, Wayne Hall (Professor and Director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland) debates Ross MacKenzie (Lecturer in Health Studies at Macquarie University) about the issue.  Wayne Hall outlines the arguments to lift the ban, because he believes that the ban stifles research into the possible public health benefits of e-cigarettes.  He argues for tight restrictions until such research is conducted, however he believes that the suppliers of e-cigarettes should be obliged to facilitate research.  

Read "Should Australia lift its ban on e-cigarettes?"

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September 5, 2014

MEDICATION TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR AMPHETAMINE-TYPE STIMULANT USERS

The Australian National Council on Drugs has released a report titled "Medication treatment options for amphetamine-type stimulants."  The report considers withdrawal medications, treatments for amphetamine dependence, treatment of co-occurring mental health problems and treatments for other amphetamine-type stimulants.  The authors found that there was no evidence to support the use of benzodiazepines for the management of sleep disturbance or agitation amongst amphetamine-type stimulant users in withdrawal, despite this being frequently recommended in clinical guidelines.  The authors did find some evidence (although limited) that mirtazapine, modafinil, dexamphetamine and amineptine may be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms in some people.

Download  "Medication treatment options for amphetamine-type stimulant users" (1.75MB PDF)

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August 29, 2014

AUSTRALIAN WINTER SCHOOL 2014 PRESENTATIONS AVAILABLE NOW

The Australian Winter School conference happened back in July, and the conference organisers at Lives Lived Well have now published a number of the conference presentations online, as well as video of a number of the key note speakers and panel discussions. If you weren't able to make it along, you can sit back watch some of the best speakers from Australian and abroad present on a diverse range of topics from novel psychoactive substances, responding to the challenges and pressures of the AOD service delivery environment, pharmaceutical drug misuse and much more.  And if that's not enough, Lives Lived Well have announced the dates for next year's conference -July 22 - 24 and the call for abstracts is already open!  So mark out your diaries and start planning your presentation today.

View PDFs of a selection of presentations here

Watch videos from the Australian Winter School 2014 here (password to access is delegate2014)

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