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An oft-repeated legend is that today's cannabis is an order of magnitude stronger than in the past. Although potency levels have risen in several countries, the actual increases have been much more modest and high-potency strains have always existed. People have been making similar claims as far back as the 1970s.
 

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January 30, 2015

NEW AOD EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR QUEENSLAND SCHOOLS

Students returned back to school across Queensland this week, and so it is timely to remind everyone about the new Alcohol and other drugs education program that is being rolled out across the state for students in Years 7 - 12.  An initiative of the Safe Night Out Strategy and developed by the Department of Education, Training and Employment, the program is designed to support students to develop a greater awareness and understanding of the impacts of alcohol and other drug use; their capacity to make responsible, safe and informed decisions and their ability to effectively manage challenging situations.  The program is built into 5 one-hour sessions for each year level and includes a suite of teacher guidelines and resources.  It is compulsory for state schools and available and recommended for use by all private and independent schools across Queensland.  This is the first time that Queensland has had such a comprehensive school based AOD curriculum so we urge youth / AOD workers and services to engage with their local school communities wherever possible to offer support any issues that may arise for staff or students as this program is rolled out.

 

For more information visit the the department's website here or download the factsheet.

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January 30, 2015

OF SUBSTANCE MAGAZINE - ONLINE PD CALENDAR

Of Substance is a free, triannual magazine that addresses alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) issues and problems in Australia today. The magazine's primary audience is frontline workers in the drug and alcohol field, however, it is highly relevant to individuals and organisations from many related sectors including health professionals, social workers, educators, researchers, law enforcers and policy-makers.  It's essential reading here in the Dovetail office and you too can subscribe by visiting their website here. On top of the magazine, Of Substance also maintain a calendar of AOD professional development opportunities and it has been recently updated with the latest conferences, workshops, seminars and training programs for the year ahead. To find out more, visit http://ofsubstance.org.au/events.

 

If you would like to include details of your next training event in Of Substance's calendar, please email editor@ancd.org.au

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January 30, 2015

ARE GAMING APPS ADDICTIVE?

What impacts are mobile apps (like the one about disgruntled flying animals and smashing lollies) having on people's lives?  Lives Lived Well has launched an online survey to better understand the effects of easy access to potentially addictive game apps and how in-app purchases mimic gambling behaviours.  They're asking as many people as possible to help gather data in this emerging field of research and to email, tweet or share this survey link with their friends and colleagues.  It only takes 10 minutes to complete and alll responses are welcome. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/82DWSXS



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January 30, 2015

DOVETAIL APOLOGISES!

*Awkward*  It has been brought to our attention that we here at Dovetail have failed to acknoweldge a couple of important contributors to our most recent Good Practice Guide on Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and we're here to set the record straight. So, our humblest and sincerest apologies are extended to Merissa Jose and Aubrey Anderson at the Youth Substance Misuse Service in Cairns for their hard work and contribution to the guide, as well as the good folk in the Public Intoxication Unit at the Department of Communiities for their help as well. Thanks guys!

View the updated version here.

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January 23, 2015

DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

An article was published in The Lancet towards the end of 2014 that we think is worth revisiting.  The article titled "Drugs, alcohol and the First World War" looks at the ways that the First World War influenced and contributed the drug control treaties that later came to dominate the developed world. The article describes the first "drug scare" in the UK, where Canadian soldiers were suspected of using and smuggling cocaine and morphine.  At the same time in the West End of London, sex workers were suspected of selling drugs to soldiers. These early drug scares contributed to a sense that any attempt at drug control required a global approach.  This eventually evolved into the international drug control treaties administered now by the United Nations.

Go to "Drugs, alcohol and the First World War"

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January 23, 2015

NEW DOVETAIL GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE RELEASED!

Dovetail are proud to announce the release of our fourth Youth Alcohol and Drug Good Practice Guide - Learning from Each Other: Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young People. This Guide was developed over a period of 18 months in consultation with frontline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services from across Queensland and contains valuable commentary, information, tools, case studies and practical resources to assist workers, services and communities to enhance their practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

 

We wish to extend a hearty thanks to all members of the Learning From Each Other Network (listed on Page 6 of the Guide) for their considerable time and effort brainstorming, contributing and editing the Guide.  We would also like to acknowledge the fantastic work of Anne Elliott and her team at Encompass Family and Community Pty Ltd for their expert consultation and writing services.

 

An electronic version of the Guide can be downloaded free-of-charge here. Alternatively, if you are in Queensland and wish to order hard copies please phone 3837 5621 or email info@dovetail.org.au.

 

PS: To accompany this Guide Dovetail plans to produce a toolkit of culturally secure youth AOD materials, templates and resources over the next 12 months, so stay tuned! See the FebFast story below for more details.

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January 23, 2015

FEBFAST 2015 - GET HEALTHY AND HELP DOVETAIL AT THE SAME TIME!

Would a break from alcohol, nicotine, sugar, junk food or social media overload make you feel healthier and more in control of your life? FebFast is a charity that raises money to fight youth substance dependence by challenging you to refrain from your favourite vice for just 28 days - and this year Dovetail has been selected as one of its beneficiaries!  Yes that's right, just by abstaining for the shortest month of the year you can feel a whole lot healthier (not to mention smug and morally superior) AND help us to raise funds to develop, print and distribute a toolkit for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Queensland.  And to raise the stakes, Dovetail's very own Jeff Buckley has promised to give up alcohol not just for the month - but for the whole entire year! (OMG what did you just say?).  Yes, if Jeff can do a year, surely you can do a piddly 28 days?  They also offer office challenges (sorry Cam, Leigh and Ben, you should have returned from holidays earlier to have averted this huh?).

 

Sign up at the FebFast website here

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January 23, 2015

DATE CLAIMER: WALK ON THE WILD SIDE 8

The organisers of the Walk on the Wild Side event have date-claimed Friday 15 May 2015 for their annual one-day symposium for health professionals examining substance use and society. The theme for this year is curiously titled "Harm Maximisation" and, like last year, the event will be held at the Education Centre at the Royal Women's and Brisbane Hospital in Brisbane.  The full program will be released in mid February.  For information phone 07 3646 1525.  Mark it in your diaries now!

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January 16, 2015

IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK!

Happy New Year everybody!  We trust you have had a safe and relaxing break and are all refreshed and revigorated for a big 2015.  And with the Queensland state election called for the end of the month we are already on track for an action-packed year.  After a brief stint on the couch watching the cricket the Dovetail Weekly Email Digest is also back this week to grace your inboxes with the latest news, research, information and events in the Youth AOD sector in Queensland.

So best wishes for the upcoming year and, if you've got a few minutes spare while you work out your to-do list, please feel free to fill out our Annual Consumer Feedback Survey.  It should only take about 2 minutes and we're dangling the chance to win a Dovetail Prize Pack under your nose to get you in.  The survey closes on the 2nd of February and we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Take the survey here.

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January 15, 2015

INSIGHT TRAINING CALENDAR 2015 RELEASED

InSight have released their training calendar for 2015.  The program features its regular Core AOD Skills Training alongside a range of specialist workshops.  A number of these workshops will be of interest to Dovetail subscribers including our Young People and Drugs course (23/04/15 and 17/11/15), Working with Significant Others, Carers and Families (04/06/15), NCPIC's "Adolescent Cannabis Check Up" (17/03/15 and 29/10/15) and Responding to Methamphetamine (16/06/15).  All workshops are held in Brisbane at the Biala Building and are either free or cost $220 for non-Queensland Health staff, whilst Queensland Health staff can access the entire program free-of-charge.

Download the InSight Training Calendar 2015 here

Download the Application Form here

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