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October 31, 2014

"ONE TOO MANY" ONLINE ALCOHOL ASSESSMENT TOOL

"Does alcohol turn you into someone you'd rather not be?" Dr Adam Winstock and his team at the Global Drug Survey launched a new online tool this week that takes a new approach to assessing someone's drinking. Rather than calculating how many standard drinks someone consumes and matching this against particular harms, One Too Many instead asks a series of 20 questions focussing on uncomfortable or embarrassing social situations and behaviours involving drinking (ranging from whether you've lost anything valuable while drunk to whether you've woken up next to someone you probably didn't mean to sleep with) and then tallies up your "Alcohol Related Social Embarrassment" (or "ARSE") score, to indicate what sort of drinker you are.  The app also allows you to share a unique URL to friends on social media giving them the opportunity to anonymously rate you on the same test without seeing how (un)realistically you've already answered.

Try out the "One Too Many" website here

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October 31, 2014

2014 IDRS / EDRS KEY FINDINGS AVAILABLE

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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October 31, 2014

AMA NATIONAL ALCOHOL SUMMIT

The Australian Medical Association's National Alcohol Summit was held on the 28th and 29th October in Canberra bringing together representatives from all tiers of government, community leaders, medical and health experts, police, families of victims, and other stakeholders to look at the impact of excessive alcohol use across several different domains including alcohol-related violence and the social costs of alcohol; culture, advertising and sport; the harmful use of alcohol in Indigenous communities and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Click here to view the AMA National Alcohol Summit Communique

Click here to visit the Summit website which contains videos of every presentation.

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October 31, 2014

MT ISA VSM PARTNERSHIP RECEIVES AWARD

Efforts to tackle volatile substance misuse in Mount Isa delivered by a partnership between the Indigenous Coordination Council (Commonwealth Government), Young People Ahead, Mt Isa Police and Dovetail have been formally recognised through the Queensland Police Service's 'Award for Excellence', whereby our collaborative efforts were presented with a Finalist Award in the Fostering Innovation Award category.  This project was considered an outstanding example of cross agency stakeholder's collaborating, embracing new ideas and working across boundaries to develop and implement effective solutions to respond to increasing VSM problems in the Mount Isa Community.  Congratulations to us!

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October 24, 2014

QUEENSLAND AOD CONVENTION - FINAL REPORT

The final report from the 2014 Queensland Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) Convention is now available.  The Convention was held in Brisbane on 23 July 2014 and brought together more than 100 service managers, policy officers and other key stakeholders from government and non-government alcohol and drug services across the state to discuss good practice in service delivery, with the aim of informing the development of a statewide framework for the AOD treatment sector.

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October 24, 2014

NEW HEADSPACE LOCATIONS ANNOUNCED

Coinciding with mental health week last week, the federal government have announced the locations for the new Headspace services for Queensland.  The new locations include Moreton Bay North (Caboolture), Gladstone, Brisbane east (Capalaba) and Bundaberg.  It is expected that these services will become operational over the next two years, bringing the total number of Headspace centres nationwide to 100.

For further information go to http://www.headspace.org.au/

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October 24, 2014

ALCOHOL AND THE DEVELOPING BRAIN

The Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems has published a report titled "Alcohol and the Developing Adolescent Brain: Evidence Review".  This report provides an excellent, concise update on the research into brain development in adolescence and the impacts of alcohol.  It considers to role of genetics, and the clinical implications of alcohol's effects on the brain, including the impacts on psychological and cognitive function.

Download "Alcohol and the Developing Brain: Evidence Review" here (4.6MB PDF)

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October 24, 2014

CLIMATE SCHOOLS: PSYCHOSTIMULANTS AND CANNABIS MODULES

Climate Schools is a school-based health education course developed by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales. The program has been evaluated and shown to reduce alcohol consumption, binge drinking, frequency of cannabis use while increasing knowledge about alcohol and cannabis and improving attitudes towards alcohol.  Recently, NDARC has launched a new module targeting psychostimulants and cannabis for young people in year 10.  The resources are free of charge, however you will need to register in order to access the materials.

Go to the Climate Schools Website.

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October 17, 2014

THE STORY OF ALCOHOL USE IN PREGNANCY

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has released a new training DVD titled "The story of alcohol use in pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders."  The video was written and narrated by Professor Elizabeth Elliott from the University of Sydney and covers to risks of alcohol consumption and a comprehensive overview of FASD including the diagnosis and prevention.  Hard copies of the DVD can be purchased from the FARE online shop free of charge (excluding postage charges), or you can view it online.

Order a copy of  "The story of alcohol use in pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders" or view online here.

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October 17, 2014

NCPIC WEBINAR: SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

The National Cannabis Prevention and Intervention Centre (NCPIC) has announced a webinar on Monday 3rd of November 2014 on the topic of "Synthetic Cannabinoids" with Professor Steve Allsop, Director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).  The presentation will provide an up to date overview of synthetic cannabinoids including prevalence, short and long term risks, consumer's views about synthetic cannabinoids and more.  If you are interested in attending you need to register in advance.

Register here for Professor Steve Allsop presenting on "Synthetic Cannabinoids"

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