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May 29, 2015

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE: TEENS DRINKING LESS THAN THEY USED TO

Michael Livingston and Amy Pennay have published an article on The Conversation website titled "Don't believe the hype, teens are drinking less than they used to."  The article goes through a range of data that shows that alcohol consumption in Australia has reached it's lowest point since the 1960s, with the biggest reductions occurring amongst young people.  Similar trends have been noted in other countries with similar drinking patterns to Australia including the United Kingdom, Canada and Sweden.  Possible reasons for this decline include the increasing use of the internet and social media have reduced the central role of alcohol in social interactions amongst young people, however there is as yet little research proving this.

 

Read "Don't believe the hype, teens are drinking less than they used to"

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May 22, 2015

AUSTRALIAN WINTER SCHOOL CONFERENCE: 22 - 24 JULY 2015

The Australian Winter School Conference is fast approaching, being held in Brisbane from the 22nd - 24th of July. The theme of this year's conference is "Unleash potential" and includes streams including young people, early intervention / prevention, the justice system, domestic and family violence and lots more.  The speakers include Dovetail's own Cameron Francis presenting "Top harm reduction tips for working with young people", Kieran Palmer from the Ted Noffs Foundation presenting "Healing through Facebook", and Associate Professor Leanne Hides presenting on "Improving treatment of youth substance use and comorbidity". Registrations are available now.

Find out more at the Australian Winter School website.

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May 22, 2015

NEW ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER RESOURCES

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre have launched a two new portals on their website.  The Alcohol and Other Drugs Workers' Portal provides info for workers in a range of different substances, and includes practical tips for effectively working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Community Portal is designed for elders and other members of the community who want plain language fact sheets on alcohol and other drugs, and a section to allow community members to share their stories about what works in their communities.  They have also launched a mobile app called "AODconnect" which is a national directory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander treatment services.

Find out more at the Australian Indigenous Alcohol and OTher Drugs Knowledge Centre.

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May 22, 2015

ALCOHOL PREVENTION AND SCHOOL STUDENTS

The UK-based "Drug and Alcohol Findings" website is this week featuring an article recently published in the Journal of Drug Education, titled "Alcohol prevention and school students: findings from an Australian 2-year trial of integrate harm minimization school drug education", by Richard Midford and colleagues.  The study involved 14 Victorian schools which were randomly allocated to trial the harm minimisation program, and another 7 schools acted as a control by using traditional alcohol education.  The study looked at whether the lessons changed alcohol related behaviour, attitudes and knowledge over the study period.  The researchers found that the harm minimisation approach resulted in reduced rates of alcohol consumption as well as reductions in alcohol related harms.

Read more at "Drug and Alcohol Findings"

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May 15, 2015

WHAT CAN PARENTS AND SCHOOLS DO TO PREVENT AOD HARMS?

The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at the UNSW is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 19th of May at 2pm AEST on the topic of "Drug and alcohol use among young people: What can parents and schools do to prevent the harms?"  Dr Nicola Newton and Dr Lexine Stapinski will present the latest research on substance use in young people and it will provide an overview of the research evidence into the effective interventions.  they will also provide access to tools and resources that have been shown to be effective at reducing harm.

Click here to register for this webinar or to find out more information.

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May 15, 2015

CAFFEINE AND YOUNG PEOPLE

The Australian Drug Foundation's "Drug Info" service has published a very handy fact sheet on caffeine.  We know that caffeine has been added to more and more products in recent years and this can cause problems for some young people, particularly those who consume large quantities.  The Australian Drug Foundation fact sheet includes information on the amounts of caffeine found in common products like the many brands of energy drinks but also products like chocolate and coffee.  It also covers symptoms of overdose, statistics on rates of use, as well as suggestions for reducing the risks.


Go to "Caffeine Facts"

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May 15, 2015

DOVETAIL PODCAST: HARM REDUCTION FOR MDMA

We are very excited to announce the very first Dovetail Podcast: a short audio interview dealing with a different alcohol and other drug topic. In this first episode, Dovetail's own Cameron Francis talks about the harms of MDMA (ecstasy) and strategies that can reduce these harms.  This includes adulterant screening devices such as home pill testing kits, but also more formal adulterant screening programs such as those operating in the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe.  These programs are designed to identify highly dangerous substances such as PMA which have appeared recently around Australia and overseas.  Cameron also discusses the other acute harms of MDMA including overheating and dehydration and provides tips for workers who are engaging with young people who are currently using MDMA.

The best way to access the Dovetail podcast is to go to the iTunes store and search for "Dovetail QLD". Then hit the 'Subscribe' button. That way each time a new episode comes out you will automatically download it.

Alternatively view it directly in itunes by following this link.

Or for those without access to iTunes here it is on Soundcloud.

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May 8, 2015

DOVETAIL WEBINAR: UNDERSTANDING METHAMPHETAMINE - TUESDAY 5TH OF MAY 9AM - 10AM

Cameron Francis recently presented a webinar called "Understanding methamphetamine" in response to increased concern in the community about crystal meth use. For those who couldn't make it on the day, we recorded the presentation and it's now available in our video gallery. The presentation provides an overview of the history of amphetamine both globally and in Australia, as well as an overview of how it works, the risks and harms, strategies to reduce the harms and information on treatment interventions.

Watch it in the Dovetail video gallery.

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May 8, 2015

ANNUAL ALCOHOL POLL 2015

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education has published their "Annual Alcohol Poll 2015: Attitudes and Behaviours".  The survey found that the number of Australians who believed that more needed to be done to reduce alcohol harms has declined since 2014, when 79% of people thought more needed to be done.  In 2015 73% of people indicated that they thought more needed to be done to reduce alcohol harms.  The authors of the report believe that the restrictions on alcohol trading in NSW could be responsible for this decline.  The report asked for the first time how frequently young people were asked for identification when purchasing alcohol from bottle shops.  The survey found that 42% of the young people surveyed had never been asked for ID.  The survey also found that the vast majority of survey respondents (92%) considered themselves to be responsible drinkers.

Download "Annual Alcohol Poll 2015: Attitudes and Behaviours" (1.3MB PDF)

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May 8, 2015

IMPACTS OF NSW LOCKOUTS AND EARLY CLOSING TIMES

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has published a paper titled "Lockouts and last drinks: The impact of the January 2014 liquor licence reforms on assaults in NSW Australia."  The report considers whether the much publicised lock outs and early closing times in Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD resulted in a decrease in assaults and whether there was a displacement effect in neighbouring areas without these restrictions.  The authors found that there was a significant reduction in assaults in the region with the lockouts and early closing times, and a smaller but still significant reduction in the areas next to the lockout / early closing zone.  There was some evidence of an increase in assaults around The Star casino (not affected by lockouts or early closing times) however this was not considered statistically significant.


Download "Lockouts and last drinks: The impact of the January 2014 liquor licence reforms on assaults in NSW Australia." (3.14MB PDF)

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