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February 5, 2016

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: FRIDAY 13TH OF MAY

The annual "Walk on the Wild Side" symposium for clinicians working in the field of alcohol and drugs is being held in Brisbane on Friday the 13th of May at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.  This year's spooky edition of WOWS is titled "Superstition or Evidence?" and features speakers covering a range of topics, such as research into drug driving and problem gambling, busting myths on medical marijuana and opening Pandora's box on substance use and domestic violence.   Early bird registrations are available for $100 until the 30th of April, and will then be $150.

The full program and registration information is available here.

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February 5, 2016

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

We recently came across a nifty little animation that demonstrates the process of substance addiction or dependence.  The video follows Nuggets, a bird who develops a taste for substances.  Videos such as this can provide a useful conversation starter with young people, and we thought it was worth sharing.


Click here to watch "Nuggets Bird - Addiction Animation"



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February 5, 2016

SUBSTANCE USE AND THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN

The journal "Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience" recently published a special edition of the journal entirely focused on the impacts of substance use on the adolescent brain. All of the articles are "open access" and can be accessed free of charge.  It includes articles on the effects of early adolescent cannabis use, brain activity in adolescent binge drinkers and more.


Go to the special edition of "Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience"

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January 28, 2016

NEW ONLINE DRUG INFO WEBSITE: DRUGWISE

A new online drug information service has been launched. DrugWise - formerly known as DrugScope - is a UK-based service that provides an online information clearinghouse, regular email updates with news and research as well we reports on specific issues. The site contains a wealth of information from around the world, including Australia.


Click here to go to DrugWise

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January 28, 2016

ALCOHOL EDUCATION FOR AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University has recently undertaken a major systematic review of research on alcohol education programs in secondary schools. Many programs have been developed over the years but only a small number have been evaluated, and of these very few show evidence of effectiveness. Out of a total of 39 programs reviewed, only 3 were found to have good evidence of effectiveness.

Read more here

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January 28, 2016

ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES IMPROVING ABORIGINAL HEALTH

This review from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW considers the published literature documenting the contribution Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) have made to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities. A key strength of the review is that it takes a broad perspective of the ways in which ACCHSs impact on the health of Aboriginal peoples, and explores the scope of possibilities for their contribution to improving health.

Read more and download the report here

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January 28, 2016

NALOXONE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER

In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of fatal opioid overdoses in Australia.  Naloxone (sold under the brand name "Narcan") is a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdose, and the federal government have recently made a decision to allow naloxone to be provided without a prescription from a doctor.  This will mean there will be an expansion in peer-administered naloxone.  There has been increasing evidence that providing naloxone to people who might encounter an opiate overdose (such as friends and family members of people who use opioids) can reduce the chances of death.  The ABC's 7:30 Report has featured a story about naloxone, which includes interviews with Australian researchers and AOD practitioners about what this change will mean.  The change comes into effect from February 1st, and is likely to lead to an increase in peer administered naloxone in the community.


Click here to watch the ABC 7:30 Report Story on Naloxone

Click here to read the Therapeutic Goods Administration decision to re-schedule naloxone.

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December 11, 2015

QUEENSLAND ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS ACTION PLAN 2015 - 17

The Queensland Mental Health Commission has released the Queensland Alcohol and Other Drugs Action Plan 2015 - 17.  The plan aims to prevent and reduce the adverse impact of alcohol and other drugs on the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.  There are 54 actions described in the plan, under the broad headings of demand, supply and harm reduction.  A number of the actions are relevant to Dovetail subscribers, including increasing access to AOD treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, implementing the AOD education program for years 7 - 12 and the development of training and resources for workers responding to methamphetamine.


Find out more about the Queensland Alcohol and Other Drugs Action Plan 2015 - 17

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December 11, 2015

FINAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL ICE TASKFORCE

The federal government's National Ice Taskforce has published its final report.  The report contains a broad range of recommendations including recommendations around providing support to families, communities and frontline workers, targeted prevention, tailoring services and support, improving governance and building better evidence.

Go to the Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce

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December 11, 2015

WHAT IS DOPAMINE AND IS IT TO BLAME FOR OUR ADDICTIONS?

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "What is dopamine - and is it to blame for our addictions?"  The article provides a plain English overview of dopamine - often described as the brain's pleasure chemical.  The dopamine system can be activated by things such as eating, winning in video games, having sex or earning money.  One of dopamine's important functions is associated with learning, with dopamine neurons changing their activity when the expected reward doesn't materialise.  It's likely that events that are followed by an increase in dopamine become associated with reward, while events that are followed by a  decrease in dopamine are associated with disappointment.


Read "What is dopamine - and is it to blame for our addictions?"

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