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July 22, 2016

WHAT ARE THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PSYCHIATIRC MEDICATIONS AND PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS?

The Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (QNADA) has developed a series of resources that highlight the possible interactions between psychiatric medications and common psychoactive drugs.  There are fact sheets designed for clients, as well as a set of fact sheets designed for health professionals.  The fact sheets cover all the major psychiatric medications including atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilisers, SSRIs and more, along with alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, nicotine, opioids and stimulants.  This resource will come in very handy for anyone working with clients who may combine substances with their psychiatric medications.

Go to QNADA Harm Reduction Resources



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July 22, 2016

HARMS OF SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID RECEPTOR AGONISTS

The UK-based Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network (Neptune) has published an article titled "Harms of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) and their management". The article provides an overview of the pharmacology of synthetic cannabinoinds,  strategies for identifying and assessing acute harms in medical settings, management of acute intoxication as well as information on harms from longer term use of synthetic cannabinoids.


Download "Harms of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) and their management" (1MB PDF)

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July 22, 2016

THE ORIGINS OF NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous oxide is a medical anaesthic sometimes referred to as "laughing gas".  It is also commonly available over the counter in the form of whipped cream chargers, and there is some evidence of its use in music festivals and entertainment settings.  The history of nitrous oxide is fascinating, and we recently came across an article that describes the early years of nitrous oxide.  The article titled "O, excellent air bag: Humphry Davy and Nitrous Oxide" tells the story of Humphry Davy - an enthusiatis purveyor of nitrous oxide, who popularised the recreational consumption of the gas in 1799 England.  Davy self-experimented with nitrous oxide, and developed a number of different tools to administer the gas, while promoting its use in both medicine and as a recreational drug.


Go to "O, excellent air bag: Humphry Davy and Nitrous Oxide"

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July 15, 2016

UNDERSTANDING INHALANTS

The misuse of inhalants continues to be an issue around Queensland. Managing young people who engage in inhalant misuse can be complex. Recently, Dovetail's own Cameron Francis hosted a one hour webinar on this topic titled "Understanding Inhalants". The presentation is now available online, and provides an overview of the history of inhalant use and information on the health effects, as well as best practice approaches to managing intoxication and regular use of inhalants.


Watch "Understanding Inhalants"

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July 15, 2016

WHY ARE YOUNG PEOPLE DRINKING LESS?

There is a growing body of evidence that shows less young people are drinking alcohol than previous generations.  This trend has been seen across the world, including in the UK and Australia. Several theories have been proposed to understand the shift, including the rise of social media, better parenting and changing social norms. The UK-based "Institute of Alcohol Studies" has published a report titled "Youthful Abandon: Why are young people drinking less?" This report sifts through the evidence on the topic to summarise what we do know, and to scope out promising areas for future research.

Download "Youthful Abandon: Why are young peopled drinking less?" (Warning: large file download - 14MB PDF)

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July 15, 2016

CANNABIS: THE WAFT OF CHANGE

Dr Adam Winstock from the Global Drug Survey presented this keynote presentation at the Scottish Drug Forum's Cannabis Conference earlier this year called "Cannabis: the waft of change". In the presentation Dr Winstock talks about the types of cannabis, the harms related to cannabis, motivations for change and clinical issues. Dr Winstock describes some recent innovations including the increasing use of vaporisers, and even cannabis suppositories.

You can view the presentation here.

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July 8, 2016

DOES MIXING TOBACCO WITH CANNABIS MAKE IT HARDER TO QUIT?

A paper has been published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychiatry" titled "No smoke without tobacco: A global overview of cannabis and tobacco routes of administration and their association with intention to quit".  The paper uses data from the Global Drug Survey to understand the ways tobacco is mixed with cannabis across the various routes of administration, and then to ascertain if these differences impact on intention to quit. The study found significant variations in different countries, with European countries having the highest rates of mixed cannabis and tobacco, with the Americas having the lowest rates.  From the nearly 6000 Australian participants, just over 50% reported mixing tobacco with their cannabis, with the majority of these mixing tobacco and cannabis in joints.  The association between route of administration and intentions to use less cannabis were inconsistent.

Go to "No smoke without tobacco: A global overview of cannabis and tobacco routes of administration and their association with intention to quit"

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July 8, 2016

THE GLOBAL STATE OF LSD

An article has been recently published on the tech blog Gizmodo titled "There really is an LSD shortage and here's why".  The article describes the global availability of LSD which appears to be on the decline, partly due a significant police seizure back 2000, which saw most of the global LSD supply seized.  It is also theorised that the death of Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead meant that the band stopped touring, and these tours had been associated with significant LSD distribution throughout the United States.  This fascinating article provides a snapshot of the complex nature of global drug markets, and shows how LSD's future may well be in legitimate therapeutic research which has recently been re-started after a long hiatus. Whatever the cause of the decline in LSD availability, the gap in the market has been filled with a growing number of novel psychoactive substances such as the NBOMe-type hallucinogens, which are significantly more harmful than LSD.

 

Go to "There really is an LSD shortage, and here's why"

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July 8, 2016

PROVIDING ALCOHOL TO PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPENDENT

The BBC World Service recently broadcast a radio documentary titled "The city giving wine to alcoholics".  The radio documentary looks at a program running in Ottawa, Canada, that provides a homelessness service for people who are dependent on alcohol, where they are provided with a fixed measure of white wine every hour throughout the day.  The "Managed Alcohol Program" has been found to improve the health of the participants, reduce their alcohol intake, and some of the participants have been able to stop drinking completely.  The program is now being expanded to other Canadian cities.

Listen to "The city giving wine to alcoholics"



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June 30, 2016

DOVETAIL GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE 5 LAUNCHED: WORKING WITH FAMILIES AND SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

The team at Dovetail are very excited to announce the launch of the fifth youth alcohol and drug good practice guide "Working with families and significant others."  The guide is designed to assist workers engage with families, when the young person is the primary client. It includes an overview of family responsive practice, strategies for mapping a young person's relationships and ways to engage families and significant others. It also addresses issues including when not to include families and significant others, understanding the impacts of parental abuse and neglect, and the impacts of problematic familial substance use. The guide also contains a "Family Responsive Youth Service Tool (FRYS-T)" which is a self-assessment tool for services to reflect on their family responsiveness and map out areas for improvement. This resource is part of a series of Queensland Health initiatives designed to support individuals, families and workers to better respond to the effects of 'ice' crystal methamphetamine across Queensland.

The good practice guide is available electronically from this link, or you can order free print copies by emailing the team at info@dovetail.org.au

 

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