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October 6, 2017

EXPLORING THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN CANNABIS AND TOBACCO

The alcohol and other drugs blog site "Volteface" recently published an article titled "A problem of 'joint' use: Exploring the interplay between cannabis and tobacco". The article draws on data from the Global Drug Survey, as well as a placebo-controlled double-blind study that compared cannabis and tobacco co-administration. The Global Drug Survey found that people who smoke cannabis mixed with tobacco tended to have less motivation to quit, than those who used cannabis alone. The placebo-controlled study found no difference in how stoned people became, regardless of whether they mixed tobacco with cannabis, but those who combined did show more extreme changes in heart rate and blood pressure - potentially increasing the harm.  The simple take home message is people who smoke cannabis should avoid mixing it with tobacco.

Read "A problem of 'joint' use: Exploring the interplay between cannabis and tobacco"

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October 6, 2017

FETAL ACLHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD) HUB WEBSITE LAUNCH

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Hub Australia is a website funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a 'one stop shop' for evidence based information, tools and resources about FASD. The website has information on how alcohol use during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus, tools and information for workers on how to diagnose FASD and importantly, resources for health professionals and families on how they can work together to give the best possible support to people living with FASD. A current understanding of FASD is key for any health professional working with young people and families.

Go to the FASD Hub

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October 6, 2017

POPULATION-LEVEL ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS RELATED TO POPULATION-LEVEL CANCER MORTALITY

The Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and La Trobe University have released a report called "Alcohol consumption and liver, pancreatic, head and neck cancers in Australia: Time series analysis". The report extends our understanding of the role that alcohol plays with respect to liver, pancreatic, head and neck cancers by demonstrating the significant preventive effects on liver, head and neck cancer deaths by reducing population drinking levels. For an example, the results found that one litre decreases in annual alcohol consumption per capita were associated with reductions in head and neck cancer mortality by 11.6% for males and 7.3% for females, across a 20-year period. The report provides the first evidence for reducing population drinking levels as a strategy for cancer mortality prevention.

Download "Alcohol consumption and liver, pancreatic, head and neck cancers in Australia: Time series analysis" (870 KB PDF)

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September 29, 2017

DOVETAIL'S GUIDE TO SLANG TERMS - VERSION 2.0 NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Earlier this year, we released "Dovetail's Guide to Slang Terms."  Since it's launch, we've received loads of positive feedback and suggestions for additions. We are currently preparing version 2.0 based on your feedback, but before we go live we would like to put out another call - send us your slang terms!  Perhaps at your next team meeting, you can go through our list and challenge your colleages to think of some that we've missed.  Bear in mind that we are not publishing slang terms invented by the media for the purposes of sensationalised reporting.  We are only interested in slang terms used by real people in everyday situations.  If you can think of any additional slang terms, send us an email at info@dovetail.org.au

Go to Dovetail's Guide to Slang Terms Version 1.0


Download a PDF of Dovetail's Guide to Slang Terms Version 1.0 (165KB PDF)

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September 29, 2017

POLICE CAUTIONS REDUCE REOFFENDING IN YOUNG PEOPLE

The Victorian Crime Statistics Agency has published a research report titled "The Cautious Approach: Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending."  The research project tracked 5981 young people who were recorded as allegedly committing an offence between April 2015 and March 2016.  56% of these young people received a caution, while the remaining 44% were charged. The young people in these two groups were then matched according to demographics, offending history, and characteristics of the incident.  The authors found that the young people within twelve months of the original offence, 35.9% of young people who were cautioned had reoffended, versus 47.8% of those who were charged. Other notable findings include differences in rates of cautioning - young people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander were twice as likely to be charged rather than cautioned, when compared with non-Indigenous young people.

Download "The Cautious Approach: Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending" (515KB PDF)

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September 29, 2017

UNDERSTANDING CHRONIC PAIN AND WHY OPIOIDS ARE NOT A SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

Chronic pain is a complex condition that can be difficult to understand, however improving our knowledge about pain and what helps, can assist us to support people who are living with chronic pain conditions. A couple of years ago, the team from Hunter Integrated Pain Service, University of South Australia, University of Washington and Hunter Medicare Local developed a series of short, easy to digest animated videos to help workers understand pain and why opioids are not considered the best course of action for managing chronic pain conditions. With codeine being rescheduled as a prescription only medication form February 2018, its worth building an understanding of chronic pain, and the latest best practice approaches in pain management.

 

"Understanding Pain in less than five minutes" explains the differences between acute and chronic pain, the complex nature of chronic pain and provides workers with an overview of successful management strategies.

"Understanding Pain: Brainman stops his opioids" summarises why opioids (like morphine, oxycodone and tramadol) are not recommended in the management of chronic pain.

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September 22, 2017

SO THE MEDIA WANT TO INTERVIEW ONE OF YOUR CLIENTS

Hearing directly from people with lived experience of substance use can be a really useful way to increase the community's understanding of substance issues.  Services are often contacted by media outlets, looking to be connected with clients who can share their stories. However, there are risks in this type of public disclosure, and  workers need to be able understand these risks, in order to assist clients in making informed decisions about sharing their story publicly.  The good folks at AOD Media Watch have published a great article, that covers the issues and can assist a worker or a client to make the decision to tell their story.  It includes an overview of the risks involved, the types of stories that journalists frequently publish, and some key questions to consider before speaking to a journalist.

Go to "AOD Media Watch Guideline for Consumers"

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September 22, 2017

THE SOCIAL LIFE OF OPIOIDS

An article has been published in the magazine "Scientific American" which we think will be of interest to Dovetail subscribers.  "The Social Life of Opioids"describes a number of articles that look at the links between social factors and opioid dependence.  One article referenced includes a study that showed that for every 1% increase in unemployment in the United States, opioid overdose death rates would rise by 4%.  Another study found U.S. counties with the lowest levels of social capital had the highest rates of opioid overdose death.

Go to "The social life of opioids"

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September 22, 2017

WHAT'S UP WITH GEN Y?

The Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne has published a paper by Professor Johanna Wyn, Professor Helen Cahill and colleagues titled "Gen Y on Gen Y."  The paper draws longitudinal research which has been tracking Gen Y members (now aged 28 - 29) since 2005. The research describes insecure employment, high housing costs and the costs of education as contributing to increasing levels of stress, with 14% of men and 28% of women in the research experiencing poor mental health.

Download "Gen Y on Gen Y" here (450KB PDF)

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September 15, 2017

A TRIP THROUGH THE GARDEN: PLANT BASED PRESENTATIONS

There are a wide variety of substances occurring in the natural environment. Some plants and mushrooms have long histories of use in different cultures. Dovetail's Cameron Francis recently presented a webinar looking at some of the naturally occurring substances that clinicians may encounter in their work.  In this presentation, Cameron covers DMT, magic mushrooms, mescaline containing cactus, opium poppies and datura with information on prevalence, effects and potential risks and harms.

Watch "A Trip Through The Garden: Plant based presentations"

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