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June 5, 2015

CHILD PROTECTION IN AUSTRALIA 2013-14

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published their annual "Child Protection in Australia 2013-14" report.  The report contains data on the number of child protection notifications, and the numbers of children and young people on child protection orders.  In Queensland during 2013-14 there were 23 256 notifications and 7406 of these were substantiated on investigation, with neglect being the most commonly substantiated child protection concern.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people were overrepresented in the statistics, with substantiated notifications at 25.5 per 1000 population, compared with 4.1 per 1000 for non-Indigenous children and young people.


Go to "Child Protection in Australia 2013-14"

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May 29, 2015

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE: TEENS ARE 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 29, 2015

AUSTRALIA'S LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ALCOHOL

The recent Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll contained a number of contradictory findings.  The Drink Tank blog considers these contradictions in an article written by market, psychology and consumer behaviour expert Dr Paul Harrison.  Dr Harrison considers the findings of the alcohol poll which include 43% of respondents admitting to vomiting as a result of drinking, yet 92% of respondents considered themselves to be "responsible drinkers".

Go to "Australia's love hate relationship with alcohol"

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May 29, 2015

THE FUTURE OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

Simon Chapman has published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia titled "The future of electronic cigarette (EC) growth depends on youth uptake".  Given the continuing decline in the rate of smoking in the population, cigarette companies are increasingly investing in ECs - with successful EC companies being bought by tobacco companies.  There is little data on rates of EC use in Australia, however on study from 2013 found that 15.4% of cigarette smokers aged over 14 reported using ECs in the previous 12 months, despite the nicotine liquid being illegal in Australia.  In the United States, rates of EC use have risen above that of traditional cigarettes, leading to concerns that EC use might be a gateway into cigarette smoking.

Read "The future of electronic cigarette growth depends on youth uptake" here.

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May 29, 2015

LAUNCHPAD: A WEBSITE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AUTISM OR ASPERGER'S

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) has created a website called "Launchpad" designed for young people with autism or Asperger's, and their families.  The site includes practical strategies like accessing health services, getting a driver's license or managing personal finances.  It also contains personal stories and information for parents supporting a young person with autism or Asperger's.


Go to "Launchpad"

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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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