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June 20, 2014

ADDRESSING FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS

The US-based Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have published a treatment improvement protocol titled "Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders."   While some of the information in this comprehensive document is only relevant to the United States, it contains a wealth of information that could be useful for Queensland-based services.  It contains information on screening to assist in the prevention of FASD, diagnosing FASD, organisational change required to effectively respond to FASD, as well as a range of screening and assessment tools, checklists for improving service performance and much more.

Go to  "Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders."

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June 20, 2014

THE ETHICS OF COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT

An article has been published on The Conversation website titled "Put down the smart drugs: Cognitive enhancement ethically risky business".  The article, authored by Associate Professor Nicole Vincent  from Georgia State University, and Emma Jane from University of New South Wales, considers the growing body of research into the use and implications of the use of cognitive enhancing substances such as Modafinil, Ritilin and Donepezil, as well as emerging technologies such as Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation devices.  While research appears to indicate increases in the use of these products, there are potentially a number of serious health concerns, but there are also ethical implications that require interrogation.

Go to "Put down the smart drugs: Cognitive enhancement ethically risky business".

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June 13, 2014

OUT OF YOUR MIND: IMPROVING AOD TREATMENT FOR LGBT PEOPLE

A new report has been published by UK-based organisation London Friend titled "Out of your mind: Improving provision of drug and alcohol treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people."  The report involved surveys with LGBT clients of AOD services in the UK, and aims to encourage services to consider ways of improving their services to LGBT communities.  While some parts of the report are only relevant to UK based services, the report includes a range of information useful for services everywhere.  This includes guidance on establishing a local needs assessment and audit tools to assist agencies to measure their performance in providing effective services to LGBT people.

Go to "Out of your mind: Improving provision of drug and alcohol treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people."

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June 13, 2014

REMOTE ALCOHOL AND DRUGS WORKFORCE PROGRAM

At Dovetail, we often come across examples of great work happening in other parts of Australia that we think should be highlighted.  At the recent NIDAC Conference, we were really impressed with the "Remote Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce Program" from the Northern Territory.  The program consists of 30 AOD workers in 17 communities across Northern Territory, from Darwin to remote communities, and support services to back up this workforce.  The program has a great website, full of useful information designed to support frontline workers, with Indigenous AOD resources, information on cultural security, Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, practice manuals and more.

Go to "Remote Alcohol and Drugs Workforce Program"

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June 6, 2014

WORKING TOGETHER: ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE

The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research Kulunga Research Network has published an updated edition of "Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and wellbeing Principles and Practice."  This comprehensive document contains articles on a broad array of topics including the history and contextual factors impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, principles and practice standards, assessment and management, working with children, families and communities as well as an overview of healing models and programs.  This guide is essential reading for anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around mental health and related issues.  Electronic copies can be downloaded for free, and there are limited hard copies available to order.

Find out more from the Kulunga Research Network.

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June 6, 2014

DRUG AND ALCOHOL NURSES OF AUSTRALASIA CONFERENCE: JUNE 18 -20TH

The Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia Conference is coming up on June the 18th to 20th in Sydney, and we are very excited to have Dovetail's own Cameron Francis presenting on "Emerging Drugs: The challenges of responding to the next generation of drugs."  The program contains a number of other fascinating speakers including Dr Adrian Carter talking on" Addiction Neuroethics: The ethical and social implications of neuroscience research on addiction", Dr Alex Wodak presenting on "The collapse of the case for drug prohibition: What will the next drug policy be?" and Associate Professor Simon Adamson presenting "Controlled Drinking: The science and the art".

Find out more at the DANA Conference Website.

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June 6, 2014

THE AUSTRALIAN GUIDELINES FOR THE TREATMENT OF TRAUMA

In 2013 the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health released their updated "Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder".  The guidelines contain information on trauma and trauma reactions, information on screening, assessment and diagnosis of PTSD, and information on treatment approaches.  The guidelines also contain a specific section on trauma in children and young people as well as other special populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugee and asylum seekers, military personnel and emergency services personnel.

For more information go to the "Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of ASD and PTSD"

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June 6, 2014

ALEXANDER SHULGIN OBITUARY

Alexander Shulgin, known as the godfather of ecstasy, recently passed away at the age of 88.  Shulgin was responsible for re-discovering MDMA (ecstasy) in the 1970s, which went on to become one of the most commonly used substances in the world.  Alexander and his wife Ann authored the two now famous books Pihkal (Phenelthyamines I have known and loved) and Tihkal (Tryptamines I have known and loved) in which they described the synthesis and effects of hundreds of substances, many of which were previously unknown to science. The Guardian newspaper have published an obituary that describes Shulgins early years and the pathway that some of his substances went on in the coming years.  As Shulgin said in relation to the deaths of 3 young people who had consumed a substance invented by him "I'm disturbed by the fact that you get someone who wants to make a pile of money and doesn't give a damn about the safety or the purity."

Go to The Guardian's Alexander Shulgin Obituary

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May 30, 2014

SAFER INJECTING INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WHO USE NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

New Psychoactive Substances (sometimes referred to as Emerging Psychoactive Substances) have been appearing with increasing regularity over the past few years.  There is evidence that some of these substances are being injected, particularly the cathinone-type stimulants such as MDPV.  There are a number of potential injecting harms from these substances, yet very little accurate information is currently available.  To help remedy this, the Scottish Drugs Forum have published a guide for people who may be injecting New Psychoactive Substances, called "Safer Injecting Basics for New Psychoactive Substances."  The guide can be downloaded as a PDF and includes a general overview of some of the possible risks associated with these substances and strategies to reduce the harms.

Go to "Safer Injecting Basics for New Psychoactive Substances"

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May 30, 2014

REVIEW OF THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2000

In June 2013 a review into the Mental Health Act 2000 commenced.  Earlier this month, a discussion paper was released along with a range of background papers on various aspects of the Act.  Agencies and members of the public are now being invited to provide written submissions to this review.  Submissions to the review are to be made by Friday 25th of July 2014.

Find out more information on the review of the Mental Health Act 2000

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