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March 13, 2015

WORKING WITH ADOLESCENTS WITH PTSD AND / OR SUBSTANCE USE

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre have launched an online survey seeking the views and experiences of workers who work with young people who have post traumatic stress disorder / and or substance use.  The survey only takes 10 - 15 minutes to complete and participants will go into the draw for a $100 Westfield voucher.

Complete the survey here.

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March 13, 2015

THE COST OF UNRESOLVED CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND ABUSE

Adults Surviving Child Abuse commissioned a report titled "The cost of unresolved childhood trauma and abuse in adults in Australia".  The report provides an overview of the impacts of childhood trauma, including impairments in education, work, relationships as well as mental health impacts and criminal justice impacts.  The report also looks at the impacts of childhood trauma on tobacco and alcohol consumption, before proposing an economic analysis of the costs of these impacts.  The authors found that addressing child sexual, emotional and physical abuse could save government's a minimum of $6.8 billion dollars.


Go to "The Cost of Unresolved Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Adults in Australia"

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March 13, 2015

NOVEL PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES OF INTEREST FOR PSYCHIATRY

A special article has been published in the journal "World Psychiatry" titled "Novel psychoactive substances of interest for psychiatry".  The article provides an overview of a wide range of substances including synthetic cannabis-like products, cathinones, phenethylamines, novel stimulants, synthetic opioids, synthetic cocaine substitutes, GABA agonists, tryptamines, phencyclidine-type dissociatives, piperazines, plant-based products as well as performance and image enhancing drugs.  The paper provides an excellent list of references to key papers that describe the health impacts and implications for mental health from this broad range of substances.

Download "Novel psychoactive substances of interest for psychiatry" (152KB PDF)

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March 6, 2015

PREVENTING SUBSTANCE USE WITHOUT MENTIONING DRUGS

The UK-based "Drug and Alcohol Findings" has published an excellent article titled "It's Magic: Prevent substance use problems without mentioning drugs".  The article brings together a wide range of research into school-based drug prevention programs, which shows that "schools which develop supportive, engaging and inclusive cultures, and which offer opportunities to participate in school decision-making and extracurricular activities, create better outcomes across many domains, including non-normative substance use."  The authors draw on diverse research including the "Good Behaviour Game" classroom management technique, which was found to reduce alcohol use disorders from 20% to 13% amongst boys, despite not specifically addressing alcohol use.

Read "It's Magic: Prevent substance use problems without mentioning drugs".

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March 6, 2015

NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY: HAVE YOUR SAY

The current National Drug Strategy operates until the end of 2015.  In preparation for the next National Drug Strategy, Health Outcomes International (HOI) are conducting consultations on behalf of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD).  An online survey has been released, seeking feedback on the achievements of the current National Drug Strategy, the implementation of the current strategy and opportunities for improvement as well as the content of the revised National Drug Strategy.  The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.  It's vital that a broad range of input is provided, so now is your chance to have your say.  The survey is open until the 27th of March.

For more information or to complete the survey click here.

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March 6, 2015

PREVENTING AND MANAGING FASD IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

The "Closing the Gap Clearinghouse" has published a resource sheet titled "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A review of interventions for prevention and management in Indigenous communities."  The document reviews a range of programs that have been found to be both effective and ineffective around the world and in Australia.  The authors found examples of a number of successful programs from both Australia and abroad, while also clearly identifying the failure of programs that target or shame women for drinking while pregnant.  The authors identified a number of gaps in current understandings, including whether or not successful programs from overseas can be modified to work in the Australian context.

Download "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A review of interventions for prevention and management in Indigenous communities." (230KB PDF)

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February 27, 2015

ALCOHOL'S IMPACT ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has published a research report titled "The Hidden Harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families".  The report build on the previous research reported in "The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol's Harm to Others" report from 2010, that demonstrated the significant impact alcohol consumption has people other than the drinker.  This report uses data from this report, including a cross-sectional survey of 2649 people with particular focus on the 1142 respondents who were in families with children, as well as a follow up study conducted in 2011.  The range of harms identified in the report include modelling of poor drinking behaviours, family arguments, injury, neglect, abuse and violence.  More than a quarter of survey respondents reported experiencing harm from the drinking of family members in either the 2008 or 2011 study.

Download "The Hidden Harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families". (940KB PDF)

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February 27, 2015

LIQUOR OUTLET DENSITY AND RATES OF ASSAULT

It has been well established that the density of alcohol outlets in a particular geographical region can impact on assault rates.  Many research reports have found there is a "tipping point" - a level of liquor outlet density after which the assault rate increases significantly.  The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) have looked into this issue, publishing a report titled "The effect of liquor license concentrations in local areas on rates of assault in New South Wales".  This research report considered liquor outlet density with regard to domestic violence and non-domestic violence.  The authors found that a high density of hotel license in a local government area was strongly predictive of both domestic violence and non-domestic violence assault rates.  They found that when the density of hotels increased above about 2 per 1000 residents, the assault rate seemed to increase sharply.

Download "The effect of liquor license concentrations in local areas on rates of assault in New South Wales". (1.33MB PDF)

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February 27, 2015

DOVETAIL CUSTOMER SURVEY: RESULTS ARE IN

In December, we conducted our annual Dovetail Customer Survey and we'd like to thank everyone who gave us their feedback.  There have been a number of helpful suggestions which we're pleased to pursue.  These include increasing the amount of online content including more webinars and other online training and information, more training delivered in regional areas and developing more tools to support frontline workers.  We're also pleased to announce that we are commencing our next good practice guide: "Working with parents and families" which will be launched in the second half of 2015.  We thank you all once again and if you have any other suggestions please feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Download the "Summary Dovetail Customer Survey 2014"

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February 27, 2015

UNDERSTANDING PMA

There has recently been some concern about PMA / PMMA being sold as Ecstasy (MDMA).  While there's currently no evidence that this is occurring in Australia there have been several batches on this substance in circulation in recent years, leading to several deaths in Queensland and elsewhere in Australia.  PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine) and it's closely related cousin PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine) are highly toxic substances, significantly more dangerous than MDMA.  PMA / PMMA can cause dangerous overheating at relatively low doses.  A UK-based organisation "Release" has published a handy graphic that explains the differences between MDMA and PMA / PMMA and includes some very useful harm reduction information for people who use substances.

Go to MDMA vs PMA infographic

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