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March 10, 2016

TOUCHBASE

TouchBase is a national website providing information on alcohol and drug use as well as mental health and sexual health for LGBTI communities. TouchBase is an initiative of the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), in partnership with the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), developed to address high rates of alcohol and drug use in these communities through a targeted and destigmatising approach and is a comprehensive resource assisting LGBTI people to better manage their own health and wellbeing.

For more information click here

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March 10, 2016

BREAKING THE ICE PODCAST

This Radio National podcast "Breaking the Ice" from the All in the Mind program looks at the effects of methamphetamine use, treatment and a personal account of methamphetamine dependence.

Listen to the podcast here.

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March 10, 2016

NATIONAL CLOSE THE GAP DAY

National Close the Gap Day aims to bring people together, to share information and take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030.There are a range of events, from workplace morning teas, to sports days, school events and public events in hospitals and offices around the country and anyone can take part and make a difference.

For more information click here

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March 4, 2016

DECRIMINALISATION OF DRUG USE AND POSSESSION IN AUSTRALIA

The Drug Policy Monitoring Project at the University of New South Wales has published "Decriminalisation of drug use and possession in Australia: A briefing note."  The briefing note contains an overview of research into decriminalisation of substance use and possession from both Australia and overseas.  The researchers found evidence that decriminalisation of drug use reduces to costs to society (particularly criminal justice system costs), reduces costs to individuals, does not increase drug use, does not increase other crime, but may in some circumstances increase the numbers of people in contact with the criminal justice system.  The briefing paper provides examples of the ways that Australia has implemented decriminalisation schemes in some areas for particular substances.

Go to "Decriminalisation of drug use and possession in Australia: A briefing note"

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March 4, 2016

CLINICAL SUPERVISION GUIDELINES

The Victorian AOD peak (VAADA) in conjunction with the Bouverie Centre and community managed mental health services have developed a web resource designed to support clinical supervision for workers.  The website contains information on supervision models, modalities, ethical and legal considerations and more.  The site is an excellent resource for any worker wanting to get the most out of supervision, or for supervisors looking to improve their practice.

Go to Clinical Supervision Guidelines

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March 4, 2016

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPULSORY DRUG TREATMENT: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

An article has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy titled "The effectiveness of compulsory drug treatment: A systematic review".  In this review, the authors identified 430 potential studies, with nine quantitative studies meeting inclusion criteria.  The compulsory treatment services included a range of modalities including short and long term inpatient treatment, community based treatment, group based treatment and prison based treatment.  Three studies found no significant impacts from compulsory treatment, two studies found ambiguous results, two further studies found negative impacts on criminal recidivism, and the final two studies found positive impacts on drug use and criminal recidivism.  The authors conclude that: "The evidence does not, on the whole, suggest improved outcomes related to compulsory treatment approaches, with some studies suggestion potential harms.  Given the potential for human rights abuses within compulsory treatment settings, non-compulsory treatment modalities should be prioritized by policy makers seeking to reduce drug-related harms."

Go to "The effectiveness of compulsory drug treatment: A systematic review"

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February 26, 2016

YOUTH AOD SERVICES IN QUEENSLAND

Dovetail has recently put together a guide to Youth Alcohol and Other Drug treatment services across Queensland.  Most of the services in the guide are funded by Queensland Health, and work with young people between the ages of 12 - 25 (with some exceptions).  The guide includes an overview of the services offered, number of staff, geographical catchment area and contact details for the services.

Download the "Youth AOD Services in Queensland" guide (3MB PDF)

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February 26, 2016

REVIEW OF VOLATILE SUBSTANCE USE AMONG ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE

The Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet has published a "Review of volatile substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people".  This updated resource includes a comprehensive overview of the current evidence around the effects of volatile substances, the global situation, current prevalence in Australia, as well as an overview of responses.  It incorporates information on the success of low aromatic fuel (such as Opal) in reducing rates of petrol sniffing in central Australia.

Go to "Review of volatile substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people"

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February 26, 2016

THE INTERNET AND DRUG MARKETS

In recent years, the internet has increasingly changed the way illicit drug markets work.  Since "Silk Road" (the first major online illicit drug marketplace) was shut down in 2013, a number of other similar sites have appeared on the encrypted "dark web". The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a report on this issue, titled "The internet and drug markets."  The report provides an overview of online drug marketplaces and the cryptocurrency bitcoin.  it includes insights from interviews with users and vendors, perspectives from law enforcement as well as a look into what the future of these marketplaces might be.

Download "The Internet and Drug Markets" (2.4MB PDF)

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February 25, 2016

WHAT IS IN SYNTHETIC CANNABIS?

ABC's "7.30 Report" recently broadcast a story titled "Deadly and illegal synthetic drugs still available over the shop counter."  In the story, reporter Matt Wordsworth describes the recent death of a 17-year old in New South Wales, which was related to his use of a synthetic cannabis product.  While the report focuses on New South Wales, similar issues are occurring here in Queensland, with two deaths last year in Mackay following the use of a synthetic cannabis product.  In this report, Matt Wordsworth purchases some synthetic cannabis and has the contents analysed by a forensic chemist to find out exactly what is in it.

Watch the full story here.

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