Subscribe to the Dovetail weekly digest & magazine

 
 

Required fields

 
 

June 26, 2015

WORKING WITH PEOPLE BEREAVED THROUGH SUBSTANCE USE

The University of Bath in the United Kingdom has published a document designed to support adults experiencing grief due to substance use.  "Bereaved through substance use: Guidelines for those whose work brings them into contact with adults bereaved after a drug or alcohol-related death" contains useful suggestions for workers - including understanding the grief process, using appropriate language and practical strategies to provide support.  The guide includes stories from people experiencing grief to help illustrate good practice.

Download "Bereaved through substance use: Guidelines for those whose work brings them into contact with adults bereaved after a drug or alcohol-related death" (2.3MB PDF)

Read More

 

June 26, 2015

DID THE ALCOPOPS TAX DO THE TRICK?

The Foundation for Alcohol research and Education has published an article on their "Drink tank" blog called "Did the alcopops tax do the trick?".  The blog post provides a summary of research into the impacts of the 2008 "alcopops tax".  Back in 2000, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax led to a 40% decrease in the tax on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, causing an increase in emergency department presentations.  With the introduction of the so-called "alcopops tax" in 2008 emergency department presentations began to decrease, particularly amongst 18 - 24 year old women.  This research adds to the already significant body of research that has shown the impacts of increased taxation on alcohol related harm.

Go to "Did the alcopops tax do the trick?"

Read More

 

June 26, 2015

DOVETAIL WEBINAR: PRACTICAL HARM REDUCTION - FRIDAY JULY 3 9AM - 10AM

Dovetail is very excited to announce our next webinar on the topic of "Practical Harm Reduction".  The webinar will be happening on Friday the 3rd of July from 9am - 10am.  The webinar will include an overview of the types of harms that young people using substances might experience and practical strategies that young people can use to reduce these harms.  The webinar will cover cannabis, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD and methamphetamine, with strategies that can be applied at any stage of a young person's engagement with a service from intake / assessment, through to treatment and relapse prevention.  If you aren't able to make it along on the day, we'll be filming the presentation and it will be made available afterwards on our video gallery.  Instructions for webinar access are below.

1.On the day of the seminar, go to this link

2. Select `PARTICIPANT`

3. Enter Webinar Registration Code: 52365378

4. Enter your name

5. Join the Webconference (it may take a minute or two to load)

6. Turn up the sound on your computer (or preferably use headphones)

Note: You will need to be using the Firefox Web Browser for best results.

Read More

 

June 19, 2015

ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG TREATMENT IN AUSTRALIA 2013 - 14

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published their annual report on "Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013 -14."  The report provides data from all the alcohol and other drug treatment services that submit data to the AOD National Minimum Dataset.  In Queensland 141 agencies from both government and non-government sectors provided data on the types of presentations and the nature of the AOD treatment provided.  Nationally, alcohol was the common principal drug of concern making up 40% of all treatment episodes.  This was followed by cannabis with 24% of treatment episodes, amphetamines with 17% of treatment episodes and heroin with 7% of treatment episodes.  There was evidence that there are increases in people presenting for treatment for amphetamines, with this class of substance making up only 7% of treatment episodes in 2009 - 10, up to 17% in 2013 -14.

Go to "Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2013 - 14"

Read More

 

June 19, 2015

GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY 2015 FINDINGS: SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID PRODUCTS

Last week we posted a link to the findings from the Global Drug Survey 2015 (GDS 2015).  This online survey of drug users sample over 100 000 people from around the world, including over 4000 from Australia.  The founder of the Global Drug Survey, Dr Adam Winstock, has produced a video describing the findings from the GSD 2015 with regards to synthetic cannabinoid products.  These products are designed to mimic the effects of cannabis, but there is a significant body of evidence that these products are much more harmful than regular cannabis.  In this video, Dr Winstock provides an overview of the survey respondents reports about their experiences with synthetic cannabinoids, which Dr Winstock summarises as "really not nice."

Watch GSD 2015 Findings: Synthetic Cannabinoid Products

Read More

 

June 19, 2015

THE FAMILY BUSINESS: IMPROVING THE UNDERSTANDING AND TREATMENT OF PTSD

The Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service has published a research report titled "The Family Business: Improving the understanding and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder among incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women."  The report found very high rates of PTSD amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison, with 50% of the women assessed as a part of the project found to have PTSD.  Very few of these women had received treatment for the PTSD, many of whom had developed the condition in response to the traumatic and unexpected death of a loved one, sexual assualt (occuring prior to the age of 10 for many women) and being the victim of violence.  All of the women in the study had experienced multiple traumas - on average five distinct traumas over the course of their life.  The report calls for culturally appropriate screening, assessment and treatment for PTSD to be implemented in services that engage with this population of women.

Go to "The Family Business: Improving the understanding and treatment of PTSD"

Read More

 

June 12, 2015

GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY 2015

The Global Drug Survey 2015 results are in, with over 100 000 people from around the world (and 4300 from Australia) providing information on their drug use, harm, harm reduction strategies and more.  While the survey respondents aren't representative, the survey gives a great snapshot of a population that often don't come into contact with treatment services - the large numbers of people who use illicit drugs and don't develop significant problems.  Findings of interest include increasing numbers of Australians purchasing their illicit drugs from online darknet websites (such as the now closed "Silk Road").  The survey also found increases in Ecstasy users seeking emergency medical treatment over the past three years, most likely due to increasing global purity of MDMA.


Go to Global Drug Survey 2015

Read More

 

June 12, 2015

METH IN THE MEDIA

While there continues to be community concern around the use of methamphetamine ("ice") there are growing numbers of media reports that are not based on fact.  A recent example which gained global media coverage was the incorrect report from the News Ltd press "Ice addict 'gouged out eyes and ate them'".  These types of incorrect reports increase fear in the community, and leads to  inappropriate responses to methamphetamine use.  It is important that youth and health workers don't contribute to these incorrect reports, and instead provide information to media outlets based on facts.  When fear and stigma around illicit drug use increases in the community, it leads to families feeling disempowered and people who use drugs less likely to present for treatment.


Find out about the recent incorrect media reports here at ABC Media Watch


Read "Dealing with the stigma of drugs: A guide for journalists" for information on responsible media reporting of alcohol and other drug issues.

Read More

 

June 12, 2015

BIAS IN EVALUATIONS OF DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAMS

An article has been published in the journal "Addiction" titled "'Everything works': The need to address confirmation bias in evaluations of drug misuse prevention interventions for adolescents".  The article describes the ongoing problem in the published research literature whereby findings that support the existing opinions of the researchers are more likely to be published.  The author of the article states "The evidence base of prevention research appears to comprise predominantly chance findings that emerge from flexible data analysis practices motivated by confirmation bias.  This area needs to urgently adopt the kinds of mandatory pre-registration practices required of clinical trials as a first step to creating a credible evidence base."  Pre-registration means that study authors must register the study prior to results coming in, meaning that study authors can't just make a decision to published based on a positive outcome.


Go to "Addiction" titled "'Everything works': The need to address confirmation bias in evaluations of drug misuse prevention interventions for adolescents".

Read More

 

June 5, 2015

ALCOHOL AND RISK OF SUICIDE

An article has been published in the journal PLOS ONE titled "Alcohol-related risk of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and completed suicide: A meta-analysis".  The links between alcohol use disorders and suicide is complex, and there are discrepancies across existing research in this area.  In this paper, the authors considered 31 studies covering 420 732 participants.  They found there was a significant association between alcohol use disorder and suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and completed suicide.  The authors conclude that alcohol use disorder should be considered an important predictor of suicide.

Go to "Alcohol-related risk of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and completed suicide: A meta-analysis".

Read More