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October 14, 2016

FREE METHAMPHETAMINE RESOURCES FOR QUEENSLAND WORKERS

Insight, the Queensland Health alcohol and other drug training and workforce development unit, have recently released a suite of tools and resources for health and community service workers who engage with people who use methamphetamine. The "Meth Check" toolkit consists of an eLearning module, medical early intervention flowcharts, an ultra-brief intervention tool, a harm reduction booklet and a factsheet for families. The resources are freely available for download. Hard copies of the resources are also available.

For more information and to download the resources click here

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October 14, 2016

ANEX BULLETIN IS BACK

In September the Penington Institute revived the Anex Bulletin after a two year break. Anex Bulletin is a quartlery online magazine focused on Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) workers across Australia. The September Issue covers a range of topics including a great article about the new antiviral treatments for Hep C and how NSPs can support the roll out by promoting the treatment to their clients. There is also an article about the Korean made 1ml Terumo syringes that have been causing problems for injecting drug users and a fascinating insight into the injecting ritual in a piece called "The lure of the needle".

Click here to subscribe and read the Anex Bulletin

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October 14, 2016

CONNECTING CARE TO RECOVERY 2016 - 2021

This week, the Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Cameron Dick released "Connecting care to recovery 2016 - 2021: A plan for Queensland's state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug services."  The plan describes how the mental health and alcohol and other drug system can work better for individuals, families and communities.  Under the plan, funding is being allocated to expand mental health, alcohol and other drug services across a range of initiatives aimed at optimising the level and mix of services across the care continuum.  The plan focuses on the continued expansion of care and treatment, rehabilitation and support delivered in the community.

Go to "Connecting care to recovery 2016 - 2021: A plan for Queensland's state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug services."

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October 7, 2016

IS CBT AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR YOUTH SUBSTANCE USE?

The Centre for Evidence and Implementation has published a plain English research summary from The Campbell Collaboration titled "Cognitive-behavioural therapies to treat non-opioid drug use in young people is no better or worse than other treatments".  The research summary looked at 17 papers that were reporting on 7 different randomised controlled trials, collectively involving 953 study participants.  The author found that CBT was no better than other treatments in achieving total abstinence in young people who were in outpatient treatment.  There were no differences in the outcome if Motivational Interviewing was included in the treatment, and there were also no effects of the CBT on other areas of a young person's life including social functioning, school problems or criminal activity.


Go to "Is CBT an effective treatment for youth substance abuse?"

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October 7, 2016

NIP IT IN THE BUD: INTERVENING EARLY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH EATING DISORDERS

Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health in conjunction with the Butterfly Foundation, has published a report titled "Nip it in the bud: Intervening early for young people with eating disorders".  The report provides an overview of the research into effective treatment of eating disorders, including a continuum of care model that covers prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery / relapse prevention.  CBT and family based therapies have been found to be effective at treating various eating disorders, particularly when treatment commences early.  The report provides an overview of some of the early warning signs for eating disorders, early identification and help seeking, treatment approaches, as well as an overview of the current treatment system and policy responses.

Go to "Nip it in the bud: Young people and eating disorders"

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October 7, 2016

REVIEW OF YOUTH DETENTION CENTRES IN QUEENSLAND

The Queensland Government is conducting an Independent Review of Youth Detention.  The review will examine the practices, operation and oversight of Queensland's two youth detention centres in Townsville and Brisbane.  The review will also evaluate the effectiveness of programs and services delivered in Queensland's youth detention centres.  It will also review specific allegations of mistreatment of young people made by former staff members and young people previously in youth detention in Queensland.  The review will also examine the current policies and practices concerning 17-year old prisoners within the state's correctional centres.

For more information go to the Youth Detention Review website.

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September 30, 2016

HOSPITALISATIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS AND ALCOHOL AND DRUG CONDITIONS

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published a report titled "Healthy Communities: Hospitalisations for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm in 2013-14". The report has been designed to assist Primary Health Networks by looking at the numbers of people admitted for an overnight hospital stay, and also the number of nights spent in hospital. The report considers a number of conditions including schizophrenia and delusional disorders, anxiety and stress disorders, bipolar and mood disorders, depressive disorders, dementia, intentional self harm, and alcohol and other drug use. The report found the highest number of overnight hospitalisations was for alcohol and other drug use, with significant regional variations. The highest rate of alcohol and other drug hospitalisations in Australia was in the Western Queensland Primary Health Network region, with 275 hospitalisations per 100 000 population, compared with the national average of 168 hospitalisations per 100 000.

Download "Healthy Communities: Hospitalisations for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm in 2013-14"

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September 30, 2016

LSD: DANGEROUS, MYSTICAL OR THERAPEUTIC?

Julaine Allan, a senior research fellow at Charles Sturt University, has published an article on The Conversation titled "LSD - dangerous, mystical or therapeutic?". The article describes how the Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann discovered LSD by accident while trying to create a chemical to assist with blood circulation. The article outlines some of the historical uses of LSD in research settings, including American psychotherapists using low doses of LSD to assist the therapeutic process. The article describes how LSD works, the possible harms associated with use, as well as some recent statistics on rates of use in the Australian community. The article concludes with some interesting facts, including the activities of Timothy Leary - the man who Richard Nixon described as "the most dangerous man in America" for his promotion of the use of LSD.

Go to "LSD: Dangerous, mystical or therapeutic?"

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September 30, 2016

METHAMPHETAMINE IN WORLD WAR TWO

The Guardian has published an article titled "High Hitler: Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history".  The article includes an interview with German author Norman Ohler, who has written a book titled "Blitzed" which explores the role that substances played in Hitler's Germany. It is well known that drugs like methamphetamine were used by both sides of the conflict in World War 2, but Ohler believes that methamphetamine played a significant role in Hitler's declining physical and mental health throughout the war.  He uncovered documents from Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, which indicated that Hitler had a significant methamphetamine dependence.  Ohler discovered a letter from Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary, suggesting that the "medication" being supplied to Hitler needed to be regulated, due to his failing health.  The factories producing methamphetamine were destroyed by allied bombing in 1945, cutting off Hitler's supply and causing him to go into withdrawal.  Ohler suggests that this explains the widely reported poor state of Hitler's physical and mental health in the final weeks of World War 2.

Go to "High Hitler: Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history"

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September 23, 2016

UNIVERSAL HARM REDUCTION ADVICE (VIDEO)

Harm reduction is a key underlying principle of working with young people who use alcohol and other drugs. While there are a range of substance specific harm reduction practices, there are also a number of standard pieces of harm reduction advice that is relevant for any young person, regardless of the substance they might be using. The Dovetail team have created a new short video called "Universal Harm Reduction." In this short 5 minute video, Dovetail's Cameron Francis goes through some of the key principles of providing good harm reduction advice, and then provides some examples of harm reduction advice in practice.

Watch "Universal harm reduction"

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