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July 18, 2014

MDMA-RELATED DEATHS: STOP CALLING THEM OVERDOSES

An article has been published on the Dancesafe website titled "MDMA-Related Deaths: Stop calling them overdoses".  This article has been published in response to a number of media reports in the United States that incorrectly describe MDMA deaths as being the result of an "overdose".  The article reviews some of the actual causes of death in these cases - many of which did not involve an "overdose".  Dancesafe are concerned that these incorrect messages can lead some people to erroneously believe that simply moderating their MDMA dose would be enough to avoid harm.  In many of the cases, deaths had occurred in people who had consumed moderate amounts of MDMA.  The deaths were often related to heatstroke, contraindicated health conditions (such as pre-existing cardiac problems) and hyponaetremia - all of which can occur from standard doses of MDMA.  This article provides an excellent overview of the correct harm reduction advice for MDMA users and also describes one of the relatively rare cases of a fatal MDMA overdose.

Go to "MDMA-Related Deaths: Stop calling them overdoses".

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July 18, 2014

2013 ANNUAL SURVEILLANCE REPORT OF HIV, VIRAL HEPATITIS AND STIS

The Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales has published their annual report that tracks the rates of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs.  A number of concerning figures are contained in this report, with Queensland showing significant increases in the rates of gay men having unsafe sex with casual partners.  No other state in Australia recorded such significant increases in unsafe sex, with Queensland now having the highest rates of unprotected intercourse amongst gay men in the country.  This has led to increased diagnoses of HIV, with rates likely to continue to rise into the future if this trend carries on.

Go to "2013 Annual Surveillance Report of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs"

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July 18, 2014

MEDICAL CANNABIS BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The New South Wales Parliamentary Research Service has published an "Issues Backgrounder" on the topic of medical cannabis.  This guide provides a concise overview of Commonwealth laws, Australian parliamentary and government sources of information on medical cannabis, as well as an overview of selected peer-reviewed scientific, legal, sociological and political research from 2008 until 2014.  This guide is an excellent source of information on the current research on cannabis as a medicinal product.

Download "Issues Backgrounder: Medical Cannabis" (735KB PDF)

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July 11, 2014

DOVETAIL SCHOOLS AND DRUGS WEBINAR

A friendly reminder that our next webinar "Schools and Drugs" is coming up very soon - next Thursday the 17th of July from 12.30pm - 1.30pm.  The webinar will include an overview of the research into best practice school alcohol and other drug education and prevention, as well as an overview of some of the best tools and resources that can assist school-based workers. Anyone with a computer and internet access can log in and join the live webinar, just make a cuppa, grab your lunch and tune in.  If you can't make it, we'll be recording the presentation and it will be available on our YouTube account a couple of weeks after the event.

To participate in the webinar follow these easy steps:

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

2. Select `PARTICIPANT`

3. Enter Webinar Registration Code: 52365378

5. Enter your name

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

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

Note: For best results use the Firefox Web Browser

See you there!

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July 11, 2014

CONTAMINATION OR EXCESS? STIMULANT OVERDOSE IN REGULAR PSYCHOSTIMULANT USERS

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has published a report from their Ecstasy and Related Drugs project titled "Contamination or excess? Stimulant overdose in regular psychostimulant users." The report describes an increase in past year and lifetime experience of stimulant "overdose" since monitoring began in 2007. The majoirty of participants in the study did not seek medical treatment for the "overdose", and many of those who experienced adverse events had used websites such as PillReports.com to ascertain the possible ingredients of the tablets that they had consumed.

Go to "Contamination or excess? Stimulant overdose in regular psychostimulant users"

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July 11, 2014

ALCOHOL IN ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER COMMUNITIES

The Centre for Aboriginal Policy Research have published a paper by Maggie Brady titled "Lessons from a history of beer canteens and licensed clubs in Indigenous Australian communities."  The paper provides an overview of the history of licensed canteens or clubs in discrete Aboriginal communities across Australia.  The paper considers the effects of liberal drinking laws, the influence of government officials, and what went wrong in a number of cases. As the name of the paper suggest, it contains a number of important lessons on how to effectively reduce the harm from alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Download "Lessons from a history of beer canteens and licensed clubs in Indigenous Australian communities." (735KB PDF)

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July 4, 2014

NAIDOC WEEK: 6TH - 13TH OF JULY

NAIDOC Week kicks off on Monday the 6th of July,  with events planned in communities right across Queensland.  NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and the week of events are a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.  The theme of this year's NAIDOC is "Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond". To find out about events happening in your region check out the event calendar on the DATSIMA Website or to find out more about NAIDOC around events happening elsewhere in Australia go to the NAIDOC Website.

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July 4, 2014

WOMEN WANT TO KNOW

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has launched a project designed to encourage health professionals to routinely discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women.  The project includes resources to support health professionals, resources for women, and videos showing health workers how to discuss alcohol and pregnancy.  In addition to these resources, three online e-Learning courses with Continuing Professional Development accreditation have been developed, which will go live over the next month.

Go to "Women want to know"

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July 4, 2014

ADDICTION AND THE BRAIN DISEASE FALLACY

An article has been published in "Frontiers in Psychiatry" titled "Addiction and the brain disease fallacy".  The article written by Sally Satel from Yale University and Scott O. Lilienfeld from Emory University explain the limits of over-medicalising substance dependence , while acknowledging the place of medication in treatment, and outline a broader perspective that incorporates functional understandings of substance use behaviour.

Download a fulltext copy of "Addiction and the brain disease fallacy" (450KB PDF)

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July 4, 2014

UNITED NATIONS RELEASES WORLD DRUG REPORT

The United Nations Office of Drug Control has released their annual "World Drug Report 2014".  The report provides an overview of drug markets across the world including information on manufacturing,  trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs. The report contains a very handy interactive map to allow you to compare Australian rates of substance use with countries around the world.  The report also contains information on emerging psychoactive substances, health consequences of substance use globally and much more.

Go to "World Drug Report 2014"

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