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November 28, 2014

ALCOHOL AND ENERGY DRINKS: INCREASING RISK TAKING BUT ONLY FOR SOME

Dr Amy Peacock from the University of Tasmania presented research at the recent APSAD conference on the risks associated with combing alcohol with energy drinks.  Previous research has shown that some young people who combine alcohol and energy drinks are less likely to take risks when consuming alcohol with caffeine, while other researcH has found the combination can cause significant negative physical and psychological effects.  Dr Peacock's most recent research has found that alcohol and energy drink consumers varied in regards to their behaviour after consuming.  Most young people who consumed alcohol with energy drinks experienced low levels of risk taking behaviour, however a small proportion (about one tenth) reported high levels of risk taking behaviours.  These young people also were more likely to be male, more likely to engage in other risk taking behaviours, more impulsive in general, and they reported more frequent use of alcohol, higher levels of alcohol consumption and greater risk taking behaviour after alcohol consumption.


Read more about Dr Amy Peacock's research here.

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November 28, 2014

ALCOHOL MARKETING AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Victoria's Alcohol Policy Coalition is producing a series of webinars on alcohol related harm.  The first of these has been published on their website, and features a presentation from David Jernigan, Director of the Centre on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  David Jernigan describes the independent monitoring of marketing practices undertaken in the United States, the different ways that various US states have responded to alcohol advertising, the links between alcohol marketing and youth drinking and the role of public health advocates.

Watch "Alcohol marketing and young people"

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November 28, 2014

YOUTH HEALTH RESOURCE KIT

The New South Wales Government has published a "Youth Health Resource Kit".  While the kit is designed for workers in New South Wales, much of the information is relevant for workers anywhere.  It contains information on youth friendly communication techniques, psychosocial assessment, trauma informed practice, as well as check-lists designed to help services ensure they are providing youth friendly services.

Go to "Youth Health Resource Kit"

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November 21, 2014

HEALTH OF QUEENSLANDERS 2014

Dr Jeanette Young, Chief Health Officer in Queensland Health has launched the latest "The Health of Queenslanders 2014" report.  The report is released every two years and provides an overview of the health status and burden of disease of the Queensland population.  The 2014 report indicates a number of areas where Queensland is performing well, including the continuing decline in rates of smoking (down 26% over the last decade), however there are some areas where we can do better.  This includes the high levels of depression and anxiety in young people which makes suicide the leading cause of death in young people, Indigenous people have a 60% higher death rate than non-Indigenous people, and the rate of risky drinking is 16% higher in Queensland than in other states.

Go to "The Health of Queenslanders 2014" report

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November 21, 2014

FUND ASSIST

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University has published a new resourced titled "Fund Assist", designed to help non-government AOD organisations develop funding applications.  The online resource contains a database of potenial funding sources, group activities designed to build organisational capacity, identify community needs, determine objectives and outcomes and write high quality funding applications.

Go to the Fund Assist website

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November 21, 2014

FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS: STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS INFORMATION GAPS

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published a report titled "Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Strategies to address information gaps."  The paper describes the issues caused by the limited information currently available about the incidence and prevalence of FASD in Australia.  This is partly due to low levels of awareness about FASD amongst clinicians, however there is also no nationally agreed and consistent diagnostic criteria.  The paper describes these current challenges and proposes a process to develop a system of regular surveillance to ensure that appropriate resources and services are available in areas of high need.

Download "Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Strategies to address information gaps."

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November 14, 2014

GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY 2015

It's that time of year again - the Global Drug Survey has been launched and this year is set to be the biggest ever.  Last year almost 80 000 people from around the world shared their experiences and expertise, contributing to findings that were reported around the world, reaching over 1 billion people.  The survey aims to get the views of more than 120 000 people from around the world, helping us to understand what people are using and why.  The survey will help us understand why people use synthetic cannabis products, the rise of butane hash oils and why people decide to stop using drugs.  The information from the survey will be used to develop the world's first "safer drug using limits" to build on their fantastic harm reduction information already published in the Global Drug Survey's "The Highway Code". The survey is open from now until December 20th 2014.

Go to the Global Drug Survey 2015

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November 14, 2014

SHOULD AUSTRALIA PILOT PILL TESTING?

Alison Ritter, Professor and Specialist in Drug Policy at the University of New South Wales has written an article for The Conversation titled "Six reasons Australia should pilot 'pill testing' party drugs."  Professor Ritter believes that pill testing services at venues where ecstasy is known to be consumed could inform users about the content of illicit drugs.  She quotes research that shows pill testing services can change the black market, change the consumption choices of people who use ecstasy, and provide an opportunity to provide support and information to an otherwise difficult to reach population of illicit drug users.

Read "Six reasons Australia should pilot 'pill testing' party drugs"

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November 14, 2014

AUSTRALIAN WINTER SCHOOL 2015: CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

We're fairly confident in declaring the 2014 Australian Winter School the best conference that we've been lucky enough to attend - and the 2015 conference is set to be even bigger and better.  The conference is happening in Brisbane from the 22 to 24th of July 2015, and the conference organisers at Lives Lived Well have just announced the call for abstracts.  There will once again be a youth stream and we'd love to see some of the amazing services from around Queensland submit abstracts and show us your great work.  Put the date in your diary now!

Find out more about submitting your abstract here.

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November 14, 2014

CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a review titled "Children affected by domestic and family violence: A review of domestic and family violence prevention, early intervention and response services."  The report synthesises the research looking at the impacts of domestic and family violence on children aged 0 - 8 years, and considers the evidence for primary prevention and early intervention strategies.  The paper then goes on to consider the extent to which these identified best practice approaches are currently being employed with existing services in Australia.

Download "Children affected by domestic and family violence: A review of domestic and family violence prevention, early intervention and response services." (1MB PDF)

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