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July 24, 2015

ALCOHOL: HURTING PEOPLE AND HARMING COMMUNITIES

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs has published the final report from the inquiry into the harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  The report, titled "Alcohol, hurting people and harming communities" makes a broad range of recommendations including the introduction of a minimum alcohol price, banning alcohol sponsorship of sporting teams, prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community driven strategies to reduce alcohol related harms, and re-establishing the National indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee - NIDAC.

Go to "Alcohol, hurting people and harming communities"

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July 24, 2015

QUICK GUIDE TO INCOME MANAGEMENT

Over the past few years, a number of different versions  of "income management" have been implemented across Australia.  While there are variations in these programs, essentially it involves quarantining part of a person's welfare payments. The federal government have produced a handy overview of these programs, titled "Income management: A quick guide."  It includes the full range of income management measures from voluntary through to compulsory, along with the various triggers for implementing income management.   The quick guide also includes links to evaluation reports, an overview of the "Basics Card" and information on future directions in income management.

Go to "Income Management: A quick guide"

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July 17, 2015

MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS AND ADOLESCENT MARIJUANA USE IN THE USA

An article has been published in The Lancet titled "Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys".  The paper considers rates of cannabis use amongst young people in states where medical marijuana has been legalised, with those in states where it remains restricted.  The authors found that while cannabis use is higher in states that have legalised medical marijuana, these higher rates of use preceded legislative changes.  The authors conclude that "passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana."

Go to "Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys".

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July 17, 2015

ALCOHOL BRANDS CONSUMED BY YOUNG PEOPLE IN TREATMENT IN 2015

The UK-based Alcohol Concern have published a research report titled "Alcohol brands consumed by young people in treatment 2015".  The research involved surveying 223 children and young people aged between 12 and 20 who were currently in alcohol and other drug treatment about their preferred alcohol brands.  It is the third time this particular research report has been completed and the researchers found remarkable consistency across the UK over this time period - the same alcohol brands are consumed by at-risk young people year after year.  The preferred alcohol brands are cheap, potent and heavily marketed.  The most common brand nominated by these young people was Fosters beer, followed by generic / own brand vodka.  This research adds to the significant body of research that indicates that price and marketing are powerful influencers of problematic alcohol consumption.

Download "Alcohol brands consumed by young people in treatment 2015" (1.2MB PDF)

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July 17, 2015

DRUG PREVENTION FOR PARENTS

Mentor International have published a guide to prevention resources for parents.  The guide is divided into three sections including "Home", "School" and "Community" and provides a brief overview of the research into effective AOD prevention across each of these domains.  The guide contains links to evidence-based resources from around the world, including Australia.  The guide is also useful for workers who engage with parents, with useful strategies to assist parents in supporting their children.

Download "Drug prevention for parents" (900KB PDF)

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July 17, 2015

MASS HOSPITALISATION IN POLAND CAUSED BY NOVEL PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCE

There are media reports that up to 300 people have been hospitalised in Poland following the consumption of a novel psychoactive substance.  The identity of the substance involved is as yet unknown, however investigations are continuing.  This case is a reminder of the dangers posed by novel psychoactive substances, which continue to be developed, marketed and consumed throughout the world and here in Queensland.  In January this year two people in Mackay died after consuming a synthetic cannabinoid.  We will provide an update on the incident in Poland as more information comes to hand.

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July 10, 2015

AUSTRALIAN WINTER SCHOOL CONFERENCE: 22 - 24 JULY 2015

The Australian Winter School Conference is fast approaching, being held in Brisbane from the 22nd - 24th of July. The theme of this year's conference is "Unleash potential" and includes streams including young people, early intervention / prevention, the justice system, domestic and family violence and lots more. The Australian Winter School is one of the rare opportunities for workers from around Queensland to get together and hear the latest from some of the best speakers in the field.  There is still time to register but it's running out fast, so get it together now!

Find out more at the Australian Winter School website.

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July 10, 2015

PREVENTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a research report titled "Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse".  The report considers conceptual, policy and practice challenges to preventing sexual abuse as well as future directions for prevention activities. It attempts to use a public health framework for considering child sexual abuse prevention - considering primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities.

Go to "Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse"

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July 10, 2015

WORKING WITH AFRICAN COMMUNITIES TO REDUCE ALCOHOL RELATED HARMS

The NSW-based Hunter Multicultural Drug Action Team and the Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC) have published "Confident Communities: A guide to working together with African communities to reduce alcohol-related harms."  The toolkit was developed by reviewing the literature around culturally sensitive engagement strategies and combined with consultations with African community members from New South Wales.  It includes an overview of the process for engaging community members, developing strategies and evaluating impacts.

Go to "Confident Communities: A guide to working together with African communities to reduce alcohol-related harms."

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July 3, 2015

UNDERSTANDING AND RESPONDING TO STEROID USE

The National Drug Research Institute and Monash University have published the outcomes of a national consultation around steroid use, titled "Understanding and responding to the rise of steroid injecting in Australia".  The authors found that there are significant gaps in knowledge about steroid use, as well as a lack of integration of harm reduction messages.  The authors also found that there have been some recent policy, legal and regulatory responses to steroid use which have been implemented too hastily, without an evidence base and that some of these policy responses may in fact increase harms to people who use steroids.

Download "Understanding and responding to the rise of steroid injecting in Australia" (1.3MB PDF)

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