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June 16, 2016

GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY 2016

Global Drug Survey (GDS) runs the world's biggest drug survey and provides invaluable insight into the world's drug taking habits. For the second year running, more than 100,000 people from over 50 countries were surveyed. GDS aims to help people and communities reduce the harm associated with drug use by sharing credible information. Key themes of GDS 2016 include a significant increase in hospital emergency presentations from synthetic cannabinoid use, with the highest rates of presentations (8-9% of all last year users) being seen in Australia.  Other trends include the rise of dark-net drug markets around the world, the increase in cocaine, MDMA and nitrous oxide use among clubbers and higher purity MDMA leading to more hospital emergency presentations. In response to these results, GDS has launched a safer MDMA use campaign "Don't Be Daft Start With Half".

Click this link to view the animated health promotion video

Click here to read more key findings from the GDS 2016

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June 16, 2016

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ILLICIT DRUG USE REVIEW

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre has released a comprehensive review of illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The review found that illicit drug use is associated with an increased risk of contracting blood borne viruses from injecting drug use, higher levels of psychological distress and an increased risk of suicide. In order to effectively address drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, services need to be culturally appropriate, provide holistic services, and create strong partnerships with other organisations in order to provide clients with a complete continuum of care.

Click here to read the report

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June 10, 2016

ReachOut.Com for Parents

ReachOut.com/Parents is a free online service providing evidence-based practical support and tips that encourage effective communication and relationships between parents and young people aged 12-18 years, as well as easy-to-read information on a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. A key feature of ReachOut Parents is a peer-to-peer forum where parents can connect with each other to share experiences in an anonymous, supportive space. There will also be stories from parents, videos from child psychologists, and pathways for further support services if parents or young people are in serious distress.


Go to "ReachOut.Com for Parents"

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June 10, 2016

Mind Matters Spotlights

Mind Matters, a web-based resource to enhance the mental health of secondary school students, has released new evidence-based content on topics relevant to school support staff called Mind Matters Spotlights. Spotlight topics include self-harm, suicide prevention, bullying and using technology in short animated video clips. There are new topics coming soon about staff wellbeing, engaging families and diversity and inclusion. The series aims to provide secondary schools with resources on dealing with some of the issues that students face.

Read more and check out the Mind Matters Spotlight topics.

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June 10, 2016

Introducing Batyr

Batyr is an organisation that trains young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health.  They have a number of programs that will connect their trained presenters with schools and universities, so that young people with lived experience of mental ill health can deliver education in a fun, safe and engaging way.  The Batyr@School program offers 60 - 90 minute presentations for school communities, or half day and full day workshops designed for school students.  Batyr are offering their services to Queensland schools, so if you are interested, check out the Batyr website for more information.

Go to the Batyr website.

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June 3, 2016

SO YOUR SCHOOL HAS BEEN APPROACHED BY AN EXTERNAL ORGANISATION...

There are an increasing number of external organisations offering alcohol and other drug prevention sessions for school students. While there are benefits in local services connecting with students in order to promote their service, we know that poorly designed AOD prevention programs can have unintended impacts, including increasing substance use and harm. It can be difficult for schools to know if the prevention programs offered by external agencies are evidence-based. To help with this, we came up with some suggestions to assist school-based workers in assessing whether an externally delivered program might be effective.


  1. Does the program comply with the "Principles of School Drug Education"?
  2. Has the program been evaluated and found to change behaviour - (not just "the students enjoyed it")?
  3. Has the program been developed or endorsed by a university or a goverment department like Queensland Health or Educaiton Queensland?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then the chances are you have found a quality program for your school.  If you answer "no" to these questions, the program might be inappropriate for schools and could have unintended outcomes for the students. If you're not sure, feel free to get in touch with Dovetail and we'd be happy to help you decide if the program is suitable for your school.

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June 3, 2016

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGNS FOR PREVENTING ILLICIT DRUG USE

Dovetail's own Cameron Francis did a presentation a couple of weeks back, which is now available to view online.  The presentation titled "The effectiveness of mass media campaigns for preventing illicit drug use" covers a long history of research demonstrating that these campaigns are at best ineffective and at worst can increase intentions to use substances.  The presentation is based around the 2015 Cochrane Review which found "Contrary to common belief, anti-drug media campaigns may be damaging and their dissemination is ethically unacceptable without a prior assessment of their effectives.  New campaigns should be implemented in the framework of rigorous evaluation studies."

 

Watch "The effectiveness of mass media campaigns for preventing illicit drug use"

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June 2, 2016

GUIDELINES FOR PRACTITIONERS IN THE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND AOD SECTORS

These guidelines prepared by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in partnership with CASA Forum and Uniting Care ReGen, have been developed to build the capacity of workers in the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors in Victoria. The guidelines can be applied and adapted throughout Australia.

Click here to read more and download the guidelines

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May 27, 2016

Alcohol: Taking a population perspective

An article has been published in the journal "Nature Reviews: Gastroenterology and Hepatology"" titled "Alcohol: Taking a population perspective." The article provides a comprehensive overview of alcohol consumption and harm across the world. It includes an overview of the global burden of disease caused by alcohol, data on alcohol consumption patterns in various countries including Australia and the evidence around effective interventions. The most effective population strategies to reduce alcohol related harm involves increasing the price and reducing the availability of alcohol. Restricting alcohol advertising has also found to be an effective way to reduce alcohol related harms at the population level. This article provides an excellent synthesis of current evidence.

Go to "Alcohol: Taking a population perspective"

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May 27, 2016

The Wheel of Well-being

We came across a great website from the UK recently, and we thought it's worth sharing. The "Wheel of well-being" is a web-based well-being program developed by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Uscreates. The wheel has six aspects of well-being: body, mind, spirit, people, place, planet. Each wheel is linked with a suggestion for action. If you create a free account, you can develop a personalised well-being plan and track progress overtime. It includes a Google Maps integration, which will suggest places nearby that others have found to enhance their well-being, like places to keep active or places to engage in learning and development.

Go to "The Wheel of Well-being"



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