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March 7, 2014


Associate Professor Carl Hart from Columbia University in conjunction with his colleagues has published a controversial article titled "Methamphetamine: Fact vs fiction and lessons from the crack hysteria."  This report critically examines the evidence on illicit methamphetamine use, in order to dispel some of the myths about the effects of the drug.  The authors examine the so-called "crack cocaine scare" that occurred in the United States in the 1980s and draw parallels between the response to crack cocaine then and methamphetamine now.  The final part of the report reviews the scientific literature on the effects of methamphetamine on the brain, the body and behaviour.

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March 7, 2014


In an increasingly fiscally restrained environment, accurately reporting AOD treatment episodes is more important than ever.  However we know that, particularly in the youth sector, "drug treatment" may take on a variety of forms - from drop-in centres, outdoor adventure based learning programs, to school-based programs - the diversity of approaches can make it difficult for policy makers and planners to measure exactly how much AOD treatment activity is occurring in the community.  The Drug Policy Monitoring Program (DPMP) at the University of New South Wales are currently reviewing alcohol and other drug treatment across Australia and they've published a working paper titled "Hard to Count" or unrecorded treatment utilisation for alcohol and other drugs."  This paper sets out the issue, and the authors have invited services to comment.  The working paper contains a section specifically looking at counselling services provided in secondary schools and tertiary education settings, and also a section on "generalist non-health services" which includes youth services.

Download "Hard to Count" or unrecorded treatment utilisation for alcohol and other drugs." (257KB PDF)

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March 7, 2014


Queensland's Department of Health has released a "request for offer" (RFO) inviting non-government agencies involved in community mental health and alcohol and other drug treatment to apply for funding.  The community mental health RFO closes on Monday 31st of March and the NGO AOD services RFO closes on Wednesday 2nd of April.  There are information sessions planned for services who would like more information.  To find out about these funding opportunities click the links below.

Go to Non-government alcohol and other drug services request for offer

Go to Community managed mental health services and consumer participation in the community managed mental health sector request for offer

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March 7, 2014


The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has published a report titled "Survey of secondary school principals on the use of alcohol and other drugs in schools."  The report compiles the results of a survey of over 200 secondary school principals, finding that principals were concerned about all aspects of student wellbeing, but particularly mental health and cyber bullying, alcohol use, cannabis use and the roles of parents and other role models.  The report also found that 75% of schools had their own alcohol and drug policy or one developed by their respective education department.  Questions were raised about the effectiveness and the appropriateness of prevention programs, with one principal stating "schools can no longer carry the workload on this - we don't have the time, we don't have the resources and I don't think the type of programs we offer make a difference to behaviour, though they do give information."

Download "Survey of secondary school principals on the use of alcohol and other drugs in schools" (1.6MB PDF)

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February 28, 2014


The Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) has published a draft report titled "Alcohol Advertising: The effectiveness of current regulatory codes in addressing community concern".  The report has been released in draft form to allow stakeholders to input into the "Review of the Effectiveness of Current Regulatory Codes" currently underway, with the final report due in July 2014.  Alcohol advertising is an issue that has concerned many in the youth sector, with a significant body of evidence indicating that young people aged under 18 are exposed to and influenced by alcohol advertising, particularly during sporting events.  This report considers this evidence and provides an overview of the situation both in Australia and overseas.

Download "Alcohol Advertising: The effectiveness of current regulatory codes in addressing community concern" (2.6MB PDF)

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February 28, 2014


The Menzies School of Health Research has published a report titled "Monitoring trends in prevalence of petrol sniffing in selected Aboriginal communities: An interim report".  The report authored by Peter d'Abbs and Gillian Shaw provides an overview of current trends in petrol sniffing in communities across Australia - some of whom have significant coverage of low aromatic fuels (that contains negligible amounts of chemicals that can cause intoxication) and other communities that have low or no access to low aromatic fuels.  This report looked at 41 communities located in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.  In those communities where comparable data was available from earlier research in 2005-07, declines in petrol sniffing were observed - indicating that the rollout of low aromatic fuel has been successful in reducing petrol sniffing in communities that have access to it.

Download "Monitoring trends in prevalence of petrol sniffing in selected Aboriginal communities: An interim report" (406KB PDF)

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February 28, 2014


The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has announced that they are accepting applications for funding under their Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Program.  There are two streams of funding available: up to $10 000 is available for people wanting to run an alcohol and other drug conference, otherwise individuals (with their managers support) can apply for up to $2000 to attend a relevant alcohol and other drug conference.  Applications for funds close on the 19th of March so start planning now.

Find out more from the FARE website.

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February 28, 2014


Thanks to the 86 people across Queensland who recently completed our Dovetail Consumer Online Survey!  We love hearing about the bits you like as well as the ways we can improve our beloved service.


Here's a snapshot of what you said:

  • Overall, 99% of respondents rated Dovetail as either "Excellent" (74%) or "Good" (25%).
  • You find our website, information, resources and staff highly accessible
  • The Weekly Email Digest is your favourite service (71% rated it as "Excellent", 25% as "Good").  You especially appreciate the brief article summaries so you can decide whether to click through to the full article or not.
  • Pleasingly, 90% of you think that Dovetail has made a positive difference to your work. (Huzzah!)

You also came up with a number of suggestions:


Q. Can we deliver more training in regional areas across the state?

We do find it difficult to penetrate all regional areas of the state and we apologise profusely to those towns and centres that we haven't made it to yet.  Having said that we finally managed to reach communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria last year (hurrah!) and we are currently trying to coordinate events in central and north Queensland for the first half of this year.  In the meanwhile we encourage our regional and remote friends to stay tuned for our quarterly webinars which we advertise on our events page and through our weekly email digest.  Or you can access our free online orientation package.

Q. Can you promote your training better?

Getting the training word out can be tricky, and not all of our events are broadly advertised as they are targeted to particular networks or communities.  Also the demand for our training greatly outweighs what we can supply. The best way to stay abreast of upcoming training is by visiting our Events Calendar, by looking out for webinars which we promote through our Weekly Email Digests, and by checking  local youth interagency notices and minutes for when we visit the regions.

Q. Can you conduct visits to schools?

Unfortunately Dovetail does not do school talks but we do provide support to school support staff (eg youth health nurses, guidance officers, youth support coordinators and chaplains etc) and can also be accessed by teachers and principals.  The other good news is that Leigh B. from the team has just finished gathering together all of the best school-based resources from around the country and listed them on a dedicated Schools Resources page on our website (go Leigh!).

Q. Make it Australia wide

Sorry, but we love Queensland too much… - oh, and we're part of Queensland Health ;-)

Q. Bring back the magazine!

We love(d) the Dovetail Magazine and know you did too.  We're just super busy building other areas of the project at the moment, particularly the Good Practice Guides which are really time and resource intensive.  Having said that we've talked about a special "Reunion Edition" for some time and it's definitely on the wishlist.  We are also going to start publishing an "Agency Profile" in the Email Digest that comes out on the last Friday-of-the-month commencing in March, so hopefully that goes some way to filling the 'magazine-shaped-hole' in your heart, at least for a little bit.

Q. Provide an online shop to sell resources

No need! The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) provides a wide range of free and for-purchase print resources to services across Queensland.  To get their latest order form call 1800 177 833.


Thanks again for your wonderful feedback and congratulations to the 5 lucky winners of our Prize Packs - we hope they made them to you safely!


From the Dovetail Team.

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February 21, 2014


The National Drug Strategy 2010 - 2015 has a number of sub-strategies, with the most recent addition being the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action. The framework aims to reduce the misuse of pharmaceuticals and enhance the quality use of pharmaceuticals. The framework identifies nine priority areas such as the development of a coordinated medication management system, supporting prescribers, pharmacists and other health professionals and enhancing treatment and harm reduction.

Download "National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action 2012 - 2015" (1.7MB PDF)

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February 21, 2014


The Closing the Gap Clearinghouse has published an issues paper titled "What works? A review of actions addressing the social determinants of Indigenous health".  The paper reviews the available evidence, such as "What we know" and "What we don't know", and includes a review of key actions to address the determinants like educational attainment, employment, housing, racism, criminal justice issues, health behaviours, and connections to family, community, country and culture.

Download "What works? A review of actions addressing the social determinants of Indigenous health". (1MB PDF)

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