The In this blog, Professor Ilana Crome offers an introduction to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' new information guide on substance misuse in older people; an editorial about the guide by Prof. C...
The post includes a link to an information guide from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on working with older people with AOD issues.
This survey has been prepared to provide a broad range of stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the NAS 2016-21 Discussion Paper (Link to NAS 2016-21 Discussion Paper), and inform the development of the NAS. Accordingly the structure and content specifically follows the form of the NAS 2016-21 Discussion Paper. While questions are similar to those presented in the Discussion Paper, many have been amended to accommodate the survey format and facilitate subsequent analysis.
The deadline for survey responses and written submissions on the discussion paper is Nov 6.
The draft National Drug Strategy 2016-2025 describes a nationally agreed harm minimisation approach to reducing the harm arising from alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. As well as outlining the national commitment to the harm minimisation approach, the strategy describes priority actions, groups and drug types and summarises effective demand, supply and harm reduction strategies. The strategy also includes headline indicators to monitor success.
You can provide feedback on the draft strategy until 27 October. See the link for details
In this article, two ways that HIV-positive drug users survive under the supervision of law enforcement agencies, community health organizations, and social welfare offices are differentiated. First, strategies are long-ranging and often carefully planned, and they involve conscious utilization and manipulation of bureaucratic processes. Second, tactics are short-ranging and often haphazard, and they are used to survive on daily or weekly bases, with entrenched problems and structural solutions avoided or ignored.
Highlighting the need for flexible, individual treatment planning, not one-size-fits-all approaches.
The ACMS recommended a new Schedule 3 entry for naloxone when packaged and labelled for the treatment of opioid overdose.
The matters under subsection 52E (1) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 considered relevant by the delegate included: a) the risks and benefits of the use of the substance; b) the purposes for which a substance is to be used and the extent of use of a substance; d) the dosage, formulation labelling, packaging and presentation of a substance; and f) any other matters that the Secretary considers necessary to protect public health.
Great news for overdose prevention in Australia. The advisory committee recommends that naloxone be available without a prescription from Feb 2016. Assuming that this goes ahead, the one remaining question is how much people will be charged to buy it over the counter and whether cost will create a new access barrier to those who need it most. Our submission was one of the 96 received that unanimously supported improving the accessibility of this life saving drug, you can see it here: http://regen.org.au/images/stories/Advocacy/ReGen_submission_naloxone_rescheduling_v1.0.pdf.
In related news, the committee has also recommended rescheduling codeine-based medications, making them ONLY available by prescription: http://sco.lt/5wPl45.
Opioid-dependent patients are five times more likely to die in the first four weeks of treatment if they are prescribed methadone rather than the alternative treatment, buprenorphine, a study by UNSW’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has shown.
The joint Aus/UK study highlights the importance of a planned approach to opioid replacement therapy with a clear argument for commencing on buprenorphine before a later switch to methadone to avoid the identified risk during the first month of treatment.
Absenteeism related to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use can place a substantial burden on businesses and society. This study estimated the cost of AOD-related absenteeism in Australia using a nationally representative dataset.
Recent study by Ann Roche, Ken Pidd and Victoria Kostadinov estimate annual cost to Aus economy at $3 billion.
New overdose prevention resources from Penington Institute aim to make more people lifesavers Penington Institute has launched two new overdose prevention resources to educate people around how to recognise and respond to opioid overdose, including administering the life-saving medication naloxone. Naloxone: saving lives, is for people who are at risk of opioid overdose and their friends and families. It explains …
Overdose prevention info from Penington Institute and a range of Victorian AOD folk.
This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide health services, programmes and support for young people who inject drugs. It offers a concise account of current knowledge concerning the HIV risk and vulnerability of young people who inject drugs; the barriers and constraints they face to appropriate services; examples of programmes that may work well in addressing their needs and rights; and approaches and considerations for providing services that both draw upon and build the strengths, competencies and capacities of young people who inject drugs.
There have been several corresponding trends in the availability, use and treatment of methylamphetamines since 2003–04. Following a decline between 2006–07 and 2009–10, there have been increases across many factors relating to methylamphetamines to 2013–14. Arrests, seizures and detections have all increased. Users are now favouring the crystal form of methylamphetamine. They are using it more frequently, and, there appear to be more new users of crystal. There are more people in treatment reporting smoking as their usual method of use for amphetamines than previously.
New Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.
Last Monday, at the BUDDYS Youth Service Provider`s Forum, Victoria’s Minister for Mental Health the Hon Martin Foley launched the BUDDYS (Building Up Dual Diagnosis in Youth Services) and HYDDI (Homeless Youth Dual Diagnosis Initiative) Youth Dual Diagnosis Resource Guide 2015. This new resource considers practice issues for service providers working with young people with a dual diagnosis.
In high income countries, the majority of new and existing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections occur among people who inject drugs (PWID). In many low and middle income countries large HCV epidemics have also emerged among PWID populations. The burden of HCV-related liver disease among PWID is increasing, but treatment uptake remains extremely low. There are a number of barriers to care which should be considered and systematically addressed, but should not exclude PWID from HCV treatment. The rapid development of interferon-free direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for HCV infection has brought considerable optimism to the HCV sector, with the realistic hope that therapeutic intervention will soon provide near optimal efficacy with well-tolerated, short duration, all oral regimens. Further, it has been clearly demonstrated that HCV treatment is safe and effective across a broad range of multidisciplinary healthcare settings. Given the burden of HCV-related disease among PWID, strategies to enhance HCV assessment and treatment in this group are urgently needed. These recommendations demonstrate that treatment among PWID is feasible and provide a framework for HCV assessment and care.
New recommendations developed by the International Network on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users.
Kate Halliday, SMMGP Programme Lead, discusses the recent legislation changes which make naloxone more readily available for those that need it.
This is a big step for increasing the accessibility of naloxone and preventing overdoses. Hopefully, we'll see similar changes in Australia soon, following the TGA recommendations: http://sco.lt/6bQGKP.
‘Social norm’ interventions which aim to reduce consumption by telling heavy drinkers how their drinking compares to their peer-group norm have a patchy record, but this British study suggests for students they might be improved by ranking against peers (eg, ‘You drink more than 80% of students’) rather than comparing how many units of alcohol they consume.
Highlighting the importance of getting messaging right in public health campaigns.
The National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) held its annual meeting on September 25th in Birmingham at the Tally-Ho conference centre. The meeting brings together members of the NNEF to present the latest news and updates on harm reduction for needle exchange workers, harm reduction advocates and service users.
Nice range of presentations on harm reduction and overdose prevention.
This study by Janet Bright sought to build upon existing research into peer mentoring in the drug dependency treatment sector by exploring the perceived benefits and drawbacks of the intervention from the perspectives of peer mentors and service providers. Whilst this research was focused on peer mentoring in the substance misuse sector and the journey from addiction into recovery, there is a crossover with issues raised in the desistance from crime literature.
The findings of this study indicate the price of methamphetamine is decreasing, perhaps due to an increased level of competition in the market. Methamphetamine market trends will require ongoing monitoring. If the reported reduction in the price of methamphetamine is nationwide and sustained this may result in a change in usage habits for dependent users, who made up almost 40 percent of users in this study. A change in usage habits—whether an increase in the frequency or quantity of use, or the use of purer forms of methamphetamine—may lead to an increase in the risk of harm. If the price reduction is indicative of market competition or expansion, law enforcement and government may need to consider appropriate supply-side strategies.
Latest DUMA findings on changing patterns of drug use amongst people detained by police.
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