A new formulation of the opioid analgesic OxyContin is replacing existing Australian stocks of the medication from April 1. The new formulation is designed to prevent injecting. While the change is intended to reduce risks associated with injecting prescription opioids, our experience demonstrates that it will create new risks, at least in the short term. Here is some brief harm reduction information for individuals, family members and workers.
Thanks to our colleagues at Sydney's Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, AIVL and WASUA who have kindly agreed to us sharing the preliminary information that they have developed. A more comprehensive resource will be available soon.
The findings confirmed that measuring recovery is a complex process that extends beyond simple quantitative measures of drug use and offending and encompasses other less tangible social, psychological, physical, financial, and spiritual changes. Furthermore, the nature of the identified changes indicated that the boundary between recovery from addiction and simply seeking to achieve a good quality of life is unclear (who, after all, would not want better health and well-being, financial security, secure housing, reciprocal relationships and plans for the future?).
Since 2008-2009, there has been a significant increase in interest in, and probable use of, a new breed of synthetic drugs, which can be grouped together under the term New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
Welcome to the Caregiver Curriculum on FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) 2014! The purpose of this curriculum is to provide a venue for caregivers including foster parents, families, kinship care, youth and child care workers, child welfare services, and others trying to understand and cope with many of the life challenges faced by children with FASD.
The ATDC 2014 Conference, Visions and Values: Setting the scene for the future, was held at Hobart’s Hotel Grand Chancellor on 7-8 May, 2014 and offered a wide range of excellent plenary, breakout and workshop sessions to provoke thought about what the future holds for the way our services conduct their business.
Below is a list of presenters and their presentations. We have permission to publish the presentations for most of these; click on the presentation title to access these
Beau Kilmer, Adrian Carter & Robert Ali's keynotes on Day One were crackers. Our presentation on web-based approaches is there too.
SDF in conjunction with NHS GGC and Frontier Medical have created a new advice booklet for people injecting New Psychoative Substances (NPS). The guide is intended to inform people of the risks associated with injecting NPS, drugs commonly called legal highs, or any unidentified white powders.
The vexed issue of synthetic drugs is the subject of this edition, ‘New Psychoactive Drugs: No Easy Answer’. It reviews the nature of the ‘new psychoactive drugs’, why they pose difficulties for health authorities around the world, and how different countries, including Australia, are taking action to control them or reduce their availability. Authors Geoff Munro and Chris Wilkins give special attention to the policy adopted by New Zealand that is attracting much attention world-wide. Under recent New Zealand legislation, unknown psychoactive drugs can be offered for legal sale to adults if they are found to be ‘low risk’ for human consumption.
A major concern about needle exchanges is that after use the injecting equipment they supply will be left unsafely disfiguring public areas, but this US study based on a comparison between San Francisco (has legal exchanges) and Miami (exchanges illegal) strongly suggests the opposite.
Recent research (Barton and Husk, 2012) suggested that in the UK we are seeing a shift from the traditional “pub-club” drinking pattern to a “home-pub-club” pattern. In the latter model often excessive early evening drinking is occurring in the private sphere in the absence of external control, leading to problems when the drinkers enter the public sphere. Moreover, pre-loading has become a key aspect in the drinking patterns of many of the Night Time Economy (NTE) population with around 60-70 per cent of people drinking some alcohol prior to going out. In the previous work (Barton and Husk, 2012) 50 per cent of people were drinking significant quantities of alcohol prior to entering the NTE. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Background: New Mexico was the first state to list post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a condition for the use of medical cannabis. There are no published studies, other than case reports, of the effects of cannabis on PTSD symptoms. The purpose of the study was to report and statistically analyze psychometric data on PTSD symptoms collected during 80 psychiatric evaluations of patients applying to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program from 2009 to 2011. Methods: The Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Scale for DSM-IV (CAPS) was administered retrospectively and symptom scores were then collected and compared in a retrospective chart review of the first 80 patients evaluated. Results: Greater than 75% reduction in CAPS symptom scores were reported when patients were using cannabis compared to when they were not. Conclusions: Cannabis is associated with reductions in PTSD symptoms in some patients, and prospective, placebo-controlled study is needed to determine efficacy of cannabis and its constituents in treating PTSD.
On 17 April 2014, changes announced by the Attorney General Simon Corbell MLA to the Criminal Code (Controlled Drugs) Legislation Amendment Regulation 2014 came into effect. The changes are adjusting some of the legal thresholds that differentiate between personal use offences and trafficking offences for some drugs, moving to a mixed weight assessment of prohibited drug quantities and banning a range of new psychoactive substances.
Thanks to ATODA for this background on the ACT changes.
PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
The national online survey of novel psychoactive drugs being carried out by the Centre for Drug Misuse Research launched in March 2014. We are committed to early reporting of the emerging findings from this survey.
Indicating people experiencing harms associated with novel psychoactives are unlikely to seek medical help.
Needle and syringe programmes should support the growing number of image and performance enhancing drug users so they can be offered sterile equipment to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses and infections from contaminated needles, says NICE.
The notion that addiction is a “brain disease” has become widespread and rarely challenged. The brain-disease model implies erroneously that the brain is necessarily the most important and useful level of analysis for understanding and treating addiction. This paper will explain the limits of over-medicalizing – while acknowledging a legitimate place for medication in the therapeutic repertoire – and why a broader perspective on the problems of the addicted person is essential to understanding addiction and to providing optimal care.
A web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention program produced a modest reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed per drinking episode but not in the frequency of drinking, overall amount consumed, or in related academic problems, according to a study among university students in New Zealand.