Useful AOD Reports & Resources
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National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program (Aus)

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program (Aus) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use.
ReGenUC's insight:

Includes links to the summary and full reports for 2017.

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Useful AOD Reports & Resources
A collection of good AOD research and resources
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What does the research evidence tell us about what Australians think about the legal status of drugs? A 2018 update

This bulletin summarises data from a nationally representative survey of Australians which asks people their opinions about the legal status of drug in

ReGenUC's insight:

NDARC's Alison Ritter and Caitlin Hughes analyse the last three sets of National Drug Strategy Household Survey data on public attitudes towards cannabis, ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamine.

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Medicinal cannabis - guidance documents

Medicinal cannabis - guidance documents | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

Over the past few years, a number of Australians have expressed interest in the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. There have only been a limited number of well-designed clinical studies on medicinal cannabis and so it is hard for some doctors to find quality evidence to support decisions to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

ReGenUC's insight:

A range of new guidance documents from the Commonwealth Dept of Health for prescribers of medicinal cannabis.

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Effect of restricting the legal supply of prescription opioids on buying through online illicit marketplaces: interrupted time series analysis (USA)

The sale of prescription opioids through US cryptomarkets increased after the schedule change, with no statistically significant changes in sales of prescription sedatives, prescription steroids, prescription stimulants, or illicit opioids. 

ReGenUC's insight:

US study provides more evidence of the unintended consequences of increased restrictions on opioid prescriptions. See the accompanying BMJ editorial here: https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2480

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Ageing opioid users’ increased risk of methadone-specific death in the UK

Ageing opioid users’ increased risk of methadone-specific death in the UK | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

The first evidence that the hazard ratio (HR) for methadone-specific death rises more steeply with age-group than for all drug-related deaths (DRDs) came from Scotland’s cohort of 33,000 methadone-prescription clients. We aim to examine, for England, whether illicit opioid users’ risk of methadone-specific death increases with age; and to pool age-related HRs for methadone-specific deaths with those for Scotland’s methadone-prescription clients.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds sharp increase in age-related risk, with clear implications for prescribing, treatment and recovery support practice.

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Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center (USA)

Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center (USA) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
This new Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center aims to provide communities, clinicians, policy-makers and others in the field with the information and tools they need to incorporate evidence-based practices into their communities or clinical settings. The Resource Center contains a collection of scientifically-based resources for a broad range of audiences, including Treatment Improvement Protocols, toolkits, resource guides, clinical practice guidelines, and other science-based resources.
ReGenUC's insight:

New SAMHSA resource. Hopefully, it will contribute to the continued expansion of support for evidence based treatment and harm reduction services in the US.

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Outbreak of Life-threatening Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids Use (USA)

Outbreak of Life-threatening Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids Use (USA) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
Health Alert Network (HAN). Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ReGenUC's insight:

CDC advice on cases of unexplained bleeding associated with use of synthetic cannabis products containing rodenticide.

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Adolescents Who View More Medical Marijuana Advertising Are More Likely to Use Marijuana, Have Positive Views About the Drug (USA)

Adolescents Who View More Medical Marijuana Advertising Are More Likely to Use Marijuana, Have Positive Views About the Drug (USA) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
Adolescents who view more advertising for medical marijuana are more likely to use marijuana, express intentions to use the drug and have more-positive expectations about the substance. An increasing amount of advertising about marijuana may prompt young people to increase their use of the drug.
ReGenUC's insight:

New RAND Corporation study highlights some of the consequences when cannabis becomes a consumer product like any other.

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Longitudinal injecting risk behaviours among people with a history of injecting drug use in an Australian prison setting: The HITS-p study

Longitudinal injecting risk behaviours among people with a history of injecting drug use in an Australian prison setting: The HITS-p study | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
HCV transmission remains high in prisons globally. Understanding injecting risk behaviours
in prisons is crucial to effectively develop and implement HCV prevention programs
in this setting including treatment as prevention.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds injecting drug use following imprisonment linked to age. Younger people most likely to engage in risky practices e.g. needle sharing. Some obvious implications here for prison based harm reduction programs and HCV treatment.

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The law on the streets: Evaluating the impact of Mexico’s drug decriminalization reform on drug possession arrests in Tijuana, Mexico

The law on the streets: Evaluating the impact of Mexico’s drug decriminalization reform on drug possession arrests in Tijuana, Mexico | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
In 2009, Mexican Federal Government enacted “narcomenudeo” reforms decriminalizing
possession of small amounts of drugs, delegating prosecution of retail drug sales
to the state courts, and mandating treatment diversion for habitual drug users. There
has been insufficient effort to formally assess the decriminalization policy’s population-level
impact, despite mounting interest in analagous reforms across the globe.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study highlights role of potentially confounding factors (e.g. spikes in drug related arrests during election campaigns) and need for more detailed examination of the impacts of decriminalisation.

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Inquiry into crystal methamphetamine (ice): Final Report (Aus)

Report from the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement

ReGenUC's insight:

The report includes some good recommendations, including increased funding for harm reduction and treatment services, along with ensuring future public awareness campaigns avoid the usual stigmatising presentation of people who use drugs.

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National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program - March 2018 (Aus)

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program - March 2018 (Aus) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use.
ReGenUC's insight:

The latest wastewater report and summary findings.

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Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

This report quantifies the health impact that alcohol and illicit drug use place on Australia, including as risk factors for other diseases and injuries. It estimates that alcohol and illicit drugs were collectively responsible for 6.7% of Australia’s disease burden in 2011. The report highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups and more remote areas generally experiencing higher rates of disease burden due to alcohol and illicit drug use.

ReGenUC's insight:

New AIHW analysis of Aus burden of disease data.

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Tobacco industry strategies undermine government tax policy: evidence from commercial data (UK)

Tobacco industry strategies undermine government tax policy: evidence from commercial data (UK) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

Objective Taxation equitably reduces smoking, the leading cause of health inequalities. The tobacco industry (TI) can, however, undermine the public health gains realised from tobacco taxation through its pricing strategies. This study aims to examine contemporary TI pricing strategies in the UK and implications for tobacco tax policy.

ReGenUC's insight:

Lit review and sales data highlight Big Tobacco strategies to keep cigarettes cheap and the need for further tax policy measures to ensure the effectiveness of plain packaging.

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Potential link between alcohol and death rates (UK)

Potential link between alcohol and death rates (UK) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

Drinking heavily results in uncontrolled iron absorption into the body, putting strain on vital organs and increasing the risk of death, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study of women in sub-Saharan Africa highlights impacts of heavy consumption on the cardiovascular system.

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Alcohol industry involvement in science: A systematic review of the perspectives of the alcohol research community 

Alcohol companies have recently invested large sums of money in answering research questions to which they have clear vested interests in the outcomes. There have been extensive concerns about corporate influence on public health sciences, following the experience with the tobacco industry.

ReGenUC's insight:

Systematic review highlights significant concerns about alcohol industry influence on how research is conducted, study findings and how they are translated into policy.  It also notes the lack of research into this issue.

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Awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is associated with public support for alcohol policies (UK)

Awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is associated with public support for alcohol policies (UK) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

Globally, alcohol is causally related to 2.5 million deaths per year and 12.5% of these are due to cancer. Previous research has indicated that public awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is low and this may contribute to a lack of public support for alcohol policies. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between awareness of the alcohol-cancer link and support for a range of alcohol policies in an English sample and policy context. 

ReGenUC's insight:

Study findings highlight low level awareness of cancer link and the role public campaigns about health risks can play in generating support for policy change.

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Offline constraints in online drug marketplaces: An exploratory analysis of a cryptomarket trade network (Netherlands)

Offline constraints in online drug marketplaces: An exploratory analysis of a cryptomarket trade network (Netherlands) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

Cryptomarkets, or illegal anonymizing online platforms that facilitate drug trade,
have been analyzed in a rapidly growing body of research. Previous research has found that, despite increased risks, cryptomarket sellers are often willing to ship illegal drugs internationally. There is little to no information, however, about the extent to which uncertainty and risk related to geographic constraints shapes buyers’ behavior and, in turn, the structure of the global online drug trade network. In this paper, we analyze the structure of a complete cryptomarket trade network with a focus on the role of geographic clustering of buyers and sellers.

ReGenUC's insight:

Recent Australian research produced similar findings: that dark web drug markets are predominantly local: http://sco.lt/5GFlWD

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Baclofen: its effectiveness in reducing harmful drinking, craving, and negative mood. A meta‐analysis (UK)

There are a limited number of pharmacotherapies licensed for alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Baclofen is a γ‐aminobutyric acid B (GABA‐B) agonist which is used increasingly as an off‐label treatment. A meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to determine the efficacy of baclofen in reducing drinking behaviour, craving, depression and anxiety compared with placebo.

ReGenUC's insight:

Baclofen is often cited as a 'breakthrough cure', but meta-analysis finds that, while it's better than a placebo, 'there is no superior effect of baclofen on increasing number of abstinent days, or decreasing heavy drinking, craving, anxiety or depression'. 

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Cannabis and driving: questions and answers for policymaking (EU)

Cannabis and driving: questions and answers for policymaking (EU) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

With cannabis use and policy evolving internationally, drug-impaired driving has become an increasingly relevant policy issue. This briefing aims to provide those concerned with policy developments in the field of cannabis with a brief overview of current knowledge and the latest developments in the area of driving.

ReGenUC's insight:

New resource from EMCDDA.

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Reducing the standard serving size of alcoholic beverages prompts reductions in alcohol consumption (UK)

Reducing the serving size of alcoholic beverages in the United Kingdom appears to lead to a reduction in alcohol consumption within a single drinking occasion.

ReGenUC's insight:

Study finds 20-30% reduction in single session consumption in lab and real world settings.

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Post opioid overdose outreach by public health and public safety agencies: Exploration of emerging programs in Massachusetts

Opioid overdose is a significant public health problem. Collaborative programs between
local public health and public safety agencies have emerged to connect overdose survivors
and their personal networks with harm reduction and addiction treatment services following
a non-fatal overdose event. This study explored the prevalence of these programs in
Massachusetts and the different ways they have been structured and function.
ReGenUC's insight:

Study highlights the potential impacts of systematic efforts by first-responders to link overdose survivors with harm reduction & support services.

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National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data (NOPSAD) 2017, Opioid pharmacotherapy clients (Aus)

On a snapshot day in 2017, almost 50,000 clients received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence at 2,732 dosing points around Australia.As in previous years, methadone was the most common pharmacotherapy drug, with around two-thirds (60%) of clients treated with this drug.

ReGenUC's insight:

AIHW data shows 3% increase in national numbers of pharmacotherapy prescribers in 2017.

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Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice

Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

The Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice report outlines recommendations for peer-led best practice for needle and syringe program (NSP) service delivery in Australia.

ReGenUC's insight:

Based on consultations with peers across Australia on their experiences with different types of NSP outlets, the report recommends that Australia’s NSP system :

  • Provide diversity of options with consistency of experience
  • Ensures that all parts of the system are welcoming and non-judgemental
  • Ensures consistency of equipment across all service types
  • Creates an enabling environment that maximises the widest availability of injecting equipment
  • Positions NSPs as a core part of Australia’s health system
  • Creates pathways for employment of peers and encourage peer-employment outside of primary NSPs, and ensure that peer workers are adequately supported in the workplace
  • Ensures funding allows for flexibility of service delivery
  • Creates greater service awareness and managing expectations
  • Creates consistency in data collection with a focus on collecting what is required.
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Substance Use During Imprisonment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Substance Use During Imprisonment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it
Abstract. Substance use disorders are among the most common health problems of people involved with the criminal justice system. Scaling up addiction services
ReGenUC's insight:

Review provides a reminder that AOD use in prison is not just a problem for wealthy nations. See today's related response to the Victorian Drug Law Reform Inquiry, highlighting the importance of focusing on the needs of prisoners: http://sco.lt/5Gn3AX

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Pathways to Justice–Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Aus)

Pathways to Justice–Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Aus) | Useful AOD Reports & Resources | Scoop.it

The Report contains 35 recommendations designed to reduce the disproportionate rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and improve community safety.

ReGenUC's insight:

New report from the Australian Law Reform Commission calls for increased investment in prevention and treatment services to reduce rates of reoffending and the economic costs of incarcerating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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