In September this year, NDARC awarded travel scholarships to early career researchers (ECRs) and higher degree research students (HDRs) in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector. Here's what they had to say.
Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, globally. In 2019, approximately 14% of Australians aged 14 years or older were current smokers.
Alcohol-related harms are a broad range of negative consequences that can result from drinking alcohol. These can range from things that only affect your body, such as feeling sick or having a hangover, to things that affect you psychologically and socially, such as having problems with friends or getting into fights.
It has been one year since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout commenced in Australia, and while vaccination rates initially lagged behind other countries, over 95% of Australians aged 12 years and older are now fully vaccinated.
We tend to consider the remaining unvaccinated people a homogenous ‘anti-vax’ group. However, there are some less vocal, disadvantaged populations with lower rates of vaccine uptake who require targeted efforts to increase uptake. There are three key reasons why people who inject drugs should be encouraged to be vaccinated.
To reduce the likelihood of opioid use disorder (OUD) among people prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), it is important to identify individual risk factors for OUD among this population. However, until now, little has been known about the relationship between a childhood trauma and OUD risk among people prescribed opioids for CNCP.
The term ‘synthetic cannabis’ (or ‘synthetic marijuana’) has been widely used. The term, however, is wrong. This may sound like a pedantic point, but the misnaming of these drugs has potentially dangerous consequences. In a recent article in the International Journal of Drug Policy we proposed that they be referred to as synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs), to emphasise that this is a drug class entirely distinct from marijuana.
The first national clinical research priority setting study in the AOD sector in Australia was conducted to determine the focus of clinical research, seed funding, and training programs for The National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED).
Globally, the opioid epidemic has not gone away, it has merely been muted by COVID-19. We have been very fortunate in Australia, but in countries such as Canada, the UK and the US it is a very different story.
Alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in young people 1. Although people usually first start drinking alcohol at around 15-16 years of age 2, this can vary, and adolescents often follow different patterns or “trajectories” of drinking. The age at which an adolescent first consumes alcohol and how quickly they escalate their alcohol use may be important predictors of alcohol-related problems in early adulthood.
It is estimated that between 10.2 and 23.7 million people worldwide inject illicit drugs. Among people who inject drugs (PWID), those who engage in injecting risk behaviours are at increased of blood-borne viruses, such as HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV), as well as bacterial infections. Injecting risk behaviours can include sharing injecting equipment such as needles/syringes, filters and spoons, and reusing one’s own equipment for multiple injections.