Blogs

A global picture of injecting drug use, HIV and anti-HCV prevalence among people who inject drugs, and coverage of harm reduction interventions

image - Sarah Larney

Understanding how many people inject drugs is critically important for the effective provision of public health and harm reduction services. However, the severe stigma that is often attached to injecting drug use, and illicit nature of this behaviour, means that it is often difficult to have a clear picture of how many people inject drugs in a given nation or region.

The New Zealand 2017 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium

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There is a lot that Australian governments could learn from New Zealand. I had the pleasure of participating in the New Zealand 2017 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium, held on 5-6 July, 2017.  The purpose of the Symposium was to bring together community leaders, politicians, experts, practitioners and people with lived experience to discuss a new healthy approach to drug policy and drug laws.

Australia should stop beefing up its steroid laws – that won’t help users

image - Katinka Van De Ven 280

The use of image and performance enhancing drugs – in particular steroids – is a growing area of concern globally. The use of these drugs has traditionally been limited to elite athletes and professional bodybuilders. But now their use is becoming normalised as part of a fitness and beauty regime for people who want to gain muscle, become leaner, and improve their appearance.

A universal approach to preventing substance use and mental health problems among adolescents

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More than 6000 students from 71 schools recruited in 2014 as 13 and 14 year olds are participating in a unique ongoing study investigating the effectiveness of Internet-Based Prevention for Anxiety, Depression and Substance Use in Young People. The Climate Schools Combined (CSC) Study represents the latest in a collaborative program of work led by Professor Maree Teesson and Dr Nicola Newton aimed at preventing substance use and mental health problems among Australian youth.

Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal

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It is generally thought that opiate withdrawal is unpleasant but not life-threatening, but death can, and does, occur. The complications of withdrawal are often underestimated and monitored inadequately.

The opioid withdrawal syndrome is often characterised as a flu-like illness, subjectively severe but objectively mild. Signs and symptoms include dysphoria, insomnia, pupillary dilation, piloerection, yawning, muscle aches, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, nausea, fever, sweating, vomiting and diarrhoea.