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‘Synthetic cannabis’: A dangerous misnomer

image - Shane Darke Square

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.

Patterns of alcohol use in adolescents: early predictors and adulthood outcomes

Wing See Yuen

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.

Injecting risk behaviours amongst people who inject drugs

image - Lucy Tran Square

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.

“Faces of Pain”: A timely reminder to consider the individual circumstances of people living with chronic pain in pain or opioid research

image - Ria Hopkins Square

Chronic pain affects one in five Australian adults, and approximately three million Australian adults use opioid medicines annually1, 2. “Faces of Pain”, the theme of National Pain Week 2020 (27 July - 2 August), reminds us that behind these numbers are people with their own stories, experiences and treatment goals.

What is the Co-Creation of New Knowledge?

Tania Pearce

For the past several years, there has been increased interest in the concept of the co-creation of new knowledge as an approach to more effectively operationalising models of research translation. Co-creation of new knowledge has the potential to combat research waste, increase the research capacity of service providers and improve service delivery.

But what is the co-creation of new knowledge?

SWAB: Safely Wipe Away Bacteria - Findings on injecting practices from the IDRS

image - Daisy Gibbs

A relatively neglected source of day-to-day ill-health among people who inject drugs is bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissue (SSTIs). Usually when we talk about infections among people who inject drugs, we are talking about blood borne viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C. These are highly prevalent in people who inject drugs, and have huge impacts on people’s health. SSTIs, abscesses and cellulitis mostly, receive far less focus even though these are quite common.