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Harm reduction in Australian prisons: too little, too late, too inconsistent

The Canberra Times has today reported on six fresh cases of hepatitis C acquired at the ACT’s Alexander Maconochie Centre jail since December. But will they be the tipping point to finally persuade authorities to do “the right thing” and provide sterile injecting equipment in prisons, asks NDARC’s veteran prisons researcher Professor Kate Dolan?

Decline in sharing & reuse of injecting equipment

With the release of the 2011 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) national report just around the corner, it’s an ideal time to recognise some of the heartening changes uncovered by the 2011 survey.

Among them are the shifts observed in the injecting behaviour of injecting drug users. Those reporting sharing of injecting equipment other than needles (such as spoons, filters, tourniquets and swabs) was significantly lower in 2011 than in 2010, dropping from 39% of those surveyed to 25%.

Cannabis research paper among world's best

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A paper on the Cannabis Withdrawal Scale by researchers from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) has been named one of the top 10 addiction articles of the past year.

The scale, developed by NCPIC’s Professor Jan Copeland, Dr David Allsop and Dr Melissa Norberg in collaboration with Professor Alan Budney from the University of Arkansas, helps clinicians monitor the course and severity of cannabis withdrawal symptoms and determine which interventions would help patients quit successfully.

Decriminalisation or legalisation: injecting evidence in the drug law reform debate

We should all be concerned about our laws on illegal drugs because they affect all of us – people who use drugs; who have family members using drugs; health professionals seeing people for drug-related problems; ambulance and police officers in the front line of drug harms; and all of us who pay high insurance premiums because drug-related crime is extensive.