Professor Shane Darke's book, The Life of the Heroin User: Typical Beginnings, Trajectories and Outcomes, was launched in 2011 by former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop, who described it as "social science at its best".
Eighteen months on and the book is now available in German:
The Drum today published a piece by Professor Louisa Degenhardt on the increase in deaths from prescription opioids, with a focus on the many varied factors contributing to the problem and to potential solutions. Here, we republish the piece in its entirety.
The harm caused by prescription opioids has captured the media's attention in recent weeks.
This article was first published in the April 26, 2013 edition of Medical Observer. It was written by NDARC academic Professor Louisa Degenhardt.
Chronic, non-cancer pain will become an increasing health and social burden.
Around 20% of the population suffers from chronic pain. Among those 55 and older, it is one in four men and nearly one in three women.1 Arthritis, rheumatism, back and neck problems are the most common conditions causing pain.
The body responsible for regulating drugs in Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is poised to decide whether to restrict access to benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium and Normison.
Generally speaking, if a population drinks more, then there are more heavy drinkers and more harm from alcohol (similarly if a population drinks less, there will be less harm). But this link now appears to be unravelling.
NDARC's research interviews with regular ecstasy users provide some insight into how drug use differs between those who identify as heterosexual versus those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT).
When did you have your first drink of alcohol?
Data tell us Australian men typically have their first drink at 14 years of age, a figure that has changed little between the years of the baby boomers to the times of 'Gen Y'.
But if you're female, your answer is likely to differ to that given by your mum, grandmother or daughter. While women born between 1953-1962 tended to have their first drink at age 17, lagging behind their male counterparts, girls these days have caught up to the boys and typically have their first drink at age 14.