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The humane approach to opioids

Chronic pain

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.

Alcohol misuse: not just a problem for men

Women and alcohol

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. 

Ecstasy, sex and STIs

Young couple, regular ecstasy users

As part of our annual Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) survey, researchers ask regular ecstasy users about their sexual health, including whether they get tested for sexual transmitted infections (STIs), what STIs (if any) they have, and if they have sex under the influence of drugs.

Our colleagues at the Burnett Institute put together the last five years of data (2007 – 2012). There were some interesting findings:

Curbing a community's drinking: a police sergeant's perspective

Alcohol fuelled fighting.

Last week saw the launch of the findings from the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project at NSW State Parliament House. The project involved 20 NSW towns, half of which implemented community-led interventions designed to minimise alcohol-related problems (violence, crime etc), and 10 of which were ‘controls’ and did not receive any interventions.