Thursday, 25 September 2014

Sharing stories

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has launched a new website Tell Your Story encouraging those who use, have used, or are in any other way involved with alcohol and other drugs to write about their experiences.  The purpose is to provide a platform for people to share their personal stories about drugs and alcohol.

The ANCD chairman Dr John Herron had this to say in the organisation's media release:, “This project is unique in that it seeks the real life experiences with drugs and alcohol from the public. We know already that some stories will inspire others, some will help others to understand that they are not alone and some will be thought provoking and revealing. I am also so pleased that the NGO sector will take on this important work to document and share the contemporary Australian experience with drugs and alcohol. Too often it is a discussion that we fear and try and hide, when the better approach is to be open about our collective experiences. Only then can we fully understand this complex aspect of our lives”

Workers and employers are also encouraged to leave stories.  Stories are moderated and may be edited to ensure no personal details sneak through and that offensive language is removed.  It may take a week for a story to be available on the site.

The stories are freely accessible; there is no log in process.

Visit the Tell Your Story Website here

or read the full media release here.

Another Scottish site that serves a similar function from a mental health perspective is Write to Recovery (brought to our attention by Michelle, Brisbane CAFSS coordinator.  Thanks, Michelle!).  This site also allows free access to stories and has the additional feature of providing writers with tools to help with the writing process.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Two readings for your professional knowledge

The following recently published items may be of professional interest:

Motivational interviewing for alcohol misuse in young adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014

Cochrane's review on the effectiveness of using motivational interviewing (MI) with young people using alcohol.  66 studies, with 17,901 participants, were included in the review.  General findings were that MI was not significantly effective in preventing alcohol misuse.  Although some of the findings were significant the relationship was not particularly strong.  Several limitations of the studies included are discussed and these are worth reading before dismissing MI as an intervention. 

Sexual health and relationships in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: results of the first Australian study of knowledge, risk practices and health service access for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: the goanna survey

This is the first national survey of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) undertaken in Australia.  There were 2,877 respondents aged 16-29yrs.  Respondents indicated a good knowledge of STIs and BBVs.  The report outlines reported sexual behaviour, licit and illicit drug use and injecting practices, STI testing and diagnosis.  

Friday, 5 September 2014

National child protection week

National Child Protection Week begins Sunday 7th September and you can visit the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) website for posters and resources to raise awareness around the week.  There are several printable brochures available through the "Resource Hub" section of the website.

For further resources/reading on the topic see:
ANCD Research paper:
From policy to implementation: child and family sensitive practice in the alcohol and other drugs sector.  (2014) National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction
 Outlines child and family sensitive practice and recommends alcohol and drug organisations :
  • Organisations be encouraged to review and, where appropriate, amend their policies to incorporate clear policies and guidelines on working from a child and family sensitive perspective.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations and child welfare/protection services develop joint protocols and systems that facilitate information sharing about the wellbeing and safety of clients’ children.
  • In the implementation of child and family sensitive practice, consideration be given to the evidence base for good practice, including the exemplars identified as part of this project.
  • When developing and implementing child and family sensitive practice, alcohol and other drugs organisations identify and support champions who can be used to promote the implementation of child and family sensitive practice.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations review and update their current training provision in relation to child and family sensitive practice and ensure that staff are provided with appropriate professional development opportunities.
  • Alcohol and other drugs organisations review and update their clinical supervision guidelines to ensure that they include reference to child and family sensitive practice.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has links to health promotion and practice resources, and publications on family violence.

Gruenert & Tsantefski (2012) Responding to the needs of children and parents in families experiencing alcohol and other drug problems. Prevention Research Quarterly, 17. 

We will have a display of resources in the library during the week.  We'll also be looking at providing resources and information on the topic of child abuse and trauma to tie in with Blue Knot Day, on the 27th October.