Responding to emerging psychoactive substances: What do workers need to know? - Cameron Francis - DrugInfo seminar - New and emerging drugs
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Responding to emerging psychoactive substances: What do workers need to know? - Cameron Francis - DrugInfo seminar - New and emerging drugs

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Dovetail is a Queensland based service which provides clinical advice and professional support to workers and services across Queensland who engage with young people affected by alcohol and other drug ...

Dovetail is a Queensland based service which provides clinical advice and professional support to workers and services across Queensland who engage with young people affected by alcohol and other drug use. This presentation will provide an overview of the types of requests for support received from workers across Queensland who are encountering young people who use emerging psychoactive substances. Some of the specific questions Dovetail has received will be described, as well as the advice that we have for frontline staff working in this area. Tips for assessing for the use of emerging psychoactive substances will be provided, including the types of questions workers can use to help identify emerging psychoactive substance use amongst their clients.

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Responding to emerging psychoactive substances: What do workers need to know? - Cameron Francis - DrugInfo seminar - New and emerging drugs Responding to emerging psychoactive substances: What do workers need to know? - Cameron Francis - DrugInfo seminar - New and emerging drugs Presentation Transcript

  • Emerging Psychoactive Substances: What do workers need to know? Cameron Francis Social Worker
  • Firstly, what is Dovetail? Dovetail provides clinical advice and professional support to workers, services and communities across Queensland who engage with young people affected by alcohol and drug use
  • Service Practice Improvement Toolkit 3 Good Practice Guides • 3 more to come… – Working with Families and Significant Others – Improving Services and Service Systems – Culturally Secure Practice with Indigenous Young People
  • General Support & Assistance • By phone • By email • In person
  • • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs Majority of calls were regarding synthetic cannabinoids • Many of these calls were questions about legal status: “Where are they accessing these things from?” • Several calls from mental health units regarding inpatients: – Psychotic symptoms – Continuing to use while inpatient – Not being detected by Urine Drug Screen – Some patients told staff they were using “Kronic”, but staff were unaware what this was
  • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs • Several calls on slang terms / product brand names: – Blue Neo, Charlotte’s Drug, Fuse, NRG-1, Bath Salts / Plant Food, PV • We spend a lot of time with Google
  • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs • Most common calls were for: – “What is the current legal status of ……” • Difficult for us to answer, because we often didn’t know either! • We had to keep an eye on the what the law said, but also on the way it was being applied in practice • This involved regular contact with our friends in the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health
  • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs • We also have received a number of calls regarding various plants – Hawaiian Baby Woodrose – Salvia divinorum – DMT
  • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs • Random anecdotes such as: – Worker in regional Queensland reported that during recent Schoolies Week celebrations a group of young people had purchased a herbal product from a shop. The young people reported that they were advised by the person in the shop that the herbal product works best when mixed with alcohol. All were hospitalised for severe nausea / vomiting.
  • Calls to Dovetail for Info on Emerging Drugs • Lots of random anecdotes such as: – A service which was treating someone who’d been a daily user of (suspected) MDPV for approximately 12 months – As the service was unaware of what MDPV was, they’d been utilising opiate detox protocols to guide their treatment
  • Tips for workers • We have a credibility gap that we need to overcome • Young people are sceptical about previous drug messages which haven’t matched their lived experience of substance use • Media reporting tends to be hysterical which contributes to the credibility gap • We need to re-build credibility by: – Accepting pleasure seeking and other positive reasons for substance use – Acknowledging the actual lived experience of substance use for many young people – Focusing on realistic potential harms, not just
  • Tips for workers • As well as asking your clients about the traditional drugs people use, you might want to add an extra question like “Do you use any herbal supplements, or herbal highs? Party Pills? Legal highs?” • Get the brand name (you can google it later on) • Ask what it was sold to them as, eg “legal pot” or “just like ecstasy” • Ask for a description of the subjective effects, eg Stimulant? Depressant? Hallucinogen?
  • For more information: (07) 3837 5621 like us on facebook! Or follow us on Twitter: “DovetailQLD”