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There is no ‘war on drugs’!  Campaigner Tony Wood, Author of ‘ANNA’S STORY’ speaks out!

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What is fentanyl?                   
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.1,2 It is a schedule II prescription drug,3 and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery.4 It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids.5 In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.5,6 Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.
 
Why is fentanyl dangerous?
Opioid receptors are also found in the areas of the brain that control breathing rate. High doses of opioids, especially potent opioids such as fentanyl, can cause breathing to stop completely, which can lead to death.9 The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains fentanyl.6,10 Fentanyl sold on the street can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, which markedly amplifies its potency and potential dangers.11

The medication naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that reverses opioid overdose and restores normal respiration.12Overdoses of fentanyl should be treated immediately with naloxone and may require higher doses to successfully reverse the overdose.10,13
 
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Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in blood

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Marijuana and Teens – Facts (NIDA)

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Cannabis use 'shrinks and rewires' the brain

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Boys who smoke cannabis ‘are four inches shorter’

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The highs that bind: school context, social status and marijuana use.

Vogel M1, Rees CE, McCuddy T, Carson DC.
Abstract: Substance use has been closely linked with the structural characteristics of adolescent social networks. Those who drink, smoke, and use drugs typically enjoy an elevated status among their peers. Rates of substance use vary substantially across schools, and indicators of school structure and climate account for at least part of this variation. Emerging research suggests peer-group processes are contingent on school context, but questions remain regarding the school-level mechanisms which condition the influence of network characteristics on substance use. The present study uses multilevel logistic regression models to examine the moderating influence of school connectedness, school drug culture, and global network density on the association between peer network status and marijuana use. The analyses draw on self, peer, and parental data from a sample of 7,548 high-school aged youth nested within 106 schools participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (mean age = 15.2; % white = 59 %; male = 45 %). The results indicate that school connectedness significantly reduces the effect of social status on marijuana use. This provides evidence that school-level mechanisms can reduce the instrumentality of marijuana consumption in the status attainment process in adolescence.

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The Other Side of Cannabis

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What’s on ‘ICE’

Drivers playing ice roulette as lives in danger on roads

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There is hope the dark cloud can lift for ice addicts

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Cannabis Conundrum Continues…still

This New Study Is Bad News if You're a Marijuana Supporter (GWPH)
Based on a recently released study in the journal Hippocampus, researchers at Northwestern University announced potentially worrisome findings regarding the heavy use of marijuana as an adolescent on users' long-term memory.

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‘High’ Achievers? Cannabis Access and Academic Performance (PDF)
From the conclusion: In this paper, we have investigated how restricting cannabis access affects student achievements. We find that the performance of students who lose legal access to cannabis improves substantially. Our analysis of underlying channels suggests that the effects are specifically driven by an improvement in numerical skills, which existing literature has found to be particularly impaired by cannabis consumption. This provides perhaps the first clear causal evidence of an important positive effect on short term productivity of restricting legal access to cannabis. Our findings also imply that individuals do change their consumption behavior when the legal status of a drug changes.

Long Term Impacts: Cannabis

(Pharmacist/therapist speaks)Cannabis is good for ‘concentration, memory, task, spirituality, meditation etc’ issues

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From drug dealer to sausage celebrity

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Binge drinking as a teenager can damage the brain for LIFE: Alcohol triggers changes to the regions affecting memory and learning
Alcohol exposure in adolescence can cause enduring abnormalities
Can have detrimental effect on a person's memory and ability to learn
And scientists warn binge drinking could also slow emotional maturity

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Your adolescent brain on alcohol: Changes last into adulthood

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How Does Powdered Alcohol Work?


 
Four strategies Big Alcohol uses on social media
RMIT University have followed up with some research on digital and social media marketing of alcohol in sport.

Using social media, alcohol companies urge consumers to embrace alcohol brands as if they are personal friends: these techniques evade marketing regulations and take the branding of consumers to new depths.


In real time, through social media and digital media, alcohol sponsors of sport use four distinct communications strategies or ‘calls’ on consumers of sport and social media: to compete, to collaborate, to celebrate and to consume.

  • The call to compete engages consumers to compete with and against their friends and others to win a prize, frequently alcohol or alcohol branded;
  • In the call to collaborate consumers are engaged by alcohol brands to co-create content (e.g. images and comments)  that is shared on digital sites owned by the brand and can be co-posted on the consumer’s digital platforms, thereby disseminating the brand throughout the consumers’ personal and social networks;
  • The call to celebrate requires the consumer to drink alcohol while basking in the reflected glory of sporting success;
  • The call to consume alcohol normalises drinking as an integral part of the sports experience during the contest or game and afterwards, regardless of whether the team wins or loses.
  • These strategies normalise the connection of alcohol with sport, urge consumers to identify closely with alcohol brands, expose people of all ages to relentless promotion of drinking, and fail to offer any real protection of exposure to young people. RMIT’s report shows how children are caught up in the embrace of alcohol marketing via social media at alcohol sponsored sport events.

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After Years of Daily 'Wake 'n' Bakes' I Faced My Battle with Psychological Weed Addiction 

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What’s on ICE?

Fact check: Are 80,000 Victorians using ice?

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Ice addiction overtaking alcohol as biggest problem facing Indigenous Australians

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‘Gravel’ (New ICE combo drug) is causing major problems for users and hospital personnel


 
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Cannabis Conundrum Continues…still

Users of high potency (“skunk-like”) cannabis are three times as likely to have a psychotic episode as people who never use cannabis, and the risk is fivefold in people who smoke this form of the drug every day, a study published in Lancet Psychiatry this week concludes. High potency cannabis is associated with tripled risk of psychosis, study indicates
BMJ 2015; 350 doi: Read More  (Published 18 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h939
 
IS SMOKED MARIJUANA MEDICINE? THE SCIENCE REMAINS HAZY

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Associations between cigarette smoking and cannabis dependence: A longitudinal study of young cannabis users in the United Kingdom.
Hindocha C1, Shaban ND2, Freeman TP2, Das RK2, Gale G2, Schafer G2, Falconer CJ3, Morgan CJ4, Curran HV2.
AIMS:
To determine the degree to which cigarette smoking predicts levels of cannabis dependence above and beyond cannabis use itself, concurrently and in an exploratory four-year follow-up, and to investigate whether cigarette smoking mediates the relationship between cannabis use and cannabis dependence.
CONCLUSIONS:
Cigarette smoking is related to concurrent cannabis dependence independently of cannabis use frequency. Cigarette smoking also mediates the relationship between cannabis use and cannabis dependence suggesting tobacco is a partial driver of cannabis dependence in young people who use cannabis and tobacco.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.  For more data go to…

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Synthetic cannabis users report feeling like they are going to die
One in 10 synthetic cannabis users have described "feeling like they were either going to die or that they had died already" in a new survey into the use of the drug.

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Big Tobacco 2.0:The Cannabis Con continues

Colorado Cannabis Chaos!

CLEARING THE HAZE
“….The ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered. It was promised regulation and has been met by an industry that fights tooth and nail any restrictions that limit its profitability.”  Ben Cort, Director of Professional Relations for the Center for Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation at the University Of Colorado Hospital

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REGULATION STILL INEFFECTIVE
But how it would work was described only in general terms and sound bites before voters headed to the polls to make a decision Gov. John Hickenlooper later would call "reckless" and "a bad idea" and new Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman declared "not worth it" to dozens of state attorneys general last month.

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NO APPROVED MEDICINE IN MARIJUANA
Dr. Stuart Gitlow, a physician serving as president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, does not mince words: "There is no such thing at this point as medical marijuana," he said. It's a point he has made routinely for the past decade, as advocates for marijuana legalization have claimed the drug treats an array of serious illnesses, or the symptoms of illnesses, including cancer, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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LEGALIZATION DIDN’T UNCLOG PRISONS
Of all the misunderstandings about marijuana's impact on the country, perhaps none is greater than the belief that America's courts, prisons and jails are clogged with people whose only offense was marijuana use. This is the perception, but statistics show few inmates are behind bars strictly for marijuana-related offenses, and legalization of the drug will do little to affect America's growing incarceration numbers.

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DRUG USE A PROBLEM FOR EMPLOYERS
"This is a very troublesome issue for our industry, but I do not see us bending or lowering our hiring standards," Johnson said. "Our workplaces are too dangerous and too dynamic to tolerate drug use. And marijuana? In many ways, this is worse than alcohol. I'm still in shock at how we (Colorado) voted. Everyone was asleep at the wheel."

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