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Drug Checking: Principles of Practice.
A model for Victoria 

MAY 2024

Harm Reduction Victoria and the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association are pleased to publish the paper Drug Checking: Principles of Practice. A Model for Victoria.

This paper has been written by Professor Kate Seear in consultation with sector experts who have experience in running drug checking services along with people who are likely to use such a service.

The paper presents a preferred model for drug checking in Victoria, providing principles for equitable access, an approach to reducing harms for those intending to use drugs, and the establishment of a real time public alert system that can keep our community safe.

It provides the Victorian Government with expert advice on a best practice model, with budgetary considerations and guiding principles to inform how such a service should operate.

Whilst drug checking is often associated with festivals and events where substances may be consumed, it has broader application, as identified by the Coroners Court with most fatalities related to dangerous substances occurring outside of a festival setting. Drug checking has now been recommended in seven Victorian coronial findings.

The paper proposes a fixed site drug checking service in Melbourne where people can attend to have a sample examined, with mobile vans in place to outreach to regional and rural communities.  The service would be part of a wider public early warning system, which would allow health authorities to communicate in real time should the presence of hazardous additive substances be identified

"Drug checking services never recommend that a substance is completely safe to use."

 

Drug Checking provides individuals an opportunity to see what they are taking and the chance to reconsider consuming it if they find adulterants or toxic doses in it.

International evidence shows that up to 86% of people will discard a substance should they be informed that it is adulterated.

A drug checking service for Victoria is smart public health policy. It will reduce the possibility of exposure to and use of toxic cutters and adulterants and provide an early warning system for the State to communicate about hazardous substances that are in the community before more people are exposed which reduces demand on our overburdened health system and first responders. Help our communities to help ourselves.

Importantly it is an essential frontline defence against the threat of potent synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and nitazenes, which continue to bear catastrophic consequences overseas.

Harm Reduction Victoria and the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association are committed to working with the Victorian Government to reduce the harms of drug prohibition  in our community through evidence informed, health and peer led solutions.

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23 April 2024

Listen to People Who Use Drugs:  
More Injecting Rooms & More Peer Leadership!

The HRVic response to the

Hon. Jacinta Allan’s

‘Statewide Action Plan to Reduce the Harms of Drug Use' 

We express our deep disappointment at the announcement by the Victorian Government to reject a second injecting room in the Melbourne CBD. The lack of safe spaces to consume drugs is driving overdose rates and resulting in significant harms to our community.

The government has instead announced a “State-Wide Action Plan To Save Lives and Reduce Drug Harm”, that includes a range of measures to address overdoses across the state; including more pharmacotherapy, naloxone and “care and support”, as well as starting the development of a statewide AOD strategy. Essentially implementing all of the recommendations in the Ken Lay report, “except for one” - a second injecting room.

“These are welcome investments; although they would be more effective alongside an injecting room. We will be watching closely to ensure that people who use drugs; the actual community of people directly affected by this issue; are meaningfully included in the design and implementation of all of these new investments.” - Sione Crawford, CEO of Harm Reduction Victoria.

We know that operating large, Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms, such as the one in North Richmond, is an expensive and logistically complicated operation. We know that the Victorian Government was unable to convince businesses and residents in the CBD to overcome their fear and stigma around these services.  

But what we also know; is that these injecting rooms don’t have to be so large, so expensive and so medically supervised. Successful examples from around the world involve fewer medical staff, less clinical oversight and an expanded role for peer support and community-based harm reduction interventions. These are ultimately less expensive and more effective.

“The Government’s new State-Wide Action Plan and forthcoming drug strategy must include many, smaller, peer-based safer drug consumption spaces. This will reduce the burden on amenity in surrounding areas and truly empower people who use drugs to keep ourselves, our friends and our communities safe from overdose and drug-related harms.”

For further comment, contact Harm Reduction Victoria:  (03) 9329 1500

 


 

A pink and white capsule sold as ‘3C-P’ in Melbourne contains the potent opioid protonitazene.

 

The Department of Health has issued a new Drug Alert about a pink and white capsule or white powder sold as ‘3C-P’ or  in Melbourne containing the potent opioid protonitazene.

Opioids are central nervous system depressants, typically producing a range of effects including pain relief, sedation and respiratory depression (dangerously slow breathing).

 

Respiratory depression often appears more quickly with novel synthetic opioids (NSOs), increasing the risk of life-threatening overdose.

Protonitazene is an extremely potent NSO, which means it can produce strong effects in very small amounts. 

There has been one serious recent hospitalisation in Victoria associated with this pink and white capsule.

Due to the potency of NSOs, the product produces strong adverse opioid effects such as loss of consciousness, respiratory depression, and life-threatening hypoxia (insufficient oxygen for normal functioning).

It’s important to know the signs of opioid overdose and to carry naloxone to reverse opioid overdose.

HRVic has naloxone available for FREE from our NSP at 299-305 Victoria St Brunswick. We can also do one on one training with you if you don't know how to use. Or check out our info on naloxone on our 'Recognise & Respond to Overdose' page. 

Anyone who experiences adverse drug effects or is present when someone has an unexpected reaction to a drug should seek help immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

Frankston
Healthcare
Clinic

06.03.2024
No further updates.

 

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More Harm Reduction and Healthcare,
Not more Cops and Dogs at Festivals 

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17.01.2024

Community Statement Re. MDMA & Heat and Drug Checking in VIC in 2024

After the recent unfortunate hospitalisations at last week's music festivals due to a mix of mostly MDMA and hot weather, community and experts are crying out for a change but despite this outcry and the coroner's ongoing recommendations for drug checking in Victoria, it feels like we are no closer to drug-checking.

 

On the ABC Melbourne morning radio show yesterday, the Premier was asked straight up, when we will get drug checking in our state. The good news is she did not rule it out. She also namechecked our amazing program, DanceWize.

DanceWize-a harm reduction event care program, run by Harm Reduction Victoria, was contracted to provide peer led event care and drug harm reduction education at both events, however, with our 25 extensively trained community volunteers, 2 paid staff, and limited resources, it's tough. We handed out free water, sunscreen, and gave harm reduction advice to the 35k strong crowds, but reaching everyone is always a challenge.

DanceWize is a vital frontline service, relying on dedicated community volunteers from all backgrounds for peer harm reduction advice and personalised care at events.

The government's move to increase Police sniffer dog (PAD) and search operations was short-sighted, making people more likely to take drugs in riskier ways.

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Harm Reduction Victoria and DanceWize: HardMission 2023
Medical Episodes

Media Statement 08.01.2024

Sione Crawford, Harm Reduction Victoria CEO said, “In the absence of a legal drug-checking service in Victoria, DanceWize is one of the only ways to help keep people safe when they take illicit drugs at festivals in our state, but we already stretch ourselves to keep up with demand.”  

DanceWize was contracted to provide peer-based harm reduction health promotion and a care space for patrons, for the HardMission event on Saturday the 6th of January.

Our thoughts are with the people who were affected by the adverse health events, as well as their friends and family and the health care workers involved. None of the eight medical episodes that were escalated to critical care by the medical services involved the DanceWize service or volunteers. We work closely with medical services and it appears that this stressful circumstance was handled very well.

COMMUNITY ALERT

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⚠️WARNING!!⚠️
Stronger than usual heroin seems to be in circulation across Narrm/metro Melbourne city and outer suburbs to the Geelong area.
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There have been multiple reports of very strong gear across all areas of Melbourne, and some from Geelong as well.
❗️Please be careful and look after each other while using!

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❗️Check on anyone that you come across who appears to be passed out (e.g. on the street, public transport etc.

Please don't worry about waking or 'bothering' someone if you could be saving their life!


❗️CALL 000 IMMEDIATELY if you can not wake them.
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WHAT DOES OPIOID OVERDOSE LOOK LIKE?
🔵discoloured skin (blue or ashen/grey), often around the mouth
😮‍💨shallow or slowed breathing (less than 12 breaths per minute)
🥶cold, clammy skin
🤮vomit or choking
😴snoring/gurgling (sometimes called a “death rattle”)
😵UNRESPONSIVE or NO CLEAR RESPONSE
.

HOW TO AVOID OVERDOSE?
❗️Try not to use alone!❗️
If alone, let someone know you’re going to use, and have a plan in place for what to do if they can’t get in touch with you (e.g., call 000!!)
.
❗️Start low, go slow!❗️
If using from a different or unknown source, or if your regular source has a new batch, half your dose the first time. You can always use more.
.
❗️Carry naloxone!❗️
Naloxone temporarily REVERSES the effects of heroin. It’s available from some pharmacies for FREE, and you can now get it from most NSPs (Needle Syringe Programs) INCLUDING from us.
.
❤️ Come see us at 299-305 Victoria St, Brunswick. We’ve got naloxone and will show you how to use it – it only takes a few minutes! We can also provide you with sterile, new injecting equipment including water for injecting and assorted filters (and more!), chat about other ways to lessen risk around using, and anything else you wanna talk about. We’re here every weekday from 10.30am – 5.30pm.
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❤️ Stay safe, look out for each other!

 

Let us know if you have come across, or heard of others who have so we can keep our community informed and ALIVE. 


#drugalert #heroin #communityPSA #carrynaloxone #stopoverdose

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Let’s get real and reform the cannabis laws in Victoria.

28 November 2023
Press Release  

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Harm Reduction Victoria is dedicated to the fight for health, wellbeing and respect for all people who use drugs in Victoria. The Legalise Cannabis Party’s proposed amendments to the drug laws to allow adult use and cultivation of cannabis is an important step forward to undo the harms of drug prohibition.

Drug prohibition and criminalisation has been a total policy failure that disproportionately harms the most marginalised in our society and policing still overwhelmingly targets possession and use:

In Victoria, “cannabis accounted for almost 40% of all drug use and possession offences recorded in the year to March 2016”.[1] During the 2017–18 period there were 9,675 arrests for cannabis.[2] “The rate of cannabis offences in Victoria per 100,000 population has also increased significantly over the past ten years from 109 offences per 100,000 in 2006 to 142 offences in 2016”.[3] Cannabis was the drug most commonly associated with use and possession offences, accounting for 49% of all use and possession offences over the ten year period[4]. More recent data from 2020 and 2021 shows the number of cannabis drug offences increasing. [5]

Despite the increasing access to medicinal cannabis in Victoria – non-medical users are still subject to high, and growing, rates of criminalisation.
 

Sione Crawford, Harm Reduction Victoria’s CEO says, “This is unjust and needs to change. Over 680,000 Victorians have used cannabis in the last year, it’s time to legalise personal use, cultivation and personal sharing of cannabis. We call on the Government to pass the Legalise Cannabis Party’s Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Regulation of Personal Adult Use of Cannabis) Bill 2023.”

Media contact please call 03 9329 1500, or email admin@hrvic.org.au
 

[1] Crime Statistics Agency Victoria (2016) ‘Use and possession offences by drug type in Victoria’, media release: https://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/use-and-possession-offences-by-drug-type-in-victoria#content

[2] ACIC ibid, p.51, Fig. 222.

[3] Paul Sutherland and Melanie Millsteed (2016) What drug types drove increases in drug use and possession offences in Victoria over the past Decade? p. 5: https://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/ embridge_cache/emshare/original/public/2016/07/b1/e4c026718/08072016_Inbrief5_FINAL.pdf

[4] Sentencing Advisory Council of Victoria (2018) Trends in Minor Drug Offences Sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, p.10: https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sites/default/ files/2019-08/Trends_in_Minor_Drug_Offences_Sentenced_in_the_Magistrates_Court.pdf

[5] Crime Statistics Agency Victoria (2023), Retrieved Nov, 2023: https://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/crime-statistics/latest-victorian-crime-data/recorded-offences-2

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In Solidarity.

In Solidarity.

OCT 25.2023:
Statement of Support of DULF & Condemnation of DULF founders sudden arrest

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DRUG CHECKING:
VIC DRUG LAW REFORM

77 agencies want a drug checking system in Victoria -aligning with 4 Victorian coronial findings. This will save lives and provide vital information on potentially harmful adulterants that may be in substances prior to consumption.

 

#drugchecking #harmreduction #sayknowtodrugs #wedeservetochoose #drugcheckinginvictoria #druglawreform

The statement can be found here from 8.30am Monday 23 October: 

The Voice 
Referendum-
On OCT 14th 2023
Australians will be asked to write the answer “yes” or “no” to this question:

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“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this change?”

The Voice Referendum is approaching quickly and alot of us have alot of questions around it as we should. HRVic thought we'd share some links to some leading Victorian Aboriginal organisations and their links that can help answer some of your questions and to find out about your options and why it's not a black and white subject.

VACCHO is the peak representative for Community controlled health and wellbeing sector of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.

What is the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and how would it work?    -The ABC

CLOTHING THE GAPS  is an Aboriginal social enterprise uniting people through fashion and cause. Producing merch with a message and encouraging people to wear their values on their tee.

We exist to Educate, Elevate, Advocate and Motivate. This is the resources list from the Clothing The Gaps website: There are a lot of great resources around to learn more about Voice, Treaty and Truth.

We shared the resources below from the Clothing the Gaps website for you but as they state, the below resources are a great place to start, but it is not an exhaustive list.

Voice Principles | The Voice for neutral information on the referendum. 

Passing the Message Stick winning transformative change now and beyond the referendum.

Australian Government - The Voice 

The Dialogues - The Uluru Statement

Yes 23

Reconciliation Australia - Voice to Parliamen

Australian Government - Your Official Yes|No pamphlet - The documents are not fact-checked, and are published exactly as they were submitted to the AEC.

RMIT Voice Fact Checkers

Voice to Parliament Referendum in Auslan

Please add any resources that you'd like to share to the comments section as this isnt an exhaustive list.

Clothing the Gaps have an awesome podcast on their website which covers a few questions community may have around the Voice , called " Two Blak Grassroots Campaigners answer your referendum questions about a First Nations Voice to parliament.! on their podcast here: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1881264.rss Worth a listen https://www.clothingthegaps.com.au/.../voice-treaty-truth...

July 5, 2023

Expressions Of Interest

The Royal Commission into the Victorian Mental Health System, highlighted that lived experience led service delivery and partnership in decision making is a key strategy for reform.

 

The lived experience leadership strategy project will encompass lived & living experience leadership across Mental health, AOD and Harm Reduction, and will seek to answer questions about LE workforce, partnership, leadership and the barriers needing to be overcome to guide the LE leadership strategy

The Department of Health has been funded SHARC to engage, contract and support LE technical experts to contribute and help guide the project coordinator around the LLE technical experts areas of expertise:

  • Mental Health – Consumers

  • Mental Health – Family & Carers

  • AOD – Consumers

  • AOD – Family & Carers

  • Harm Reduction

EOIs CLOSED

The LE leadership strategy project is seeking a number of experienced LE technical experts with extensive experience in working from a lived or living experience particularly at a strategic and systems level.

A call for expression of interest is now open, see document attached, EOI form needs to be completed  and sent in by end of day 23rd July 2023

For more information contact people are on page 6 of the EOI document. (ABOVE)

Are you prescribed Methadone (liquid), Buprenorphine (Suboxone® / Subutex®) 
or paying for a monthly/weekly Buvidal® or Sublocade® injection at this Chemist? 

CHANGE IS COMING
JULY 01 2023

FAQs

If you have further questions, call the office on 03-93291500 or if you are having trouble call HRVic’s PAMS free phone service on 1800 443 844 (Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5PM) 
or click on the Australian Government's Department of Health & Aged Care PDF here >

Our National peak organisation AIVL is holding an ONLINE Consumers Forum on the changes to ODT (Opioid Dependence Treatment) dosing fees on Friday 30 June at 3pm.

Register HERE to attend this online Q&A forum for anyone on pharmacotherapy

HRVic @ HR23 16-19 APRIL 2023

HRVic SOCIAL MEDIA

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Nth Richmond Injecting Room To STAY! 

Victoria’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) in North Richmond will become an ongoing service, with critical support services expanded, after an independent review found the trial has saved 63 lives – successfully managing almost 6,000 overdoses, taking pressure off local hospitals and reducing ambulance call outs.

The Victorian Government will today introduce legislation to establish the health service as an ongoing service – with immediate measures to be taken to further boost safety and amenity in the North Richmond precinct and increase wrap-around supports for MSIR clients.

READ MORE FROM DEPT HERE

HRVic's Response

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‘It ‘s Your Right’ - Hep C Treatment Campaign

HRVic’s Social Media Picture Competition

Harm Reduction Victoria and EC Australia are launching It’s Your Right to promote hepatitis C treatment to Victorians.

 

We are working towards eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat in Australia.

 

We want people to know the treatments have changed! They are easier, can be done whether you are currently using or not, can be done if you’ve been treated before and that there are good places to go for support.

 

It's Your Right will be running from Sept 1st through to November 30th in these areas:  Inner, Northern and Western suburbs of Melbourne, Geelong and Corio.  

Here’s how to enter:⁠

1. FIND an It's Your Right' ad out in its natural habitat.

2. SNAP a selfie WITH the ad (you can cover your face if you like)

3.POST the pic of yourself with your found 'It's Your Right' hep C treatment Ad 

4. TAG both @harmreductionvictoria and @hrvic_hpteam to be entered to win.⁠

5. Use the hashtags #itsyourright  #Treatyourself or #hepCfree in the caption to be noticed.

6. SHARE with your mates- If you all enter you have a better chance of winning then split the cash!

 

7.WATCH for our WINNER ANNOUNCEMENTS ON INSTA /FB/TWITTER and TIKTOK around Oct 30th to see if you’re one of our lucky winners.!!!

You can enter as many photos as you like as there are a number of different ads to find all over Melbourne.

To celebrate the Victorian launch of EC Australia's  "IT"S YOUR RIGHT" hepatitis C treatment campaign, HRVic are giving away three amazing prize packs! 

What's the catch?

You will need to find as many of the 'It's Your Right' campaign ads that are dotted around the  Melbourne and Geelong areas.

To make finding them easier we will give you 2 hints a week on our social media stories so keep an eye out and be sure to FOLLOW US, LIKE and SHARE with your mates!  

 

BUT WHAT DO YOU GET?

1. The GRAND 'YOU FLOODED OUR INSTA FEED' - PRIZE Pack winner gets $450 CASH MONEY!! to do what thou wilt with! 

2.  The 'GOOD ON YOU MATE! ' Encouragement Prize Pack winner gets $250 CASH

and lastly the

3. The 'WE BELIEVE IN YOU' Prize Pack winner gets $100 bucks.

This last prize is voted on by our social media followers and our peers- this is a community choice photo winner We are looking for the most interesting location or funniest pose with the ad etc. 

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OVERDOSES
KEEP ON
KILLING US-

IT'S TIME
TO CHANGE

Harm Reduction Victoria

PUBLIC STATEMENT

31 AUGUST

Intl. Overdose Awareness Day

DOWNLOAD
Complete IOAD Rally 2022 Promo Kit 

Incl. social media tiles, posters, flyer and FB profile frame

DOWNLOAD
Flyer ONLY .pdf

to print

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CULTURAL WARNING:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following post contains the names and stories of proud Aboriginal women now resting in the Dreaming.

The Inquest into the death of
Ronnie Nelson Began This Week....

Veronica M Nelson: Inquest (vals.org.au)

This case is imperative- firstly, to ensure justice for Veronica and secondly, for many of us, past and present, in the community.

We at Harm Reduction Victoria are watching this inquest carefully to understand whether her health status is seen to have impacted on how she was treated and why it appears that basic duties of care were not followed in our Victorian system.

This affects too many of us in similar situations.

Video Presentation

The NarcoFeminism Story Share Project
22.03.22

HRVic are proud to share with our community, this amazing new video featuring the narcofeminism story share model of the North Carolina Urban Survivors Union. In this video we hear from womxn who use drugs as they share stories about their drug use, stigma, discrimination, pregnancy and parenting. 

Watch the video herehttps://youtu.be/PnGcnR5eI8s

Or listen to it as a podcast here: 

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3LNsjjkJ4FQCo8ZRxEUWY5?si=UBR64KnbSxCnJEhpSBIolQ

The story share model is an important tool for deconstructing the internalized narratives around the drug war.  

Traditional story share models often reinforce tropes and stigma we find in existing cultural narrative projects.  Reproductive Harm Reduction is an inclusive powerful new paradigm focused on pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, and it was born from the Narcofeminism story share experience.

 

Thank you so much to Louise Vincent for conceptualizing and coordinating this video, and to Drugreporter for overseeing the editing and production. 

AWARDS 

2019 Alcohol and Other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards Melbourne 24th June

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These awards encourage, recognise and celebrate the achievements of the incredible people and organisations that do exceptional work to prevent and reduce the harm and impact of alcohol and other drugs in Australia. Nominations are open to all people and organisations working across the health and wellbeing sectors in Australia. Visit our website for full details and to nominate: https://adf.org.au/programs/2019-aod-awards/

January 22, 2020 - 

AIHW REPORT: ­­­Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

MEDIA RELEASES & REPORTS

AIHW Report: Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, and includes key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations. Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted.​

To access the report go to: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia/contents/priority-populations/older-people

January 09 2019 - 

MEDIA RELEASE: ­­­MONKEY's MUST BE DEVELOPING OUR DRUG POLICIES: MEDIA'S MORAL PANIC OVER ‘Monkey Dust’ – AGAIN...(and again)

WHAT DO WE KNOW?

WHAT IS IT: MDPV [3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone] is a euphoric stimulant with effects reported to be similar to methylphenidate at low doses and cocaine at higher doses. It is most likely toxic to the cardiovascular and cognitive systems. It is pure white to light-brown clumpy powder with a slight odor, that often changes properties when exposed to air.

DURATION: The MDPV experience lasts around 2-4 hours, taking effect between 30 minutes and 2 hours after administration. The experience may last longer with higher doses, which are also riskier to health. Do not redose before two hours after administration.

DOSE: MDPV can be insufflated (snorted), taken orally or rectally (shelved). Doses for insufflation range from 2mg-5mg  for a light effect to 10mg-20mg for a strong effect. Oral doses are similar, with a light dose range between 4mg-10mg and a stronger dose of 12mg-25mg.
MDPV is widely reported to lead to compulsive redosing, which many people have found to lead them into difficulties with this substance.

 

Author: Nick Wallis,

DanceWize Officer, Harm Reduction Victoria

 

[1] [https://theconversation.com/wont-somebody-think-of-the-children-five-reasons-why-drug-panics-are-counterproductive-50078]

[2] [https://www.smh.com.au/national/encouraging-ignorance-why-pill-testing-should-go-ahead-20190107-p50q0s.html]

[3] [https://www.9news.com.au/2019/01/08/09/17/monkey-dust-news-party-drug-warning-australia]

[4] [https://au.news.yahoo.com/violent-side-effects-cheap-monkey-dust-drug-infiltrating-australia-134951819.html]

[5] [https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/MDPV]

[6] [https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bath-salts-drug-ingredient-to-be-made-illegal-1.1247255]

[7] [https://adf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ADF-PreventionResearch-Apr13.pdf]

[8] [https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/780d/88ba150e20504bb79554b35b935c861507a6.pdf]

[9] [https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/fears-over-killer-new-drug-monkey-dust/news-story/808bd343d513bb63d08f945c85f430ef]

[10] https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lrrcsc/inquiries/article/2809

[11] http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/num_act/dpacsmaa201740o2017683/

[12] [https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1559072/synthetic-drugs-a-losing-battle/]

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE:

'MONKEY DUST' (MDPV) RESOURCE

November 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: MY HEALTH RECORD- SUPPORT FOR 12-MONTH EXTENSION TO OPT-OUT PERIOD FOR ‘MY HEALTH RECORD’

November 2018- UPDATE

MEDIA RELEASE: MY HEALTH RECORD- SUPPORT FOR 12-MONTH EXTENSION TO OPT-OUT PERIOD FOR ‘MY HEALTH RECORD’

Minister for Health Greg Hunt just tweeted: "Today the Government worked with the Senate crossbench to extend the opt-out period for #MyHealthRecord. The opt-out period will be extended until January 31, 2019..."

Harm Reduction Victoria’s peak body, the Australian and Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) has joined a growing chorus of community groups supporting Australian Senate moves to extend the opt-out period for the ‘My Health Record’ by 12 months.

 

Sione Crawford

Chief Executive Officer

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE:

June 2018

REPORT: Groovin The Moo, ACT- Pill testing pilot 2018 

Download and read PDF here. 

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCE:

09 May 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)

 

HEALTH BUDGET: A GOOD START BUT MORE TO DO ON DRUG SUPPORT SERVICES

 

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) has welcomed some additional funding for drug treatment in tonight's Federal Budget but is disappointed that other key harm reduction measures have missed out.  AIVL is calling on the Australian Government to abandon its planned trial of drug testing for welfare recipients and redirect that funding into frontline services in the wake of the Budget.  AIVL is also calling for a stronger focus on people exiting custodial settings to strengthen Australia's efforts under the new national blood borne virus (BBV) and sexually transmissible infections (STI) strategies.

 

"While the Government will provide $40M over 3 years to expand GP services ($20M) and provide additional funding for residential rehabilitation services ($20M), further investment will be required to ensure that the alcohol and other drug (AOD) service system is able to meet existing demand.  Just yesterday, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to implementing a trial of drug testing for welfare recipients in its majority report for the inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018.  However, the inquiry report is filled with expert testimony urging the Government not to proceed.  We would like to see the funding that has been allocated for drug testing of welfare recipients redirected into frontline services," explained Melanie Walker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AIVL.

 

"There's a full suite of evidence-based interventions in the AOD sector but services are currently under-resourced and struggling to keep up with demand.  For instance, we already knew from previous studies that investment in Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) between 2000 and 2009 prevented nearly 97,000 Hepatitis C infections and 32,050 HIV infections - for every dollar spent on NSPs, more than $4 will be returned in savings to the health system[i].  AIVL recently released a new report looking at ways to enhance the effectiveness of NSPs across the country to address access issues and maximise the public health benefits[ii].  NSPs remain a very cost effective way of preventing the transmission of BBVs - increasing access to NSPs should be a high priority.

 

"Evidence-based AOD treatment is also a good investment.  For every $1 invested in AOD treatment, society gains $7.  However, while approximately 200,000 people receive AOD treatment in any one year in Australia, it is estimated that an additional 200,000 - 500,000 people seeking treatment are unable to access it[iii].  People don't need to be coerced into accessing drug treatment - there just aren't enough treatment places to meet demand.  This Budget will go some way towards addressing unmet need but there's a long way to go if we are to meet the needs of those individuals, families and communities struggling to address AOD problems.

 

"It is also important that people entering and exiting custodial contexts are not forgotten.  Ensuring access to the full suite of preventive, harm reduction measures - and ensuring that people are able to continue their engagement with AOD and BBV treatments post-release - are tangible ways that we could protect more Australians from contracting BBVs.  There is a real need for a national policy to guide prisons in jurisdictions[iv].

 

"It would be great to see enhanced investment in these types of cost effective harm reduction and demand reduction measures as part of future federal budgets," said Ms Walker.

 

AIVL is the national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs and is the peak body for the state and territory

peer-based drug user organisations.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Melanie Walker, CEO, AIVL - 0438 430 963

 

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[i] Return on Investment 2: Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/A407CF4FECBDC715CA257BF0001F98B2/$File/retexe.pdf

 

[ii] Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice:

http://www.aivl.org.au/resource/needle-and-syringe-programs-in-australia-peer-led-best-practice/

 

[iii] New Horizons: The review of alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/FD5975AFBFDC7013CA258082000F5DAB/$File/The-Review-of-alcohol-and-other-drug-treatment-services-in-Australia.pdf

 

[iv] A needs analysis for people living with HCV after leaving custodial settings in Australia:

http://www.aivl.org.au/resource/a-needs-analysis-for-people-living-with-hcv-after-leaving-custodial-settings-in-australia/

 

Attachment: http://drugsense.org/temp/rPER59wAbs4662.html

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