Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Cyber services for drug prevention and treatment

I promised that I’d post up Teuvo Peltoniemi’s presentation to the UN from a few weeks ago and he’s now been kind enough to send it to me.

Click on the picture to download the PDF

Teuvo Peltoniemi

Should you happen to read Finnish you can also read what Teuvo had to say about the experience on his blog here.

Filed under: drug blogs, treatment

In Response to Kathy Gyngell

Kathy Gyngell, chair of the group that wrote Addicted Britain and the addictions chapter of Breakthrough Britain for the Conservative Party’s Social Justice Commission, argues that the government’s approach to drug education is wrong.

Here’s part of the response I’ve left on her blog:

From my perspective there is now the some evidence for what an effective drug education programme could look like. I don’t know if you saw the Matrix and Bazian literature review for the Department of Health which concluded, “programmes focusing on developing life skills to avoid drug use have a high effect on drug use outcomes.” That’s no doubt because they read the Cochrane review of school based prevention from back in 2005 which reached similar conclusions. More recently we’ve had the findings from the EUDAP trials in Europe which are also very promising in terms of prevention.

The issue, it seems to me, is in developing a consensus on evidence, and then thinking about the levers that are politically feasible in order to ensure that children and young people get the education they deserve.

Read the whole thing here.

Filed under: drug blogs, drug education

Presentation to NCVO’s Publishers’ Forum

As you might remember I was asked to come and talk about this blog to the NCVO’s Publishers’ Forum last week.

I’m not sure how helpful this presentation will be without me talking to it, but I’m an oversharer by nature:

My basic theme was about how we came to blog, why we do it, how we get and try and keep you reading, and how it helps me understand the field better.

In my talk I spoke about two publications that I didn’t have time to put into the slides.

Don’t Make Me Think, which points out that people understand and use the web differently so you need to try to give them the access point they want rather than the one you expect them to use.

I also recommended The Secret Underground Guide to Social Media for Organisations by Colin McKay. I’ve read this a couple of times now and it’s packed with good advice about how to get social media use up and running in organisations that might initially be reluctant to enjoy the bracing possibility of reader feedback.

If this is of interest, you should also take a look at Anne Welsh’s presentation. Anne worked at Drugscope until recently and she reflects on how they have used blogs.

Filed under: drug blogs,

the prof speaks out

While it’s very bad news that Daily Dose looks like it will close it’s good to see David Clark, Director of Wired In, start blogging at the prof speaks out, and Background Briefings.

It won’t be a substitute for Daily Dose, but it’s good to have another voice on the interweb talking about substance misuse.

Filed under: drug blogs, ,

NCVO’s Publishers Forum Conference 2008 – make web 2.0 work for you

I’ve been asked to present at the NCVO’s Publishers Forum Conference in March where I’ll be talking about the basics of blogging: benefits, practicalities and pitfalls.

I’ll be exploring:

the benefits of blogging for your organisation, including community building, encouraging multiple views and perspectives, real time updates, as well as strategic uses such as campaigning and marketing. This workshop also looks at the practicalities of running a blog and the pitfalls to avoid.    

So if you’ve got any perspectives (from an audience point of view) that you think I should share with the workshop then do let me know.

I’d also like to thank Anne for saying such nice things about this blog on hers.

Filed under: drug blogs,

Review of 2007

Sara McGrail has been kind enough to mention the Drug Education Forum a couple of times in her romp through the last year in drugs.

Even if she hadn’t, I’d urge you to have a look as it’s a reminder of just what a lot we got through last year.

Part 1 here and part 2 here.

Filed under: drug blogs,

Drug and alcohol agencies now have free access to quality UK-focused ‘what works’ research as web-based service replaces Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine

I’ve been asked to bring the following press release to your attention:

Two open access web sites are being stocked with the entire contents of the past 15 issues of the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine, the world’s only periodical to focus on research which could improve the effectiveness of substance misuse services. One site is the Findings site itself where visitors can sign up for e-mail updates on the project.

The longer term plan is to create an ‘Effectiveness Bank’ site which will also provide access source research papers and abstracts. Reports on new studies will be added to keep visitors up to date with the latest findings.

Funded initially by the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust, the project is a joint venture between DrugScope, Alcohol Concern, the National Addiction Centre and the project’s editor.

By mid-June 2007 the first issue of the magazine had been made available on the Findings site and more will regularly be added. Though in its early stages, the site has been described as “Awesome!” by Professor John Kelly, researcher and clinician at the USA’s Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. In the UK Gary Wallace who manages Plymouth’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team says Findings “helped us sift relevant research and identify evidence from around the world that has significantly informed our change processes … an essential tool”.

It’s not so much the design of the site which has enthused as the quality of the content. The Findings magazine gained an international reputation for the thoroughness and creativity of its analyses. Now these riches (the core contents are called ‘Nuggets’ for a reason) are being made available free of charge and at the click of a button.

For the Effectiveness Bank, national drug information experts DrugScope are constructing a customised search facility so visitors can easily find the documents they need. The aim is to provide a one-stop resource which draws on the accumulated information banks of the Findings partner agencies and the high quality content of the magazine. DrugScope’s Director of Communications Harry Shapiro is managing this part of the project: “If services want to use proven methods to improve their effectiveness, the Effectiveness Bank is where they should come to.”

Alcohol Concern made the bid to the Getty Trust on behalf of the project. “Findings is about changing what people do, not just discussing it”, said Director of Policy and Services Don Shenker. “That means we have to get it right. Quality in the science and analysis is everything but it also has to practice-friendly. The trick Findings has pulled off is to meet both agendas at once.”

Partnership with the National Addiction Centre makes the centre’s huge information resources available to the project. “The magazine was right at the time”, said Research Coordinator John Witton, “but the world has moved on. Now people expect to find information instantly and to get it free. When it comes to information which could make things better for their communities, clients, patients children, that’s exactly what they should get.”

Filed under: drug blogs

Drug Data Update has moved

Just so as you know the Drug Data Update blog is now here.

Filed under: drug blogs

Health and social care outcomes consultation – let’s make the case for including alcohol

Libby from Alcohol Policy UK:

The Department of Health is consulting on the new framework for setting locally owned priorities across health and social care.    Taking into account responses to the consultation, a set of 40 outcomes with supporting indicators for health and social care will be selected.   The final 40 outcomes chosen will direct Government policy over the next three years.

The consultation asks for views on whether the proposed 40 outcomes are the right ones and if any crucial outcomes are missing.    Important lifestyle issues such as smoking and obesity are already included as suggested outcomes.  Alcohol misuse is NOT currently suggested as one of the 40 outcomes proposed.

Filed under: drug blogs

Websites for Young People: a Fresh Look

DrugData Update have had a young person cast their eye over a number of websites aimed at that audience.

Filed under: drug blogs

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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