Vol. 17, ed. 1

February 2021

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Foreword

Welcome (back) to the first edition of the all-new Bulletin (formerly the Anex Bulletin). 

After an 18-month absence, I am very pleased that Australia’s only specialty publication for the frontline NSP workforce is back, thanks to the support of Minister Hunt and the Australian Government Department of Health.

Each month, Penington Institute will publish articles that celebrate the achievements of NSP workers around Australia and strive to enhance knowledge and capacity about matters relevant to people affected by drug use.

Drugs – how they are used, the people who use them, and the other issues surrounding drug use – are complex issues.

The need to understand and better manage the risks posed by drug use and evidence-based responses is essential to protecting community health.

The need to understand and better manage the risks posed by drug use and evidence-based responses is essential to protecting community health.

Despite Australia’s success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus and the public health measures imposed to stop its spread caused hardship for millions of people in Australia.

The mental health of many Australians, including those who use drugs, has been challenged. Health services which offer support, such as NSPs, have been essential services.

All the while, drug supply has been disrupted – often leading to price changes and volatility in the potency and safety of drugs that people use.

The risks continue to evolve. But so too have the responses.

In this issue, you will find articles about the increasing prevalence of harms related to GHB, the promises and challenges of long-acting buprenorphine, Victoria Police’s new Drug Strategy and 25 years of the Australian NSP Survey.

For The Bulletin to succeed, it will need to keep covering issues of importance to the frontline health workforce.

That means we must be guided by our readers.

Please send us feedback about our stories and the types of stories you would like to read in future editions.

Write to us if you would like to learn more about the Bulletin Advisory Panel that Penington Institute will convene.

And, of course, if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe so you never miss out on future issues – and be sure to share with your colleagues.

John Ryan
Chief Executive Officer

Cover image:

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent (left) at a ceremony to honour Constable Josh Prestney, May 2020. Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney were killed at work when a truck crashed into them on the Eastern Freeway.

The truck driver, Mohinder Singh, is estimated to have had only five hours sleep in the three days before the April 22 crash and was allegedly drug-affected at the time of the accident. Police found a glass smoking pipe in the truck and a blood sample found that Mr Singh had traces of methamphetamine in his system.

Police also laid charges against Richard Pusey, the Melbourne businessman who police allege filmed and then fled the crash scene. Mr Pusey was allegedly travelling at 149 kilometres per hour in his Porsche while under the influence of methamphetamine and cannabis.

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