The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

Current Issue

January 2024, Volume 43, Issue 1

The January 2024 issue features a Special Section on ‘How is substance use portrayed in digital media and what impacts can it have?’. This included an editorial and papers on: alcohol corporations and the metaverse; a qualitative analysis of adolescents' perspectives on peer and influencer alcohol-related posts on social media; a content analysis of medicinal cannabis tweets; an analysis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-related content on TikTok; content and sentiment analysis of gabapentinoid-related tweets; understanding and preventing the advertisement and sale of illicit drugs to young people through social media; the linkage between college students' interactions with alcohol-related content on social media and their alcohol-related problems; following social media influencers who share alcohol-related content is associated with college drinking; exposure to media with alcohol-related content across young adulthood; subjective norms as a mediator between exposure to online alcohol and marijuana content and offline use among adolescents; the impact of sexual scripts in brand-generated cannabis social media posts on sex-related cannabis expectancies; and support for policies restricting alcohol exposure in films.

Two comprehensive reviews discussed the potential adverse effects of minors' exposure to alcohol-related stimuli via licenced venues; and the impact of pseudoephedrine regulation at Australian pharmacies.

A group of papers in this issue focused on alcohol, with papers on: navigating no- and low-alcohol drinks as potential harm reduction tools and relapse triggers by women; uptake of mandated pregnancy warnings in the Australian alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage market; a review of factors influencing drinking behaviours in young Australian adults using a behavioural framework approach; estimated cost of extra work hours from co-workers' drinking in Thailand; and alcohol licensing legislation and licensing system in South-West Nigeria.

Other papers focussed on: wearable devices that detect opioid overdose; how much cannabis is used in a joint; a prison-based drug treatment program; providing better access to oral health care for people receiving substance use treatment; depot therapy; the research capacity of alcohol and other drugs services; trafficking of performance and image enhancing drugs; sexualised drug use among gay and bisexual men; epidemiology of acute infections in people who inject drugs; opioid overdose knowledge; and frailty in middle-aged adults with alcohol use disorder.


Virtual Issues

Cannabis legalisation and its impact on access, use and public perceptions

Music Festival Context as a Site for Alcohol/Drug UseMusic Festival Context as a Site for Alcohol/Drug Use






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Comprehensive Reviews

Approaches and reporting of alcohol and other drug testing for injured patients in hospital-based studies: A systematic review
Georgina Lau, Jia Y. Ang, Nayoung Kim, Belinda J. Gabbe, Biswadev Mitra, Paul M. Dietze, Sandra Reeder, Ben Beck
5 February 2024 | DOI:



Cannabis vaporisation: Understanding products, devices and risks
Caroline A. MacCallum, Lindsay A. Lo, Carly A. Pistawka, April Christiansen, Michael Boivin
20 December 2023 | DOI:


Original Papers

Characteristics, toxicology and major organ pathology of deaths due to acute alcohol toxicity in Australia, 2011–2022
Shane Darke, Johan Duflou, Amy Peacock, Agata Chrzanowska, Wing See Yuen, Michael Farrell, Julia Lappin
12 February 2024 | DOI:

Differences in stigma reduction related to injection drug use between people expressing conservative, moderate and progressive values following an online intervention
Theresa Caruana, Loren Brener, Sarah K. Calabrese, Elena Cama, Carla Treloar, Timothy Broady
12 February 2024 | DOI:

Policies for recovery from drug use: Differences between public stigma and perceived stigma and associated factors
Tingyu Luo, Shuping Xu, Kun Zhang
7 February 2024 | DOI:

Alcoholic beverage types consumed by population subgroups in the United States: Implications for alcohol policy to address health disparities
Won Kim Cook, William C. Kerr, Yachen Zhu, Sophie Bright, Charlotte Buckley, Carolin Kilian, Aurelie M. Lasserre, Laura Llamosas-Falcón, Nina Mulia, Jürgen Rehm, Charlotte Probst
5 February 2024 | DOI:

Advancing the implementation of take-home naloxone by community pharmacists: Testing the role of COM-B
Joanna C. Moullin, Lexy Staniland, Hannah Uren, Suzanne Nielsen, Simon Lenton
29 January 2024 | DOI:

Experiences of stigma and subsequent reduced access to health care among women who inject drugs
Loren Brener, Elena Cama, Timothy Broady, Mary Ellen Harrod, Carol Holly, Theresa Caruana, Kim Beadman, Carla Treloar
25 January 2024 | DOI:

Individuals' travel to alcohol outlets: The fallacy of the local bar
Christina A. Mehranbod, Ariana N. Gobaud, Brady R. Bushover, Christopher N. Morrison
11 January 2024 | DOI:

Experiences of telehealth among people receiving alcohol and other drug treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for future telehealth delivery
Jaimie Woolley, Michael Savic, Joshua B. B. Garfield, Rachel Petukhova, Victoria Manning, Dan I. Lubman, Anthony Barnett
28 December 2023 | DOI:

Parents who inject drugs: Demographics, care arrangements and correlates for child placement in out-of-home care
Jocelyn Chan, Bernadette Ward, Lisa Maher, Sione Crawford, Mark Stoové, Paul Dietze
26 December 2023 | DOI:

A snapshot of injecting drug consumption from the analysis of used syringes within the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney, Australia
Harrison Fursman, Eleanor Finch, Linda Xiao, Elodie Lefrançois, Anjali Gupta, Mark Bartlett, Julie Latimer, Scott Chadwick, Claude Roux, Marie Morelato
25 December 2023 | DOI:

Hepatitis C virus cure from direct-acting antivirals and mortality: Are people with and without a history of injection drug use in the same boat? (ANRS CO22 Hepather cohort)
Tangui Barré, Marc Bourlière, Lucia Parlati, Clémence Ramier, Fabienne Marcellin, Camelia Protopopescu, Vincent Di Beo, Carole Cagnot, Celine Dorival, Jérôme Nicol, Fabien Zoulim, Fabrice Carrat, Patrizia Carrieri, the ANRS/AFEF Hepather Study group
22 December 2023 | DOI:

Have the personality and socio-demographic profiles of Australian adolescent drinkers changed?
Nicholas Taylor, Sarah Callinan, Amy Pennay, Michael Livingston
18 December 2023 | DOI:

Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the Flinders Chronic Condition Management Program in outpatient drug and alcohol settings in Australia
Candice Oster, Sarah Hunter, Timothy Schultz, Gillian Harvey, Michael Lawless, Malcolm Battersby
14 December 2023 | DOI:

Trends in alcohol-related harm among Swedish youth: Do in-patient care registry data match drinking trends?
Martin Stafström, Jonas Raninen
29 November 2023 | DOI:

Effects of cannabis legalisation on patterns of cannabis consumption among adolescents in Ontario, Canada (2001–2019)
Sameer Imtiaz, Yeshambel T. Nigatu, Marcos Sanches, Farihah Ali, Angela Boak, Laura Douglas, Hayley A. Hamilton, Jürgen Rehm, Sergio Rueda, Robert M. Schwartz, Samantha Wells, Tara Elton-Marshall
28 November 2023 | DOI:

Understanding the research capacity of alcohol and other drugs services in New South Wales, Australia
Robert Stirling, Suzie Hudson, Joanne Ross, Emily Deans, Joel Tibbetts, Carolyn Day, Rachel Deacon, Adrian Dunlop, Nicholas Lintzeris
27 November 2023 | DOI:


Brief Reports

Effects of the Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project on rates of child abuse and neglect 7 years post-implementation (1999–2010)
Bridget Freisthler, Jennifer Price Wolf
30 January 2024 | DOI:

Participation in Australian drug treatment programs for individuals engaging in high-risk substance use: Data from a nationally representative sample
Janni Leung, Tesfa Mekonen Yimer, Vivian Chiu, Wayne D. Hall, Jason P. Connor, Gary Chung Kai Chan
12 December 2023 | DOI:



The National Naloxone Reference Group: A collective voice on take-home naloxone policy and practice in Australia
Paul Dietze, Ashleigh Stewart, Penny Hill, Bridget Draper, Michael Curtis, Amy Kirwan, on behalf of the National Naloxone Reference Group
3 November 2023 | DOI:


Case Report

Acute REM sleep behaviour disorder associated with alcohol withdrawal: A case report and literature review
Radhika Chakraborty, Tathagata Biswas, Biswa Ranjan Mishra, Arpit Parmar
29 January 2024 | DOI:

Upcoming Special Section - Youth drinking trends

Mind the gap! Gender differences in alcohol consumption among Swedish ninth graders 1989–2021
Jonas Raninen, Mats Ramstedt, Siri Thor, Jukka Törrönen
11 July 2023 | DOI:

Risk and restraint—The key to understanding the decreasing use of alcohol for young people in high income countries?
Amy Pennay, Gabriel Caluzzi, Michael Livingston, Sarah MacLean
11 July 2023 | DOI:

Geographies of alcohol and generation: Examining the decline in youth drinking in England through a spatial lens
Laura Fenton, Hannah Fairbrother, Victoria Whitaker, Madeleine Henney, Abigail Kate Stevely, John Holmes
4 July 2023 | DOI:

Examining the association between psychological distress and alcohol use in Australian adolescents over a period of declining consumption
Natalie Cerocchi, Yvette Mojica-Perez, Michael Livingston, Shalini Arunogiri, Amy Pennay, Sarah Callinan
3 July 2023 | DOI:

Understanding youth drinking decline: Similarity and change in the function and social meaning of alcohol use (and non-use) in adolescent cohorts 20 years apart
Jude Ball, Michaela A. Pettie, Loleseti Poasa, Gillian Abel
24 May 2023 | DOI:

Changes in co-use of alcohol and cannabis among Nordic adolescents in the 21st century: Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs study
Kirsimarja Raitasalo, Ingeborg Rossow, Inger Synnøve Moan, Elin K. Bye, Johan Svensson, Siri Thor, Ola Ekholm, Veronica Pisinger, Ársæll Arnarsson, Kim Bloomfield
24 April 2023 | DOI:

Psychosocial correlates of drinking transitions: A longitudinal study among adolescents in Sweden
Lars Sjödin, Patrik Karlsson, Jonas Raninen
28 February 2023 | DOI:


Upcoming Special Section - Vale Jude Byrne

The gendered violence of injecting-related stigma among relatively affluent, suburban women who inject drugs
George Christopher Dertadian, Theresa Caruana, Lisa Maher
12 November 2023 | DOI:

Information acquisition and dissemination among a sample of people who inject drugs in Australia
Rachel Sutherland, Amy Peacock, Sione Crawford, Carol Holly, Peta Gava, Jane Dicka, Geoff Manu, Jude Byrne
12 November 2023 | DOI:

SI-CBPAR: Towards structural indicators of community-based participatory action research
Beth E. Meyerson, Danielle M. Russell, Arlene Mahoney, Irene Garnett, Savannah Samorano
23 October 2023 | DOI:

Engaging families and parent advocates in research on substance use and drug policy reform: Guiding principles from a Canadian community-academic partnership
Rebecca J. Haines-Saah, Heather Morris, Petra Schulz, Emily Jenkins, Elaine Hyshka
22 August 2023 | DOI:

Enriching qualitative alcohol and other drug research by engaging lived experience peer researchers in a dual-interview approach: A case study
Amelia Berg, Leanne Francia, Tina Lam, Kirsty Morgan, Dan I. Lubman, Suzanne Nielsen
28 July 2023 | DOI:

Increasing linkage to hepatitis C care following trauma-informed rehabilitation: An education and quality improvement project among women
Agustina Crespi, Rafique Van Uum, Helen Lathouris, Chelsea Masterman, Kody Muncaster, Kayla Gaete, Camelia Capraru, Hemant Shah, Jordan J. Feld, Mia J. Biondi
13 July 2023 | DOI:

Factors associated with hepatitis C treatment uptake among females of childbearing age in New South Wales, Australia: A population-based study
Heather Valerio, Maryam Alavi, Alison D. Marshall, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Janaki Amin, Matthew Law, Shane Tillakeratne, Jacob George, Louisa Degenhardt, Jason Grebely, Gail V. Matthews, Gregory J. Dore
30 May 2023 | DOI:


Drug and Alcohol Review - Clinician's Corner

DAR Front Cover

Vaping among young people – our best defence is self-defence





It's hard to recall a time when nicotine came under as much scrutiny as it has in the past few years. You may find yourself being arbitrarily categorised into one of two camps when it comes to views on e-cigarettes (the small battery-powered devices widely known as ‘vapes’): the pro-vapers or anti vapers. The tobacco harm reductionists or the child protectionists. Save the smokers or save the children?

In truth, behind this rather unfair dichotomy lies a common goal that we drug and alcohol clinicians and researchers share: to reduce harms associated with substance use.

So where do we find ourselves on the e-cigarette front in Australia? As we highlight in our commentary “Vaping among young people – our best defence is self-defence” [1], rates of e-cigarette use have risen sharply among young people in only a few years. Around 20-30% of young people (aged 16-24 years) report lifetime use of vapes [2, 3]. Daily use is around 5%. These figures may seem modest when viewed in isolation, but it is the staggering pace of the increase in use that is cause for concern: ever use has increased almost three-fold from 2013 to 2019 [4].

E-cigarettes were originally designed as a combustion-free nicotine delivery system to help smokers quit. The advent of these devices came as a welcome alternative to smokers who found conventional therapies ineffective and expensive. Recent evidence suggests that nicotine e-cigarettes may help people to quit, and are similarly as effective as conventional drugs varenicline and cytisine [5]. Understandably then, the Australian Government have made efforts to tread the fine line between tobacco harm reduction and prohibition by making nicotine e-cigarettes available to smokers as a quitting aid via a prescription-only pathway while “prevent[ing] adolescents and young adults from taking-up nicotine vaping products …” [6].

Unfortunately, this approach has abjectly failed. The prescription pathway is underused and a barely concealed black market for nicotine vapes has emerged. Most e-cigarette users, regardless of age or intent, access e-cigarettes via illicit means, including via convenience stores and petrol stations [3]. More concerningly still, reports of e-cigarette harms among young people have emerged and include acute and chronic respiratory harms [7], increased onset of anxiety and depression [8] disruptions to sleep [9] and academic performance [10].

If supply reduction is unlikely and nicotine vapes remain easily accessible, we must turn to effective demand reduction to reduce harms associated with e-cigarette use in Australia [1]. As we outline in our paper [1], e-cigarette prevention programs aim to support and empower young people by arming them with the skills, resources, confidence and self-efficacy needed to reject substances, to help provide support to friends with problematic substance use and to identify when they need to seek help. Specifically, such programs should:

  • be embedded in school curricula (or other existing frameworks if provided in other settings, e.g. sporting clubs);
  • form part of a broader drug and alcohol program and not be considered in isolation due to the strong interrelationship between substances;
  • Focus on general psychosocial development and pro-social life skills, not on specific substances;
  • Impart specific skills, such as problem solving, resistance and assertiveness skills;
  • Be codesigned by peers.

The newly released NSW Ministry of Health Guide to Support Young People to Quit E-Cigarettes [11] may also assist clinicians and other practitioners to support young people who are seeking help with their e-cigarette use.  


Emily A. Stockings

The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.



  1. Stockings EA, Gardner LA, Newton NC. Vaping among young people-Our best defence is self-defence. Drug Alcohol Review. 2024;43:355-8.
  2. Gardner LA, O'Dean S, Champion KE, Stockings, Rowe A-L, Teesson M et al. Prevalence, patterns of use, and socio-demographic features of e-cigarette use by Australian adolescents: a survey. Med J Aust. 2023;219:332-4.
  3. Watts C, Egger S, Dessaix A, Brooks A, Jenkinson E, Grogan P et al. Vaping product access and use among 14–17-year-olds in New South Wales: a cross-sectional study. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2022;46:814-20.
  4. Tobacco in Australia, 18.3 Prevalence of e-cigarette use. 2023.
  5. Lindson N, Theodoulou A, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Sutton AJ, Livingstone-Banks J, et al. Pharmacological and electronic cigarette interventions for smoking cessation in adults: component network meta‐analyses. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023;9:CD015226.
  6. The Therapeutic Goods Administration. Nicotine vaping product access. 2022 [cited 11 May 2023]. Available from:,nicotine%20pods%20and%20liquid%20nicotine.
  7. McConnell R, Barrington-Trimis JL, Wang K, Urman R, Hong H, Unger J et al. Electronic cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in adolescents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017;195:1043-9.
  8. Lechner WV, Janssen T, Kahler CW, Audrain-McGovern J, Leventhal AM. Bi-directional associations of electronic and combustible cigarette use onset patterns with depressive symptoms in adolescents. Prev Med. 2017;96:73-8.
  9. Merianos AL, Jandarov RA, Choi K, Fiser KA, Mahabee-Gittens EM. Combustible and electronic cigarette use and insufficient sleep among U.S. high school students. Prev Med. 2021;147:106505.
  10. Dearfield CT, Chen-Sankey JC, McNeel TS, Bernat DH, Choi K. E-cigarette initiation predicts subsequent academic performance among youth: Results from the PATH Study. Prev Med. 2021;153:106781.
  11. NSW Ministry of Health, Guide to Support Young People to Quit E-Cigarettes, Centre for Population Health, Editor. 2023: St Leonards. p. 27 September 2023.