Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 17
the report also notes the accelerated
harms trajectory associated with
methamphetamine use. Problematic
ice-related use impacts individuals,
families and communities much faster
than other illicit drugs. These factors
emphasise the importance of education
and early intervention to respond to the
availability and attractiveness that ice
represents to many people. However
the authors note that many response
systems, particularly outside of capital
cities, remain predominantly structured
for alcohol, cannabis and opiate users.
What can rural pharmacists
Pharmacists should recall the Australian
National Drug Strategy's16 three-pillar
approach to harm minimisation related
to drug use, namely: demand reduction,
supply reduction and harm reduction.
Pharmacists have a role to play in
supporting each pillar.
1. Buxton JA, Dove NA. The burden and management of
crystal meth use. CMAJ 2008;178(12):1537-9. doi: 10.1503/
cmaj.071234. PubMed PMID: 18519899; PubMed Central
2. Dennis M, Scott CK. Managing Addiction as a Chronic
Condition. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.
2007;4(1):45--55. PubMed PMID: PMC2797101.
3. Gray SD, Fatovich DM, McCoubrie DL, Daly FF.
Amphetamine-related presentations to an inner-city
tertiary emergency department: a prospective evaluation.
4. McCormack D, Buckley NA. Psychostimulant poisoning.
Aust Prescr. 2006;29(4):109--11.
5. Westmore T, Van Vugt J, Thomson N, Griffiths P, Ryan J.
Impacts of methamphetamine in Victoria: a community
assesment. Carlton, Victoria: Penington Institute; 2014.
6. Lee N, Johns L, Jenkinson R, et al. Fitzroy, Victoria: Turning
Point Alcohol and Druc Centre Inc. 2007.
7. Crystal meth swamps Murray towns. AM. Sydney:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 2012.
8. Baker R, McKenzie N. Ice use devastating rural Victoria. The
Age. 2013 Aug 29.
9. Barlow G. Victorian crystal methamphetamine, ice,
epidemic is it? The Weekly Times. 2014 Sep 24.
10. Buttler M. Tide of evil: drug ice linked to killings of 14
people in 14 months across Victoria. Herald Sun. 2014
11. Mills T. Seduced by ice: a country town's ordeal. The Age.
2014 May 31.
12. Morgan M. Is there an ice 'epidemic' in Aboriginal
communities? Artarmon, NSW: Special Broadcasting
Service; 2014 [cited 2015 Jan 9]. At: www.sbs.com.au/
13. Tomazin F. Schools fear ice dealers will target children. The
Age. 2014 Aug 17.
14. Ice rush (Four Corners). Four Corners. Sydney: Australian
Broadcasting Corporation; 2014;46:04.
15. Alarming upwards trend on ice-related ambulance
call-outs [internet]. Fitzroy, Victoria: Turning Point Alcohol
and Drug Centre Inc.; 2014 [cited 2015 Jan 9]. At: www.
16. Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. National Drug
Strategy 2010-2015. Canberra: Australian Department of
Health and Ageing; 2011 2011 Mar;32.
Results published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American
College of Rheumatology (ACR), show that being engaged in manual
tasks involving awkward positions will increase the risk of low back pain
by eight times.
Those who are distracted during
activities or fatigued also significantly
increase their risk of acute low back pain.
At some point, nearly 10% of the
world's population experiences back
pain, which is the leading cause of
disability, according to the World Health
Organization (WHO) Global Burden of
Disease report (2010). WHO reports that
low back pain has a greater impact on
global health than malaria, diabetes,
or lung cancer, yet little progress
has been made to identify effective
Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira,
with The George Institute for Global
Health and Sydney Medical School at
The University of Sydney in NSW, said:
'Understanding which risk factors
contribute to back pain and controlling
exposure to these risks is an important
first step in prevention. Our study is
the first to examine brief exposure to a
range of modifiable triggers for an acute
episode of low back pain.'
For the case-crossover study, researchers
recruited 999 participants from 300
primary care clinics in Sydney, who had
an acute low back pain episode between
October 2011 and November 2012.
Study subjects were asked to report
exposure to 12 physical or psychosocial
factors in the 96 hours prior to the onset
of back pain.
The risk of a new episode of low back
pain significantly increased due to a
range of triggers, from an odds ratio of
2.7 for moderate to vigorous physical
activity to 25.0 for distraction during
'Understanding which modifiable
risk factors lead to low back pain is
an important step toward controlling
a condition that affects so many
worldwide,' A/Prof Ferreira said.
'Our findings enhance knowledge of
low back pain triggers and will assist
the development of new prevention
programs that can reduce suffering from
this potentially disabling condition.'
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