The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

News & Media



As part of the Society's 40th Anniversary celebrations, we are announcing a new Advocacy Award, in order to recognise the outstanding impact by an individual or a team in the alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs sector who works in the policy and/or advocacy area.

This is the first APSAD Award open to teams and the recipient of the Advocacy Award will have the opportunity to present a workshop at the APSAD Conference in November.

Details for the new Advocacy Award:

  • Nominations can be for any individual or team that meets the criteria for the Advocacy Award category.
  • APSAD Membership is not a prerequisite, nor is it of any advantage or disadvantage during the nomination process.
  • The nominator must be a current (financial) member of APSAD. Any member can nominate across multiple Award Categories.
  • Nominations close 7 September 2021, the Award recipient is announced in October and is given the opportunity to organise a workshop at the 40th APSAD Conference in Brisbane.
  • The Recipients for all Award Categories are announced at the official Awards Ceremony held during the 40th APSAD Conference in Brisbane on 8-10 November.

18th Annual APSAD Awards

APSAD Awards BannerThe 18th APSAD Awards for Excellence in Science, Research, & Practice

APSAD is pleased to confirm that the 2021 Annual Awards for Excellence in Science, Research, & Practice is calling for nominations. The Awards will be presented in Brisbane at the 40th APSAD Conference in November.

Australia's leading multidisciplinary organisation for professionals involved in the drug and alcohol field, these prestigious Awards are our unique celebration of the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals and teams who provide devoted and unstinting service to their communities in diverse fields and go unrecognised.

Acknowledging dedication and excellence in our sector is a key part of the APSAD Awards, as well as encouraging future generations of great researchers and clinicians.

The Awards are nominated by APSAD’s members and decided by the APSAD Awards Subcommittee. The recipients of the Early Career and Advocacy Awards will be announced in October 2021.

Head to the Awards page for more information.


APSAD 2021 Brisbane Hybrid Conference

APSAD 2020 950x300px                        APSAD2021 40th Logo

APSAD 2021 Brisbane Hybrid Conference

For the first time, the APSAD is providing a hybrid conference experience, combining face-to-face and a virtual conference for Brisbane 2021, over four days, from pre-conference workshops on Sunday 7 November, and the main conference program from Monday 8 November to Wednesday 10 November, 2021.

By attending face-to-face, you will enjoy:

  • Access to the full face-to-face conference experience of lectures, workshops, and symposia (it is likely that some lecture speakers may present virtually either live or pre-recorded)
  • On-Demand content available during the conference as a stream
  • The opportunity to network with your friends and colleagues
  • Visit the sponsors and exhibitors’ booths onsite
  • Access to the all the recorded presentations post conference

If you would like to attend the conference virtually, you will enjoy:

  • Plenary and Stream One conference lectures delivered virtually
  • The capacity to ask questions of lecturers in real-time for those available at the time
  • Meet and speak to the sponsors and exhibitors at the special virtual exhibition sessions
  • Access to the all recorded presentations post conference

We are working on developing a great program, with the quality of keynote speakers you have come to expect from APSAD, and we will commence promoting the abstract submissions, along with registration options, in coming weeks.

Health & Safety:

APSAD, ASHM, & Sofitel Brisbane Central’s main priority is the safety of all delegates. Sofitel maintains detailed COVID Safe Event Guidelines for all events at the venue.

Sofitel Brisbane Central Health andSafety Guidelines

To learn more about the conference visit our dedicated APSAD 2021 Brisbane site. We look forward to seeing you in warm and sunny Brisbane!




Through November in place of the annual conference APSAD held a series of webinars. The 2020 Webinar Series was convened by Prof Leanne Hides with input from APSAD's members through subcommittees and special interest groups.

The Webinar Series included the annual APSAD Awards presentation ceremony, with APSAD Early Career Awardee Cheneal Puljević's presentation on Missed opportunities to reduce tobacco smoking among people who experience incarceration or homelessnessProfessor Wayne Hall delivered the keynote oration Retrospections of a Recovering Drug Researcher. The ASCP-SIG put together the annual Australasian Smoking Cessation Professionals Update Day with two 1-hour webinars, where Professor Tom Calma AO provide an Overview of the Commonwealth’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program: Priorities and Evaluations, and Dr Raglan Maddox looked at the continuing downward trend within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking rates, among other great speakers and topics. The EMCR Subcommittee solicited abstracts from students and ECRs to put together a Rapid Fire session. The APSAD 2020 Webinar Series concluded with two sessions on COVID-19 and the impact it has had on people who use drugs and clinicians.

Watch the 2020 APSAD WEBINAR SERIES now as a Playlist or watch the individual webinars.


NHMRC ‘QUITLINK’ STUDY in Victoria Recruiting Online

From 16 November 2020 – 31 March 2021

Professor Amanda Baker from the University of Newcastle is leading a NHMRC funded study evaluating the effectiveness of commonly available forms of smoking cessation care among people receiving support or treatment for alcohol and other drug and/or mental health issues. The study is limited to people in VICTORIA.

If you are based in VICTORIA and have any clients who may be interested, please pass on this advertisement to them.

If you would like further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online recruitment will be running from 16th November (closed 21st December 2020 -10th January 2021) til 31 March.

Click here to view the advertisement.


Opportunity for research & scholarship funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals

Opportunity for research & scholarship funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals (clinicians, nurses, allied health workers).

The National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED) is looking to support clinical research conducted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals (clinicians nurses, allied health workers) working in the alcohol and other drugs sector. NCCRED has developed a Clinical Research Scholarship Program to build the scope and capacity of clinical research on emerging drugs through the provision of mentoring, research project funds, and salary buy-back. This is a national program open to clinicians at all levels, anywhere in Australia. Please contact us to discuss any ideas that you have.

Applicants to this round will should read the application pack provided and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Applications open 2nd October 2020 and close 6th November. For more information please visit


The Neuroscience Interest Group of International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM-NIG)

New monthly talk series, In love with addiction neuroscience

ISAM talk series1

For further information and to register for future talks visit their website

You can find the full recorded video of the first talk on the ISAM-NIG channel, and the slides from clicking on this link.

Invitation to participate in an Update of the National Comorbidity Guidelines

The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to update and revise the ‘Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings’ (second edition).
Originally published in 2009, with the second edition released in 2016, this hugely popular resource aimed to provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers with evidence-based information on the management of comorbid mental health conditions in AOD settings. Since publication of the second edition in July 2016, 15,000 hard and electronic copies have been distributed to clinicians and treatment services across Australia.
Subsequent funding from the Australian Government Department of Health enabled the development of an accompanying online training program and interactive online copy of the second edition. Since the website and online training program were launched in November 2017, close to 3,500 people have begun using the program and more than 650 people have completed the full training program. The website has attracted a monthly average of approximately 3,000 visitors (>5,650 per month in 2020).
The revision of the second edition will bring the Guidelines up to date with the most current evidence. The project is being undertaken by Dr Christina Marel, Prof Katherine Mills, Dr Alana Fisher, Ms Erin Madden, Prof Maree Teesson, Dr Mark Deady, Prof Frances Kay-Lambkin, Prof Amanda Baker, Prof Andrew Baillie, and Prof Kevin Gournay.
The revision team would be delighted if members of the alcohol and other drugs sector would be interested in participating in the revision through one (or more) of the following:

  1. Attending one of online two discussion forums;
  2. Completing a short online survey;
  3. Emailing feedback about the Guidelines directly to our team.

Online discussion forums
The revision team are holding two online discuss forums open to anyone, and hope that that these forums will be attended by a variety of interested stakeholders including alcohol and other drug workers, clinicians, healthcare workers, consumers and people with lived experience of mental health and substance use, family members, carers as well as academic experts. Additional discussion forums may be made available depending on demand.
The discussion forums will be held online on
Discussion Forum 1: Tuesday 8 September 2020, from 1 to 4pm AEST,and
Discussion Forum 2: Thursday 10 September 2020, from 9am to 12pm AEST.
During the forums, discussion will include the content of the Guidelines with a particular focus on how the existing resource can be improved. A copy of the current edition of the Guidelines is available for download on the Comorbidity Guidelines website:
If you are interested in participating as a discussion forum member in either forum, please register below.
Register for Discussion Forum 1: Tuesday 8 September 2020, from 1 to 4pm AEST
Register for Discussion Forum 2: Thursday 10 September 2020, from 9am to 12pm AEST  
Online survey
The online survey will take around 5 minutes to complete, and will focus on the current (2nd edition) Guidelines, and areas for improvement.

The survey will remain open until 5pm (AEST) 30th September 2020.
Click here to complete the online survey:
Send feedback directly to us
We also welcome any other form of feedback that can be sent directly to our team.
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 5pm (AEST) 30th September 2020


HPCA is seeking applications from registered NSW physicians and psychiatrists to become health assessors

HPCA is seeking applications from registered drug and alcohol psychiatry and physicians specialising in drug and alcohol dependence assessment and treatment located in NSW to become health assessors on the Council Directed Health Assessment List (the List).

The List includes health assessors who may be engaged to assess the health of registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). Health assessors provide assessment reports that assist the health professional councils and impaired registrants panels to determine if a registered health practitioner is impaired under the National Law (NSW). If a registered health practitioner is impaired, further action may be recommended by the health assessor. This includes restrictions on practice and other options available to the relevant health professional council.

The List has been established to support the timely and flexible provision of health assessments across NSW. You can apply, via a single application process to work with all 15 health professional councils in NSW.You can apply for the List at any time, however in order to be considered for the first round, your application will need to be submitted by COB 31 August 2020.


For further information on how to apply and to complete an application form, visit


The APSAD podcast series ‘Thoughts of Substance’ is calling for Interviewees

 The new season of Thoughts of Substance is in development by the Early to Mid-Career subcommittee. We would like to hear from EMCR and PhD students who would be interested in taking part in the podcast series. This is an opportunity to highlight a great piece of research you are working on, and to share your career experiences thus far. 
Interviews will be conducted by members of the subcommittee, running for approx. 15 – 20 minutes. If you are interested in taking part in the Thoughts of Substance podcast or have any questions please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or reach out to members of the EMCR subcommittee
You can access all episodes from season 1 Thoughts of Substance via the APSAD website where we heard from past APSAD Early Career Award winner discuss how their careers have evolved, and their current work.If you any recommendations or have a topic you would like to hear about please feel free to reach out to members of the EMCR subcommittee or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thought of Substance podcast slide