The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

News & Media

Save the date 2018 APSAD Conference

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Kia ora

On behalf of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs, we are pleased to invite you to our beautiful City of Sails and fun, Auckland, for the APSAD Auckland 2018 Conference.

The Conference will be held at the Pullman Hotel in the centre of Auckland from 4 - 7 November. It will showcase high quality and state of the art scientific research into treatment, prevention and policy while also providing an opportunity for practitioners to share their latest insights and lessons learnt.  Where ever you have travelled from you will be warmly welcomed.

We will be sharing with you a uniquely Kiwi experience.  Auckland is a diverse city full of activities and surrounded by the breathtaking scenery! It’s the sort of place where sleep gets in the way! Exploring beyond Auckland will also be highly rewarding. And for those with a few extra days before or after the conference opportunities are endless - explore subtropical Northland and the Bay of Islands; the low rises of the Coromandel Peninsular; the magical Māori experience in Rotorua; our vibrant capital Wellington; or the breathtaking scenery of the Southern Alps. There’s plenty more!

On behalf of the APSAD Council, Organising Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee we would be honoured to welcome you and your families/whanau to Auckland, New Zealand in 2018.

Dr Susanna Galea and Dr David Newcombe

2018 APSAD Conference Co-Convenors  


Youth Drug and Alcohol Forum

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Youth Drug and Alcohol: New Generation, New Approaches?

As part of the NSW Government Drug Package funding, the Ministry of Health and the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) invite you to a free forum on engaging and working with young people who use alcohol and other drugs.
An international keynote address will be given
Dr Yifrah Kaminer, Professor of Psychiatry & Paediatrics at the Alcohol Research Centre & Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Connecticut Health Centre. Dr Kaminer’s main interest has been focusing on clinical research of the assessment, treatment and continuity of care of substance use disorders in young people and he has a special interest in co-occurring depressive disorders.


Other discussions on early intervention, continuity of care and approaches with young people will be provided by specialists from across the youth and health sector, including:

  • Dr Bronwyn Milne, Senior Staff Specialist, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network
  • Dr Adrian Dunlop, Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist at the Ministry of Health and Area Director & Senior Staff Specialist, Drug & Alcohol Clinical Services, Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Non-government service providers.

Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer, NSW Ministry of Health will be providing an opening address, and a group of young people will also be sharing their stories.

Event details
Friday, 10 November 2017, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm
UTS Business
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, Building 8

14 Ultimo Rd, Ultimo NSW 2007
Click here to view the location map and transport options​ or use the MYUTS campus map​) 

Registration is essential:
To register email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 1 November 2017 to confirm your attendance. 
An agenda will be circulated to registrants closer to the date.

Please direct all event queries to APSAD email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Phone: 02 9252 2281



Opportunity to give your opinion on opioid consumption and take-home naloxone

The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) is currently conducting a research project on the professional issues posed by opioids, overdose and take-home naloxone for people working in relevant areas.

We’re currently interviewing Victorian health professionals about their experiences with and knowledge of opioids, overdose and take-home naloxone.

We would like to interview:

  • Pharmacotherapy prescribers
  • Pain management specialists
  • General practitioners
  • Pharmacists

Participation involves a confidential audio recorded interview of about one hour. Compensation of a $75 gift voucher for your time is also available.

Interviews will be conducted in a location convenient to you.


For a project description and extra details please visit

For additional information, or to participate in the study, please contact Dr Adrian Farrugia on 03 9079 2205 / 0467 633 751 or at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Specialist / Senior Specialist - Addiction Medicine Position Vacant

Closing Date

:28/Sep/2017, 11:59:00 PM


Annual Salary: Indicative total package value of between: $268,729 - $365,505 ($268,729 - $327,246 Specialist 1-5 only) inclusive of salary, applicable allowances and 9.5% super.

Branch: Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol & Drug Services
Section: Office of Chief Psychiatry
Vacancy Type: Permanent
Closing Date: 28 September 2017
Contact Officer: Dr Mandy Evans, A/g Chief Psychiatrist (02) 6205 6087 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     

About us:  
ACT Health is a values-led Directorate. Our values guide our day-to-day actions, behaviours, decisions and communications to successfully deliver the best services to meet the needs of our community. They were developed by us, for us and are unique to our work.
Canberra Hospital & Health Services provides acute, sub-acute, primary and community-based health services to the ACT and surrounding region.
The key strategic priority for acute services is to deliver timely access to effective and safe hospital care services. The hospital delivers a full range of medical, surgical and obstetric services, including complex procedures in areas such as cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and neonatal intensive care.
Strong links exist between hospital and community-based services, as many of the operational divisions deliver services across the continuum of care to ensure continuity of care for patients. The community based services of ACT Health include early childhood, youth and women’s health; dental services, rehabilitation and community care; mental health and alcohol and drug services. In addition, justice health services are provided within the Territory’s’ detention facilities.
ACT Health is a partner in teaching with the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University.
Overview of the work area and position:

Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services provides health services directly and through partnerships with community organisations. The services provided range from prevention and treatment to recovery and maintenance and harm minimisation. Consumer and carer participation is encouraged in all aspects of service planning and delivery. The Division works in partnership with consumers, carers and a range of government and non-government service providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for clients.
The Division delivers services at a number of locations, including hospital inpatient and outpatient settings, community health centres, detention centres, other community settings including peoples home.  These services include:
o             Rehabilitation and Speciality Services
o             Adult Community Mental Health Services
o             Adult Acute Mental Health Services
o             Alcohol & Drug Services
o             Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
o             Justice Health Services
The Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) incorporates 6 areas including the Opioid Treatment Service, Medical Services, Consultation and Liaison Service, 10 bed Inpatient Withdrawal Service, Police and Court Drug Diversion Service and Counselling and Treatment Services.
The Opioid Treatment Service pharmacotherapy program provides opiate substitution treatment to people in the ACT.
The Withdrawal Service provides a secure and supportive environment for safe, medically supervised withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.
Consultation and Liaison Service provides assessment, support and referral for clients who have been admitted to CH who also have an alcohol and/or drug issue.

Qualifications and experience:  
  • Registered or eligible for registration as a medical practitioner with the Australian Health Practitioner’s Regulation Agency.
  • Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College Psychiatrist or equivalent specialist qualifications.
Please note prior to commencement successful candidates will be required to:
  • Undergo a pre-employment Police check.
  • Comply with ACT Health Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination policy.
Salary, Remuneration and Conditions: 
Staff Specialist Bands 1-5: $164,470 - $202,960
Senior Staff Specialist: $222,205

Position Vacant | responsible for leading the development of addiction research across MARC

A significant opportunity to undertake the role of Associate Professor has arisen. In this role you will be expected to cultivate the highest standards within the Monash Addiction Research Centre (MARC).

MARC is a new Centre, established in 2017 in line with the Monash University Peninsula Campus Plan: Beyond 2016.  MARC brings together world-leading expertise from across Monash University to address the harms related to alcohol, drugs and gambling and related health and social problems.  The Centre will build a national response, through cutting edge epidemiology, neuroscience, innovative workforce and policy development, as well as novel treatment paradigms.  The Centre will focus on education and workforce development programs; research and research training; and policy and translation impact.

In this high profile role you will be responsible for leading the development of addiction research across MARC, as well as contributing to addiction and mental health teaching and research across Monash University. As the successful applicant you will also act as Deputy Director of the Centre and will work closely with health service, government and community partners.

Your ability to display leadership in the strategic development of grants and projects whilst working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers undertaking multiple complex projects will ensure not only your success but also that of the MARC. 

A generous research support package will be available to the selected applicant to support the development of addiction research at the Peninsula campus

Possession of a PhD or equivalent qualifications and research experience is essential in this role.

If you believe you can fulfil these requirements, you are strongly encouraged to apply.

This role is a full-time position; however, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Your application must address the selection criteria. Please refer to "How to apply for Monash Jobs"

Professor Dan Lubman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thoughts of Substance Podcast

The APSAD Early Career Researcher (ECR) subcommittee has been working on new initiatives which we hope the APSAD membership, particularly our ECRs, will find of interest. The subcommittee will be developing a series of podcasts under the title “Thoughts of Substance” where you can hear members of the ECR subcommittee interview professionals in the drug and alcohol sector discussing research, ideas and a range of other topics, across a range of disciplines, relevant for ECRs in this field. Over the next few episodes, you can hear from some of the previous winners of the APSAD Early Career Award discuss how their careers have evolved, and their current work. We are excited to announce the first Thoughts of Substance podcast has just been released featuring Dr Christina Marel interviewing Dr Suzanne Nielsen (APSAD ECR Award winner in 2011).

We would be happy to hear your thoughts and feedback, let us know if you have an idea or topic you would like to hear about by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join in the conversation with other ECRs on our APSAD ECR network Facebook Group page and our LinkedIn networking group.

Thought of Substance podcast slide

Thoughts of Substance Podcast #1


APSAD Media Release - Doctors strongly oppose Welfare Reform Bill and drug testing trial

Doctors from the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) strongly oppose the Federal Government’s Welfare Reform Bill and its planned drug testing ‘trial’ for welfare recipients.

Chair of the APSAD Medical Special Interest Group, Dr Tony Gill, said the ‘trial’ will harm the health of people who use drugs, and waste a great deal of money that could be far better spent on providing voluntary treatment.

“Our Group represents addiction medicine specialists, general practitioners, psychiatrists and other doctors in the APSAD membership,” said Dr Gill, who is APSAD Vice President/President-Elect and has worked as a specialist in the alcohol and other drugs field for more than 25 years.

“As medical practitioners who work with patients with drug and alcohol-related problems, we are very clear that the drug testing ‘trial’ as currently planned is unworkable for numerous reasons.

  • The ‘trial’ is not supported by any scientific evidence, medical groups have not been consulted and have had no input into it, and it is widely opposed by relevant experts

  • Similar attempts have been found to be costly and/or unworkable in New Zealand, Canada, the USA and UK

  • The cost will be considerable, with few, if any, benefits

  • The ‘trial’ may result in people with significant health problems having reduced, or  in some cases no, access to income

  • The ‘trial’ will further widen the Gap of Health status for Aboriginal people

  • A ‘trial’ cannot be relevant to many parts of the nation as there are many areas, including rural and regional ones, with very few drug and alcohol services as well as  poor access to pathology services

  • Already there are not enough drug and alcohol services available in Australia to provide access to treatment for people who need them. Many people who currently want treatment face long waiting periods. This will be made worse by automatically referring

    in a whole lot of people who don’t need specialist treatment under the proposed ‘trial’
  • Some APSAD members believe the trial is unethical and may decide to refuse to participate.

“Problematic drug use should be treated as a health problem, not a reason for increasing stigma and reducing access to welfare,” Dr Gill said.

 “The causes of drug problems in individuals are complex. Effective treatment for people with drug problems and support for their families is the right approach, not increasing stigma towards people who use drugs. 

“The Federal Government’s planned ‘trial’ of drug testing for people receiving welfare payments is a bad idea.

“It makes no sense to spend so much money unnecessarily on something that doesn’t work,

when we know that treatment services are already chronically underfunded.

“This scheme would either rely on cheap tests that are inaccurate, in order to save money, or spend exorbitant costs on high quality yet still inconclusive testing.

“Furthermore, there is no evidence that it will actually assist people to get back to work,” he said.


Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD)

The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugsis the Asia Pacific's leading multidisciplinary organisation for professionals involved in the alcohol and other drug field. APSAD is dedicated to:

  • promoting evidence-based improvements in the treatment and prevention of drug and alcohol-related problems
  • raising awareness about the problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs
  • promoting best standards in research in the drug and alcohol field
  • providing development and support to professionals working in the drug and alcohol field. 

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

APSAD is closely involved with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), particularly with its Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (AChAM).

APSAD formally supports the RACP’s submission to the Senate inquiry, which strongly opposes the measures contained in schedules 12, 13 and 14 of the Bill and urges they not be pursued.


Call for Late Breaking Abstracts - submission is OPEN

We invite you to submit a Late Breaking Abstract for the APSAD Melbourne 2017 Conference. 

Late-Breaking Abstract Submissions open Monday 17 July The Late Breaking Presentations sessions are lively and informative with fast paced 5-minute presentations. The session is dedicated to new information or important findings not (fully) available before the general abstract deadline. The Late Breakers are held as a standalone session, this is an opportunity to address all conference delegates, and is one of the most popular sessions at the conference.  


Late Breaking Abstract Submission Deadline: Sunday 20 August

Please note that the Late Breaking Abstract deadline is NOT an extension of the general abstract submission deadline.


For further information about the Late Breaking Session and how to submit visit the conference website


APSAD Conference


2017 APSAD Awards Nominations are Open

APSAD is calling for nominations for the 2017 APSAD Awards for Excellence in Science, Research and Practice.

The APSAD Awards will be presented at the APSAD Melbourne 2017 gala conference dinner to be held at The Park, Albert Park on Tuesday 14 November 

Recipients of the APSAD Awards will be recognised as having made an outstanding contribution to reducing the harms associated with alcohol and other drug use in Australasia.

All five APSAD Awards reflect excellence in the application of theory, knowledge and practice to any aspect of drug and alcohol use or misuse.

For further information download the APSAD Awards Information Pack  outlining the selection criteria and nomination process.  Download a copy of the APSAD Awards Nomination Form . 

The closing date for nominations and receipt of all associated documentation for the 2017 APSAD Awards is 8 September 2017.

Please contact Liz Baxter at the APSAD Office on (02) 9252-2287 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require further information.


Drug and Alcohol Review Hard Copies - Now Optional

As we move further into the digital era and less people are reading print copies, APSAD is offering members the choice to “opt out” of receiving hard copies of the Drug and Alcohol Review. Members will retain digital access to the journal via the APSAD website for every article published. You can also contact the APSAD Office to request PDF copies on any articles of interest. You can easily opt back into print copies at any time if you realise you’ve made a mistake.

To opt out of receiving hard copies of the journal contact the APSAD office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wiley are currently working on a Smartphone App for the Drug and Alcohol Review, we are hoping will be available to members in the next few months and we will keep you informed. 

If you are having problems with logging into the Members’ Area of the APSAD website let us know so we can fix this for you. You can call us on (02) 9252 2281 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..