The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

News & Media

Media Release - Professionals strongly oppose Welfare Reform Bill & drug testing trial

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

APSAD continues to strongly oppose the Federal Government’s Welfare Reform Bill and its planned drug testing ‘trial’ for welfare recipients.

President of APSAD 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.

“APSAD is the Asia Pacific's leading multidisciplinary organisation for professionals involved in the alcohol and other drug field. APSAD membership includes researchers, counsellors, psychologists, and doctors such as addiction medicine specialists, general practitioners, and psychiatrists,” said Dr Gill, who is APSAD President and has worked as a medical specialist in the alcohol and other drugs field for more than 25 years.

“As professionals who work with people 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
  • Drug testing does not tell you in someone has a problem
  • By far the biggestharms from drug and alcohol use in Australia result from alchohol use, and it is not included
  • 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 First Nations peoples
  • 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.


For comment or further information, contact Dr Tony Gill through APSAD 02 9252 2281.

Download the media release.




The jobs opened Tuesday 27/8 and will remain open until 9 September 2019

For further information and to apply click on the links below. 

  1. 20 hrs/wk -
  1. 32 hrs/wk -

Assistant Lecturer – Addictive Behaviours | Opportunity

CLOSING DATE EXTENSION Wednesday 14 August 2019, 11:55 pm AEST

Assistant Lecturer – Addictive Behaviours - 

Location: Turning Point (Richmond)

Employment Type: Part-time, 0.6 fraction

Duration: 18 months fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: Pro-rata of $68,040 - $92,343 pa Level A (plus 9.5% employer superannuation)

  • Be part of the growing Addiction Research Centre
  • Opportunity to be an integral part of the department
  • Take your career in exciting, rewarding directions

There’s a certain feeling you get from working at Monash University. It’s the feeling that you’re a part of something special. Something significant. So if you’re looking for the next chapter in your career, it’s here. You’ll be given the opportunity to challenge yourself, build on your skills, and make a significant contribution to a workplace that’s filled with energetic and inspiring people. Talent thrives here – and so do truly satisfying careers.

The Opportunity

The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, is the largest faculty at Monash University, and offers the most comprehensive suite of professional health training in Victoria. We consistently rank in the top 40 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

Drugs of addiction is an ever present issue in today’s society and here at Monash we are trying to achieve positive outcomes through our commitment to ongoing research which is used to provide evidence based solutions. In our quest to find new solutions, we collaborate with leaders at the intersection of health, medicine, nursing, arts, law, IT, design, and public policy. We partner with health organisations across Victoria, including Turning Point, a national addiction treatment, research and education centre based in Melbourne. The Assistant Lecturer – Addictive Behaviours position has come about to further improve the subject matter we produce.

Based between Turning Point in Richmond and with support from experienced lecturers, the assistant lecturer will assist academic and professional staff with compilation and checking resources and activities for the Units in the Postgraduate Program of Addictive Behaviours, especially preparing unit materials and translating unit material and resources into the software. They will also assist in the preparation and delivery of tutorials, practical classes, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, student field excursions, clinical sessions and/or studio sessions and other pedagogical resources.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a growing department who have continually improved since inception. The successful applicant will have either an honours degree in the relevant discipline and/or an equivalent combination of relevant experience, and/or education/training, or an honours degree or higher qualifications in the relevant discipline and/or progress towards a doctorate in the relevant discipline.

At Monash University, we are committed to being a Child Safe organisation. Some positions at the University will require the incumbent to hold a valid Working with Children Check.

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

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


Dr, Olatz Lopez Fernandez – Senior Lecturer, Course Coordinator Postgraduate Program of Addictive Behaviours, Turning Point, Eastern Health Clinical School. +61 3 8413 8509 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Position Description

Download File Assistant Lecturer - Addictive Behaviours

Closing Date

Wednesday 14 August 2019, 11:55 pm AEST


Supporting a diverse workforce


Calling for Late Breaking Abstract Submissions

If you missed the chance to submit your abstract in the first round due to incomplete data, or you have exciting new research, this is your last chance to be included in a fantastic program filled with internationally distinguished speakers and innovative research and clinical practice.

The Late Breaking sessions are informative fast-paced 5-minute presentations. The sessions are dedicated to new information or important findings not fully available before the general abstract deadline. Presentations are five minutes and should have no more than five slides. This session is one of the most popular sessions at the conference.

Late Breaking presentations are held as a single stream, this is an opportunity to present to all conference delegates, and is a popular session at the conference.

Late Breaking Abstract Deadline: 11.59pm (AEST) Sunday 18 August 2019 (NO EXTENSIONS)


Late Breaking Prize

APSAD has a sponsored prize for best Late Breaking Presentation delivered at the Conference. The person judged as preparing and delivering the Best Late Breaking Presentation receives a certificate and a book voucher valued at $100. The award will be announced at the closure of the conference.There will also be a certificate for the runner up and an honourable.

APSAD 2019 Logo Stacked


2 x Clinical Nurse Consultant (Grade 2) positions available at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney in the Alcohol and Drug Service

  • JR107830 Clinical Nurse Consultant (Grade 2) – Part Time 20 hours/week

 Internal link (For current SVHA employees) –$392530/9925$17533.htmld

External Link (For external employees) -


  • ·JR107827 Clinical Nurse Consultant (Grade 2) – Part Time 32 hours/week

Internal link (For current SVHA employees) –$392530/9925$17527.htmld

External Link (For external employees) -


A vacancy exists in the Alcohol and Drug Contact Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney for a highly motivated Clinical Nurse Consultant with appropriate knowledge and skills to join our friendly and supportive team and provide specific support to our enhanced Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS). This is a helpline service that offers free advice to NSW health professionals on the clinical management of their patients who have Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) concerns. The Clinical Nurse Consultant will be the main point of contact and advice for health professionals and will also work in collaboration with Alcohol and Drug Service Staff Specialists, Counsellors and Consultation and Liaison team.

Our progressive and innovative team offers development opportunities for our staff and a caring environment for the delivery of high quality patient centred care. The successful applicant will be expected to be able to:

  • ·Provide phone line support provision and integration with the broader SVHN AOD clinical practice and clinical supervision.
  • ·Provide Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS) phone line support provision and integration; including triaging calls from clients (health professionals), providing general clinical advice and referring appropriately to staff specialists.
  • ·Documentation of calls and advice given.
  • ·Develop appropriate resources and promotional material.
  • ·Provide ongoing comprehensive analysis of DASAS.
  • ·Contribute to identifying clinical education needs and coordinate peer-review processes.
  • ·Review and audit clinical records.
  • ·Conduct regular audits and monitor operational activity.
  • ·Initiate, develop and implement initiatives and projects which improve quality of service provided.
  • ·Participate in research, as relevant to the role.
  • ·Contribute to the strategic development of the DASAS service.
  • ·Present information and updates of service at regular meetings and forums.
  • ·Ensure a high standard of clinical documentation is maintained including maintaining privacy and confidentiality at all times.

Working hours will be 8:30 – 17:00 Monday to Friday (depending on FTE) for the first 12 months, then it will be a rotating roster to include weekends 8:30 – 17:00 in the 2nd and 3rd year.

We are looking to recruit two part-time positions however a full-time position will also be considered.


Engaging Consumers: Tricky or Transformational?





Webinar Recording Now Available. Click on the link to view. 

Engaging consumers: Tricky or transformational?

Develop your skills and understanding of engaging and supporting consumers In this recorded webinar, we delve into the role of language, consumers and research and hear consumers experiences of engagement.

Watch to acquire insights into the significance of lived experience in relation to consumer participation, gain an understanding of the role which language can play regarding access and equity and increase your awareness about the developing role of consumers in research.

Facilitators and presenters

Facilitator: Suzie Hudson

Presenters: Chris, Fiona Poeder, Annie Madden, Maureen Steele

This webinar was brought to you in partnership with the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs and the Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies.


Are you a clinician who sees patients/clients for problematic alcohol use and comorbid depression?

Help us better understand the treatment decision-making needs of people with problematic alcohol use and comorbid depression.

Are you a clinician who sees patients/clients for problematic alcohol use and comorbid depression?

Researchers at the University of Sydney are surveying clinicians who manage/treat people with problematic alcohol use and comorbid depression to gain clinical insights into their patients/clients’ treatment decision-making needs, and to inform innovative decision-support tools.

For more information and take part in the online survey, go to:


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Research survey – AOD workforce capacity for responding to new psychoactive substances in Australia

The project is being completed as a student project for the Masters of Addictive Behaviours at Monash University. 
It aims to understand AOD workers’ capacity (knowledge, skills, confidence) for supporting people who may use novel psychoactive substances (NPS). 

We are recruiting workers and volunteers from a range of alcohol and other drug (AOD) agencies, programs or services, Australia wide. This includes AOD practitioners, peer support and harm reduction workers or volunteers who provide therapeutic, psycho-education, harm reduction or outreach services directly to people who use/have used drugs.

Participation involves completing an anonymous 20 minute online survey. Participants DO NOT need a working knowledge of NPS to participate.

All respondents are eligible to enter a $100 prize draw.

The survey will ask about:

  • attitudes towards managing NPS in different AOD settings
  • experience discussing NPS with people who use drugs
  • knowledge and perceptions about NPS

We want to know more about how NPS use impacts AOD worker’s practice, if at all, to help inform workforce development strategies and improve service provision for people who use NPS.

The project has been approved by Eastern Health Human Research Ethics Sub-committee and ratified by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Participate in the survey by following this link:

More information available in this poster or by contacting Rita Brien (Student Researcher) on 03 8413 8513 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Student Investigator: Rita Brien (Monash University & Turning Point, Eastern Health)

Principal Investigator: Dr Naomi Crafti (Turning Point, Eastern Health)

Associate Investigators: A/Prof Victoria Manning & Dr Jasmin Grigg (Monash University & Turning Point, Eastern Health) & Dr Matthew Dunn (Deakin University)


NPS survey recruit image


Professor Robert West webinar: Addiction Paper Authoring Tool (PAT)

We are delighted to announce an upcoming webinar with Professor Robert West, Editor-Chief of Addiction. Department of Behavioural Science and Health University College London

When: 16 April 2 pm to 3 pm (AEST)

Addiction Paper Authoring Tool (PAT)

Addiction PAT, aims to assist researchers in writing research reports that contain all the required information, presented clearly and using consistent terminology, and structured in a way that makes it easy to see what was done and why, what was found and what this means. It also stores the key information in a computer readable form making it much easier and quicker to use the paper in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The first version of Addiction PAT focuses on 2-arm randomised controlled trials but it contains modules that can facilitate writing of any research report. Behind Addiction PAT is the beginnings of an Addiction Ontology, a formal system for representing knowledge in addiction and research methods that is used to provide intelligent prompts for authors and facilitate evidence integration and theory development and use.

The scope of Addiction PAT and the Addiction Ontology includes all addictions including the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs as well as behavioural addictions such as gambling.  

Robert will cover examples from the smoking field, including mention of a new E-cigarette Research Ontology that Cancer Research UK has commissioned to help identify gaps in the literature and evaluate research findings using a consistent evaluative framework.


Please click the link to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699006833,,574360311#  or +16465588656,,574360311#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 558 8656 
Australia: +61 8 7150 1149  or +61 2 8015 2088 
United Kingdom: +44 203 966 3809  or +44 203 695 0088
Webinar ID: 574 360 311
International numbers available:





Long Walk to Treatment

Dqi itdWsAAFCcqDear friends and colleagues,

This is a last-minute call for your help in the culmination of Uniting’s “Long Walk to Treatment” from Dubbo to Sydney. This was done to highlight the lack of access to life saving drug treatment that occurs in Australia where 50% of pepoe who present seeking help with alcohol or drug problems can’t get it. An event tomorrow,  Friday November 2 will start at St Stephens Uniting Church in Macquarie St and cross the road to deliver our statement, from the Uniting Church Moderator to NSW Parliament.

Our urgent ask of you at this point is:

  1. Please be there tomorrow, 12.30 at NSW Parliament House if you can – details and registration link below. We need to show parliament how strongly we feel about this!
  2. Please URGENTLY sign to draw the line (link below) – and follow up with your networks. We need more signatures so they know it’s important to people.

Here are the details:

Long Walk to Treatment arrives in Sydney this Friday

It’s taken 15 days and more than half a million steps for our 100-walkers to make the journey from Dubbo to Sydney.


You are invited to St Stephens Uniting Church this Friday 2 November at 12:30pm to attend this milestone occasion. Be inspired by the people who have walked from Dubbo and hear the stories they want to share.

As part of the event, the Uniting Church Moderator will walk across the road to NSW Parliament to hand the Long Walk to Treatment baton over for the final time.

Invitation to attend: Long Walk to Treatment, Sydney

  • · Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • · Venue: St Stephen’s Church, 197 Macquarie St, Sydney (opposite NSW Parliament | map)
  • · RSVP: register your attendance by clicking here

Show your support for drug reform

There’s still time to draw the line on drug policy by adding your online signature of support at .

Thanks for your support.