The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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APSAD 2017 Conference

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APSAD Conference | Call for Volunteers

APSAD is looking for six people to volunteer to help out at the 2016 Conference in Sydney October 30 - November 2, Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour. 
If you are a student, a low-income AOD worker, or you’d just like to go to the conference but don’t have the funds volunteering is a great way to be able to attend. 
It is preferable that you are based in Sydney as we are unable to cover travel or accommodation but if you can make your own way there and organise accommodation you are welcome to volunteer.
Volunteers receive a free full registration to the APSAD Sydney 2016 Conference and are required for the following tasks:
Registration desk duties covering mornings, and meal breaks
Session support: This involves various duties; assisting chairs, ushering, and general helping out. 
Volunteers are required on the following days:
All Volunteers must be available for satchel packing on Saturday 29 October 1 pm for 3 hours. 
Monday 31 October
8 am – 5.30 pm
Tuesday 1 November
8 am – 5.10 pm
Wednesday  2 November
8 am – 3.10 pm
You will not be required to attend every session, or the full conference as a volunteer and we attempt as much as possible to have you volunteer in sessions that you are interested in. 
If you are interested or would like more information please contact Deborah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. noting your availability.
It will be first come first serve so be quick!
The call will close on Friday 21 October at the end of day.

Announcing 2016 James Rankin Orator

One of APSAD Council’s important annual responsibilities is to select the James Rankin Orator.

The James Rankin Oration is an annual oration held since 1990 as part of the APSAD Conference and honours a significant contributor to research, practice, and or policy in Australasian alcohol and drugs.

The Oration is named in honour of APSAD’s first President Professor James Rankin who established the first medically-based combined clinical and academic program for the treatment and of study for alcoholism in Australia at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne in 1964.

We are delighted to announce Prof Amanda Baker will deliver this year's James Rankin Oration as part of the 2016 APSAD Conference. 

For further information regarding The James Rankin Oration click here 

Amanda Baker   President


Call for Late Breaking submission open Mon 11 July

We invite you to submit an abstract for the APSAD Sydney 2016 Conference Late Breaking Program. 

Late Breaking Submission opens Monday 11 July 

The Late Breaking session is a lively and informative with fast pace 5-minute presentations. The session is dedicated to up to the minute research, late-breaking, and unpublished findings and for anyone whose data was not available in the general call for abstracts.

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.  
To submit:Review the guidelines and download the abstract template before your submission.

Late Breaker Abstract Submission Deadline: Sunday 14 August 
**please note there will be no extension on the submission deadline**
Need another reason to submit? There's also a Late Breaking Prize on offer. 
If you have already submitted an abstract for the conference in the general call you can still submit a Late Breaking abstract. 

For further details visit the conference website
Poster Highlights Ben1


APSAD is now calling for nominations for the 2016 APSAD Awards in five categories:

  • Early Career
  • Senior Scientist
  • First Peoples
  • Clinician
  • Mentor

Go to the APSAD Awards page for more information

Nominations close on 28 August, 2016

Award winners


Clinician's Corner | Drug and Alcohol Review

Clinician's Corner | By Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin

Modifiable health risk behaviours and attitudes towards behaviour change of clients attending community-based substance use treatment services.

People diagnosed with substance use disorders face a wide range of challenges and stigmatisation related to their lifestyle, behaviours and effects of their condition throughout their lives.  In their forthcoming paper in Drug and Alcohol Review, available on Early View, Tremain et al. highlight how health risk behaviours independent of primary substance use, such as tobacco smoking, play a key role in the experience of harm, and contribute to the 23-year life expectancy gap between people diagnosed with substance use disorders and the general population. They then explore the leading health risk behaviours exhibited by a sample of people seeking treatment for substance use disorders.

Tremain et al. show that tobacco use, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake, and insufficient physical activity form a cluster of health risk behaviours that account for the greatest risk of chronic health diseases, both in the general population and in people seeking treatment for substance use disorders.  However, the authors found that these health risk behaviours are reported much more frequently by people diagnosed with substance use disorders, and within this population, young people (aged 18-34 years) are 4.4 times more likely to smoke tobacco than are people in older age groups.

The good news is that tobacco use, physical inactivity, and insufficient fruit and vegetable intake represent health behaviours that are amenable to change.  Further, Tremain et al. found that up to 61% of people engaged in substance use treatment services in New South Wales have already considered modifying these behaviours, and up to 97% thought it acceptable to be provided access to preventive interventions to reduce this health risk. Younger people in the Tremain et al. sample were more interested than other age groups in increasing their fruit and vegetable intake, indicating that a potential strategy for engaging this typically challenging age group in substance use treatment services may be to offer a broader “lifestyle-focussed” intervention.

While more research is needed in this area to determine the most effective strategies for supporting people diagnosed with substance use disorders to address tobacco use, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity, Tremain et al. provide a compelling argument for integrating lifestyle-focussed assessment and interventions (including the integration of the many apps and online programs currently available) into substance use treatment services in Australia.

A full copy of this paper is available online.

Tremain D, Freund M, Wolfenden L, Wye P, Bowman J, Dunlop A, Gillham K, Bartlem K, McElwaine K, Gow B, Wiggers J. Modifiable health risk behaviours and attitudes towards behaviour change of clients attending community-based substance use treatment services. Drug Alcohol Rev 2016; Available on Early View.


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Join in the conversation on the APSAD Early Career Networking group page on LinkedIn

This week's post to the ECR Networking Group conversation: 

How do you measure Research Impact? Posted by Dr Jason Ferris 

So, many of you may have heard that the wheels of 'impact' are changing again (see here for a refresh

This issue has begun raising its head here at UQ as we prepare (in advance) for what might be the metrics behind 'measuring the societal benefits from research'. So, I thought it might be interesting what you have done to make 'impact' less about a journal (and its impact factor) and more about change.

I am mindful here of an exemplar by one of our own Caitlin Hughes - Which if I remember correctly lead to a change in 'legal thresholds' associated with serious drug offences. Correct me if I am wrong. Caitlin's research lead to a true change in policy - the gold standard of impact. 

So, what have you done, or what are you thinking of doing as the machinations around impact adjust again?

To join the conversation join us on LinkedIN 

APSAD ECR LinkedIn Group


Free AOD webinars for APSAD members

We are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with the Insight Training and Education Unit in Queensland. APSAD members are now able to access FREE webinars of Insight’s Seminar Series Program.

Insight is a leading provider of alcohol and other drug training, education, information and advice for workers and services across Queensland.  They deliver a free seminar program each semester on a range of AOD related themes and topics. The seminars are delivered on the first Wednesday each month at 10am (AEST).

The first seminar for 2016 kicks off on Wednesday the 2nd March. This semester’s program draws together a diverse range of topics including pain management, Hep-C treatment, emotional regulation and motivational interviewing. This program also has a particular focus on methamphetamine as part of the Queensland Government’s response to ‘ice’.
To access full details please log in the Members' Area and go to the Workshop page on the APSAD website. 

Insight training calander Seminar 1-2016


3 Weeks Left to Submit an Abstract!

The APSAD Sydney 2016 Conference will take place October 30 to November 2 at Four Points Darling Harbour.The Scientific Program Committee is excited to announce that Abstract Submissions are now OPEN.We invite submissions of abstracts for the following presentation types: poster; oral; workshop; symposium; and Food for Thought. Abstract Submissions Close: 15 May 2015
For further information and to submit an abstract visit the conference website

Download a copy of the Abstract Submission Guidelines. 

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2016 APSAD Conference super early bird registration open!

Don't miss out open for a limited time! 
Be sure to register by Sunday 13 March to take advantage of the discounted Super Early Bird rate.
Visit the conference website for all the details.