The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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ASCP Webinar: Smoking and the Course of COVID: Clear or Mud?

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12.00 (AEST) Tuesday 30 June 2020 

ASCP Webinar: Smoking and the Course of COVID – Clear or Mud?

Presenter: Professor Matther Peters AM, Respiratory Physician and Head of Respiratory Medicine at Concord Hospital

Details of the presentation will be provided shortly.

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar


APSAD General Meeting

Notice of General Meeting

APSAD Council is calling a General Meeting of members on Monday 22nd June at 12.30 to be held via zoom to propose a Special Resolution for an amendment to the Society's Constitution to allow for the key positions of President, Vice President/President Elect and Treasurer to remain on Council for longer than is currently allowed within the Constitution.

Attendance from members would be greatly appreciated so that we are able to pass the resolution. If you are unable to attend you can appoint a proxy (details and proxy form below) to attend and vote on your behalf. 

To view the section in question download a copy of the Society's Constitution, head to page 29 Item 54. Term of Office

Notice is hereby given that a General Meeting of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) will be held as follows:

on:  Monday 22nd June 2020

at:   Online via ZoomPlease register in advance to attend the General Meeting

commencing at: 12.30pm (the General Meeting will run for approx 30 minutes)

for the purpose of transacting the following items of business:

If you are unable to attend the General Meeting you may appoint one person to attend and vote at the meeting as your proxy. Proxies may only be appointed by returning the Proxy Form via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 17:00 Friday 19th June.

You may appoint the Chairman as your proxy or your own proxy. A proxy need not be a member. The Proxy Form must be signed by the member or an attorney duly authorised in writing.

If you have any questions regarding the General Meeting, appointing a proxy, or you would like a Word version of the proxy form, email Liz Baxter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Webinar: Smoking cessation care for pregnant and postpartum Indigenous Australian women: A collective approach

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The monthly ASCP webinars have returned, our first webinar is next Tuesday.

12.30 (AEST) Tuesday 26 May 2020  Add to Calendar

Smoking cessation care for pregnant and postpartum Indigenous Australian women: A collective approach

Effective smoking cessation care (SCC) can save unnecessary loss of lives and smoking-related life long morbidity. The urgency of quitting smoking during pregnancy cannot be emphasised enough. Therefore, we put our effort to enhance SCC for pregnant Indigenous Australian women to support them to quit smoking for themselves and their families. Our research shows that smoking by Indigenous people is often influenced by numerous contextual, immediate social surroundings and personal factors, requiring SCC to be orchestrated at multiple levels and to be comprehensive. This presentation will be from Associate Prof Gillian Gould and members of her team to present their research on multiple aspects for interventions to address some of the major barriers around SCC. Ms Tabassum Rahman will present her systematic review about how the socio-ecological model can be applied to the barriers and enablers on system, health service, community and individual levels for the topic. A/Prof Gould will present the phased development and trials about the SISTAQUIT intervention (formerly ICAN QUIT in Pregnancy) that included an online training package for health professionals providing care to pregnant and postnatal Indigenous women, patient resources and free oral nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). A successful pilot study led to the randomised controlled trial of SISTAQUIT (Supporting Indigenous Smokers To Assist Quitting) and a national roll-out of the SCC care package as iSISTAQUIT, accompanied by a social media campaign. Dr Pari Eftekhari will present her research plan to engage family members, especially partners, in smoking cessation in pregnancy. Her research will explore partners perspectives to smoking cessation in pregnancy through our qualitative research project PAPAS. We will further outline a promising individual and community-based approach using the new MAMA-Empower Health App. Our collective goal is to make smoking cessation easier, more effective and relevant for Indigenous Australian women. The team will outline ways that the ASCP SIG could become involved in this research.

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar


Associate Professor Gillian Gould PhD, MBChB, MA (Arts Therapy), Dip Drama.

Associate Professor Gould is a GP and Tobacco Treatment Specialist with a wealth of clinical experience assisting smokers to quit. Her research focus is to improve the risks from tobacco smoking among Indigenous Australians.  She co-developed, over a decade, strategies to tackle smoking with Aboriginal communities, and led a regional Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative (2010-12). Gould is an NHMRC Translating Research into Practice Fellow co-funded by Cancer Institute NSW, at University of Newcastle (UON). The fellowship will improve strategies for pregnant Indigenous smokers. Gould supervises 4 high-caliber PhD students at UON, and leads a multi-disciplinary team for the national SISTAQUIT (Supporting Indigenous Smokers To Assist Quitting) research project and the implementation phase of iSISTAQUIT. Other projects include co-developing the multi-behaviour change MAMA-EMPOWER App for a healthy Indigenous pregnancy.

Gould was awarded a career total of $12M in funding and has 54 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her contribution to Indigenous research is recognised by multiple awards: National Lead Clinicians Excellence Award for Indigenous Cultural Competence (2014), RACGP Indigenous Health Awards (2008, 2014) and Faculty of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health ‘Standing Strong Together Award’ (2009), Alan Chancellor Award (2016), Hunter Children’s Research Foundation Excellence Award (2016), HMRI ECR award (2017), APSAD Early Career Researcher Award (2018), Cure Cancer Australia Researcher of the Year (runner up 2018, 2019 and 2020). She was awarded International Visiting Research Fellowships to visit the Mayo Clinic, USA in 2017, and in 2018 to visit Maori colleagues in New Zealand. Gould is co-chair of the Lung Diseases Group for the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease.
 Tabassum Rahman UON
Tabassum Rahman, PhD Candidate (Public Health and Behavioural Science), MSS (Sociology), MDVST (Development Studies)  

Tabassum Rahman is doing her PhD research on Indigenous Australian women’s smoking and quitting behaviour, including smoking relapse in the context of pregnancy and postpartum to inform culturally appropriate smoking cessation interventions for Indigenous Australian women. Tabassum has experience of working in the field of violence against women, and with Indigenous communities overseas.

In her first year of PhD, along with A/Prof Gillian Gould, Tabassum won a Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Foundation grant to fund her research on smoking relapse among Indigenous Australian women. Tabassum also received the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence top-up PhD scholarship 2019 shortly after starting her PhD.
 Ally Hart
Allison Hart, Aboriginal Research Assistant and Cultural Liaison Officer Isistaquit

I am a Aboriginal woman local to the Coffs Harbour area, that is a descendant from the Aboriginal tribe Gumbaynggirr. I have worked within the Aboriginal communities both local and surrounding. I had previously worked as a Early Intervention Caseworker with Aboriginal mums in the Coffs Harbour area. Working with Aboriginal families (primarily Aboriginal Mothers) assisting, supporting and helping tackle issues including social, drug, alcohol and family wellbeing.

Working with ISISTAQUIT has allowed me to continue working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums to help increase smoking cessation with Aboriginal mothers, by providing training information and resources for healthcare providers at Aboriginal Medical Services and mainstream services in the delivery of culturally competent evidence-based smoking cessation care.

 Parivash Eftekhari

Dr Parivash Eftekhari, PhD (Human Physiology and Epidemiology), PharmD

Dr Parivash Eftekhari is a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Newcastle. She is a doctor of pharmacy and she has completed two PhDs. Her current research is focused on novel and culturally tailored approaches for Indigenous people to improve children’s health. Dr Eftekhari benefits from her education in Epidemiology, and Gender and Health in leading her research project on partner support in smoking cessation during pregnancy for Indigenous people. This research highlights men’s attitude and readiness towards quitting smoking and providing support for their pregnant partners. This is a unique area of opportunity to improve Indigenous health.


Managing comorbidity - Tips and tricks for adapting practice in a changing environment

The Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (NADA) Webinar:
Managing comorbidity - Tips and tricks for adapting practice in a changing environment

21 May 2020, 12:00 – 1:00pm

Mental health and substance use issues frequently co-occur in substance use treatment settings. This webinar will provide a brief summary of comorbidity research, along with practical strategies to address comorbid mental health and substance use issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include discussion of diversifying treatment and contact approaches, along with strategies for assessing and managing risk issues. Join Logan Harvey (clinical psychologist with the Matilda Centre) to explore these issues and answer questions you may have. 

Register now


Revised Insight - APSAD Webinar Program ready to roll

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Following our recent hiatus we're pleased to announce that our Insight-APSAD Webinars are all set to recommence this coming Wednesday 13th May at 10:00m AEST.

Here are the first three presentations to kick off Semester 1 - Vers 2.0:

WED. 13 MAY 2020, 10:00 AM
Dr Nikola Ognyenovits & co-presenter "Jasen"
Ibogaine: A solution or a false promise? WEBINAR

WED. 20 MAY 2020, 10:00 AM
Dr. Jeremy Hayllar
Another milestone for MATOD? The use of long acting injectable buprenorphine preparations in the treatment of opioid use disorder. WEBINAR

WED. 27 MAY 2020, 10:00 AM
Michelle Taylor
New Toolkits for Trauma Informed Care & Sensory Approaches WEBINAR



Webinar: The Utilisation, Effectiveness & Safety of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies During Pregnancy: An Australian Population-Based Study

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POSTPONED: The Utilisation, Effectiveness and Safety of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies During Pregnancy: An Australian Population-Based Study

Please note this webinar scheduled for the 31 March has now been postponed, the new date will be announced shortly. 

Presenter: Alys Havard, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales

This NHMRC-funded research used linked pharmaceutical claims and administrative health data for all women who gave birth in New South Wales and Western Australia between 2004 and 2012 to examine the extent to which prescription NRT patches, bupropion and varenicline are used during pregnancy. To examine the effectiveness of these medicines during pregnancy, the smoking cessation rates associated with varenicline relative to NRT patch use was measured. The risk and benefits associated with these medicines in pregnancy was assessed by comparing the rate of adverse birth outcomes among women who used prescription NRT patches, bupropion or varenicline with the rate among women who smoked but did not receive any of these medicines.


POSTPONED: APSAD 2020 Brisbane Conference


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APSAD is following the ongoing developments on COVID-19 closely, with our priority being the safety and wellbeing of members, delegates, stakeholders, and our community. We appreciate the additional strain being felt by the AOD sector at all levels and, given the ongoing developments, APSAD Council has made the decision to postpone the 40th APSAD Brisbane Conference that was scheduled for 15-18 November 2020 in Brisbane.

Following consultation and review, we have decided on a postponement for 12 months to 7-10 November 2021 in Brisbane at the same venue, the Sofitel Brisbane Central. It was felt that late 2021 will be an ideal time for the sector to meet and collaborate as it adjusts to, and reviews the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on healthcare providers and consumers.

Registered delegates will be contacted directly. We strongly encourage you to transfer your registration to the new dates, however, registrations will be refunded with no penalty. Requests must be received in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We’re immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed to APSAD conferences in the past 40 years and welcome your involvement on many more to come.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you in Brisbane in 2021.



National Comorbidity Guidelines Train-the-Trainer Day: Registrations now open

Are you interested in being trained to deliver mental health training in your workplace?

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The University of Sydney's Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use is now taking registrations for our inaugural National Comorbidity Guidelines Train-the-Trainer day. 

The training is based on the Australian Government Department of Health-funded National Comorbidity Guidelines (Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings), and has been developed by researchers from the University of Sydney Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, in collaboration with 360edge.

Participants will become certified to deliver the National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program, and provide evidence-based training for alcohol and other drug workers to improve their capacity to manage co-occurring mental disorders. 

Key details

  • Where: The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2050
  • When: 9am-5pm Thursday 14th May (AEDT)
  • Cost: Free
  • Who should attend: Training facilitators are required to have successfully completed tertiary training in a relevant field; have a comprehensive knowledge of comorbidity and/or experience working with people experiencing co-occurring mental and substance use disorders; be skilled in substance use and mental health interventions; possess sound training skills, and have the capacity to deliver workplace training.
  • Skills gained: Trainers will become registered trainers through the Matilda Centre, and subject to signing licensing agreements, licensed to deliver the National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, which depending on their registration provider, may be used toward continuing professional development points (CPD). 

PLEASE NOTE: The inaugural class of trainers will be limited to 40 people.

Registrations will close 5pm Friday 17th April.


If the maximum number of applications are received, applicants will be placed on a waitlist and notified as soon as a place becomes available.

How does 'train the trainer' work?

Unlike traditional training, a 'train the trainer' approach is designed to engage experienced trainers, who can deliver the course material to others. By adopting a ‘train the trainer’ approach and harnessing the skills of existing trainers, a greater number of training sessions can be held across the country, ensuring the evidence-based training program is delivered to as many people as possible.

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Training partner: 360edge

The National Comorbidity Guidelines Train-the-Trainer day will be delivered by 360edge, Australia’s leading specialist consultants in AOD policy and practice. 360edge combines more than 25 years of academic research with hands-on clinical experience to provide training that is both evidence-based and practical to implement.

What's in the National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program?

comorbid guidelines bookContent from the face-to-face training is based on the Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (2nd edition) developed by researchers from the University of Sydney's Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use. The evidence-based Comorbidity Guidelines are a widely used clinical resource, and were developed in consultation with a panel of experts, drawing on the experience and knowledge of clinicians, consumers, carers and researchers. 

The National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program is designed to be flexible. Trainers can choose to deliver any combination of the seven half-day modules below depending on the needs of the workplace receiving training.

  • Module 1: Understanding Comorbidity (Compulsory, Core)
  • Module 2: Screening and Assessment Compulsory (Compulsory, Core)
  • Module 3: Applying Motivational Enhancement, Cognitive, and Behavioural Approaches to Co-Occurring Disorders (Optional)
  • Module 4: Anxiety, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder (Optional)
  • Module 5: Personality Disorders (Optional)
  • Module 6: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Optional)
  • Module 7: Psychosis, Eating Disorders, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Optional)





Hosted by A/Prof Renee Bittoun, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Adjunct Associate Professor Medical School, University of Notre Dame Australia along with other experts in the field of smoking cessation. A/Prof Bittoun has been teaching this course for over 15 years, regularly updating the content and has many years of experience in clinical practice and professional training regarding smoking cessation.

Download the flyer

2020 Course Dates

  • 24 - 26 March
  • 22 - 24 June
  • 22 - 24 September

Register here:

Price: $1,700 + GST

Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
431 Glebe Point Road
Glebe NSW 2037


Webinar: What's new in the 2nd Ed. of Supporting Smoking Cessation: A Guide for Health Professionals?

ASCP bannerWhat is new in the second edition of Supporting Smoking Cessation: A Guide for Health Professionals?

12:00 (AEDT) 25th February 2020

Presenter: Professor Nicholas Zwar, Bond University and Chair of Expert Advisory Group for the publication

The second edition of this publication from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners was released on 28 January 2020 after a long process of review and discussion. The new edition has a number of substantive changes, including the incorporation of a brief intervention three step structure (Ask, Advise, Help) and a range of changes to recommendations for use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. The publication also includes recommendations around the role of nicotine containing e-cigarettes in assisting smoking cessation. These recommendations have attracted considerable attention.

The presentation will cover the process undertaken for producing the new edition, the key changes in recommendations and the literature review and rationale behind these recommendations.

Please click the link to join the webinar:

Catch up on many of the great webinars held throughout 2019 by clicking on the links below.



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