The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

News & Media

APSAD Conference Call for Abstract is OPEN

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APSAD is calling for abstracts for the following presentations types; Oral |Poster | Workshop | Symposium | and our new presentation"Food for Thought" (brief Oral Presentation). 
The call for Abstracts closes on Friday 29 May for further information please visit the APSAD Conference website 

 

Clinician Corner January 2015 Update

A recent study by Tung et al raises concerns about a local increase in the incidence of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs. 

Tung et al. examined recorded cases of endocarditis from a regional hospital in Australia between 2003-2006 and 2009-2013. They found that although the overall incidence of infective endocarditis decreased in the population, the incidence of infective endocarditis related to injecting drug use increased from 0.5 to 0.8 cases per 100,000 person years.

This trend stands in contrast to overall declines in injecting drug use and related cases of infective endocarditis both in Australia and elsewhere. It may reflect a local increase in the injection of drugs or it may reflect an increase in the risk of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs.

Factors that can increase the risk of infective endocarditis include the injection of talc and other insoluble agents that are contained in pharmaceutical preparations, vasospasm and skin lesions that can occur with stimulant use, and the use of saliva as a drug dilatant. These risk factors may have be exacerbated by a local shift away from injecting heroin to injecting other drugs, such as pharmaceutical opioids, performance enhancing drugs and methamphetamine.

This recent local trend highlights the need to be vigilant for signs of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs, and to continue to educate people who inject drugs about ways to reduce the risks for infective endocarditis (e.g., using filters, alcohol swabs and sterile dilatants), even in the context of overall declines in injecting drug use and related cases of infective endocarditis.

To read more visit the full paper on Early View.
A complimentary PDF of the article is available to APSAD members by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tung MKY, Light M, Giri R, Lane S, Appelbe A, Harvey C, Athan E. Evolving epidemiology of injecting drug use-associated infective endocarditis: A regional centre experience. Drug and Alcohol Review 2014  

Keynote Presentation now on YouTube

Keynote presentations from the 2014 APSAD Conference are now available to view on our YouTube channel!

This is a great resource if you missed the opportunity of attending the conference.

Presentations include:

  • Sarah Larney - Harm production and harm reduction in prisons and post release.
  • Glenys Dore - Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment New South Wales Style.
  • Simon Adamson -  Controlled Drinking the Science and the Art.
  • Judith Prochaska - Tobacco Use Treatment Updates for Behavioural Health Populations
  • Kathleen Brady - Stress and Addictions Neurobiologic Interface
Additional keynote presentations from the 2014 Conference will be added to our YouTube channel within the coming weeks.
Don't forgot APSAD Member's can log into the "Member's Area" on our website to view the presentation slides for concurrent sessions from previous APSAD Conferences.

 

Visit us on YouTube 

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Australian National Council on Drugs to be renamed

Australian National Council on Drugs will be renamed as the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD) which recognises the advisory Council’s focus on alcohol as well as drugs.
“ANACAD’s key role will be to provide advice to the Government on a range of national drug and alcohol issues, including advice on emerging issues and new substances, to ensure the Government is well placed to respond.
Read the Media Release for further details

 

APSAD Naloxone Webinar presented by Nicholas Lintzeris

 

This webinar will give you the information, the confidence and the tools to start prescribing now.
Background to extended distribution of naloxone including historical, international and national context, as well as legal/prescribing issues. 
Naloxone is a well-known and long used medication to reverse effects of opiates in the event of overdose. Yet Australia lags in making this life saving drug more widely available. While scheduling change may be one longer term option, we must not let this further delay extended availability.

 


About our presenter
Nicholas LINTZERIS; MBBS, FAChAM, PhD
A/Prof Nicholas Lintzeris is the Director Drug & Alcohol Services, SESLHD (Sydney, Australia) and Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist for NSW Health. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine, was awarded his PhD in 2002 from the Australian National University, and completed a NHMRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Psychiatry and South London Maudsley NHS Trust (2002-6).
Nicholas Lintzeris has worked in the field of Addiction Medicine for over 20 years in Melbourne, Sydney and London in clinical, research and policy roles. A key focus has been the treatment of opioid dependence, contributing to National Clinical Guidelines, systematic reviews and leading several randomised controlled trials of opioid pharmacotherapies, including methadone, buprenorphine, diamorphine and LAAM.
Since returning to Australia in 2006, a particular focus of his work has been the development of treatment and policy responses to the misuse of pharmaceutical opioids, an increasing problem in Australia over this time.
He has published over 80 peer review journal papers and book chapters, and is a chief investigator in several longitudinal cohort studies of pharmaceutical opioid users.

Click on the link to view the webinar Naloxone - why YOU should be prescribing before Christmas

 

New e-Learning module on hepatitis C available

The Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) has launched an eLearning resource titled Diagnosing and Managing HCV in Drug and Alcohol practice”.

The resource comprises a series of 3 smaller modules each built around a case scenario typically found in the drug and alcohol setting. The first case introduces testing and diagnosis, the second case involves assessing the need for treatment whilst managing comorbidities and the third case focuses on identifying advanced liver disease, treatment pathways, monitoring and treatment outcomes. A number of Fellows of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine have contributed to the development of these modules.

The eLearning can be accessed in the link: http://lms.ashm.org.au and is also accessible through the RACP’s MyResources gateway.

Please click on “access as a guest” to launch the 3 modules

 

Webinar

APSAD Webinar  - 8th December 2014

Naloxone - why YOU should be prescribing before Christmas

Date: Monday, 8th December 2014
Time: 4:30 - 5:30pm AEDT
Presenter: Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris
Location: Your Computer


What will be covered in this session
This webinar will give you the information, the confidence and the tools to start prescribing now.
Background to extended distribution of naloxone including historical, international and national context, as well as legal/prescribing issues. 
Naloxone is a well-known and long used medication to reverse effects of opiates in the event of overdose. Yet Australia lags in making this life saving drug more widely available. While scheduling change may be one longer term option, we must not let this further delay extended availability.

About our presenter
Nicholas LINTZERIS; MBBS, FAChAM, PhD
A/Prof Nicholas Lintzeris is the Director Drug & Alcohol Services, SESLHD (Sydney, Australia) and Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist for NSW Health. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine, was awarded his PhD in 2002 from the Australian National University, and completed a NHMRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Psychiatry and South London Maudsley NHS Trust (2002-6).
Nicholas Lintzeris has worked in the field of Addiction Medicine for over 20 years in Melbourne, Sydney and London in clinical, research and policy roles. A key focus has been the treatment of opioid dependence, contributing to National Clinical Guidelines, systematic reviews and leading several randomised controlled trials of opioid pharmacotherapies, including methadone, buprenorphine, diamorphine and LAAM.
Since returning to Australia in 2006, a particular focus of his work has been the development of treatment and policy responses to the misuse of pharmaceutical opioids, an increasing problem in Australia over this time.
He has published over 80 peer review journal papers and book chapters, and is a chief investigator in several longitudinal cohort studies of pharmaceutical opioid users.

To register for this webinar please go to the Webinar page and follow the instructions
APSAD Webinar not to be missed.
Places are limited and will be allocated in order of requests. You will receive acknowledgement that you have been registered to participate and an overview on how to join the webinar (you only need to register once).


We look forward to your participation



 

Did you know that methadone take away doses are currently being reviewed in Victoria

The Victorian Coroners are suggesting that Victoria adopt the Tasmanian methadone take away dose policy which is a maximum of two, non consecutive take away doses per week.  This will have a significant impact upon people's quality of life.  It will also impact upon employers, the families and partners of people who rely upon a methadone treatment program.

Methadone is one of the best evidenced tools for reducing opioid related deaths and it's continued accessibility is vital to ensuring the health and safety of opioid dependent people and the general community.

Please join this campaign: https://www.change.org/p/dr-denis-napthine-and-hon-mary-wooldridge-mp-i-ask-that-you-continue-the-current-victorian-pharmacotherapy-policy-allowing-up-to-5-methadone-take-away-doses-per-week?recruiter=162572074&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

 

Clinician Corner - Drug and Alcohol Review Update

Text message reminders improve patient attendance according to a review of the evidence conducted by Joanna Milward and colleagues, now available on Drug and Alcohol Review’s Early View.

Patients who miss their appointments are at risk of poorer outcomes. Missed appointments are costly for services and can result in valuable resources being wasted.

Forgetfulness is one of the most common explanations for missed appointments. Text message appointment reminders are a cost-effective intervention that has been shown to dramatically improve attendance in health-care settings. Text message reminders are often generic but they can be personalised, for example, by including the person’s name. Reminders need to be sent within a week prior to the appointment, with most reminders being sent 1, 2 or 3 days in advance.

The effectiveness of using text message reminders has not been explored in substance use services. However, surveys suggest that the majority of clients have mobile phones and are receptive to communicating via text messages. One potential barrier to communicating via text is the frequency with which some clients change their mobile phone number.

To read more visit the full paper on Early View.
A complimentary PDF of the article is available to APSAD members by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A reminder that APSAD members can view the Drug and Alcohol Review online, dating back to the very first issue, simply by logging into the Member's area on the APSAD Website.

Milward J, Lynskey M, Strang J. Solving the problem of non-attendance in substance abuse services. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014 [Epub ahead of print].

 

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Call for Mentors

APSAD has recently formed an Early Career Researchers (ECR) Committee, which is focused on linking ECRs with senior researchers, and providing networking opportunities. The ECR group is open to APSAD members and currently to non-members.

APSAD is looking for mid or senior-career researchers to join our informal network, and share their experiences and insights with ECRs. Mentoring can be as formal or informal as the mentor and mentee desire. Just by having a sounding board when questions arise; a friendly ear to talk about career options can be invaluable to ECRs starting out in their careers.
To find out more about APSAD and the ECR network, please visit the APSAD website and view our LinkedIn group and join the discussion
Download the form to register your interest in mentoring. Mentors will be listed on the APSAD Website with a link to their biography.
APSAD Conference inaugural ECR Breakfast
We are excited to announce that our first ECR networking event will take place this year at the APSAD Conference. To view the details for this please visit the Conference Website or Click here to register
For further information please contact the APSAD Office Ph: (02) 9252 2281 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact our ECR committee representatives via email Suzanne Nielsen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Christina Marel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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