The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

News & Media

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


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].




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.



Drug and Alcohol Review Update

Drug and Alcohol Review a new virtual issue is available on ‘Managing methamphetamine dependence: interventions and beyond’. This virtual issue brings together papers on pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy and community-based interventions for methamphetamine use.

Click here to view on the Wiley Online Library 



The National Drug and Alcohol Services Directory (NDASD)

New Website Directory 

Allows users to run easy and comprehensive searches for Alcohol and Other Drug services anywhere across Australia. The project is a collaboration between the Commonwealth Department of Health, Turning Point and Monash University, and is a really useful resource for anyone looking to link in with an Alcohol or Other Drug treatment service in Australia. This includes individual service users, primary health providers, community and public service providers, GPs and other health professionals.

Visit the NDASD directory 



The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA)

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) has released their final report today on the case for minimum price for alcohol.

You can download the PDF from their website


Call to join the IDHDP

Join IDHDP in calling for health based drug policies


IDHDP is a global network of medical doctors supporting drug policy based on health.

HDP aims:

•Protect society and the individual from drug related death and disease

•Public health instead of criminal justice

•Improve access to essential medicines

•Expand access to evidence based treatment

Opportunity for doctors:

 March 2016 will see the UN General Assembly Special Session (“UNGASS”) on the “World Drug Problem.” Before then there will be many opportunities to ensure health is high on the agenda. By joining IDHDP you will be helping a lot.

By joining IDHDP you will be adding your voice to a growing number of physicians calling for health based drug policies


Join at

Membership is free, easy and open to all medical doctors. By joining you will receive our comprehensive newsletter and updates on policies from all over the world.

 Follow us on Twitter @idhdp

Physicians globally unite for health based drug policy



APSAD YouTube Channel


Keynote presentations now available to view on APSAD's YouTube Channel!

More to come in the following weeks

Visit us on YouTube


APSAD’s media release regarding the defunding of ADCA

MEDIA RELEASE 27 November 2013
Professional body representing alcohol and other drugs sector urges government not to abandon vital services in drastic funding cut.
The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) has expressed strong disappointment at the Commonwealth government’s decision, announced yesterday, to discontinue funding for the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA).
APSAD is the Asia Pacific's leading multidisciplinary organisation for professionals involved in the alcohol and other drug field including health professionals, researchers and frontline clinicians from major universities, research institutes, treatment facilities and healthcare agencies.
APSAD President Dr Rose Neild said the news of ADCA’s de-funding and voluntary administration was an unwelcome shock to the sector.
“As the peak national body for non-governmental agencies working to reduce problems from alcohol and other drugs, ADCA played an important role in bringing the experience and knowledge of agencies and professionals to bear on treatment and prevention policies and their implementation across Australia,” Dr Neild said.
“ADCA’s National Drug Sector Information Service, run with resources from the federal government, has been the primary resource for agencies and workers in the field concerning the relevant clinical and research literatures which form the basis of evidence-based practice and policy.
“APSAD considers that these two functions must continue to be filled, and urges the Commonwealth government to continue to provide resources for these functions.”
News of the government’s decision came as 500 alcohol and other drug experts from around the country and overseas gather in Brisbane at APSAD 2013, Australasia’s largest and most comprehensive annual summit on alcohol and other drugs.
APSAD is dedicated to increasing the profile of the issues related to the use of alcohol and other drugs, through the dissemination of information from the wide range of professions involved in this field. In addition, we strive to promote improved standards in clinical practice and in research into this and allied subjects. It also provides a network of drug and alcohol professionals in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific.
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.
For further information visit Dr Rose Neild is available for interview.
Please contact:
Carol Moore, Moore Public Relations
02 9560 2826, 0402 382 363, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Have we lost the war on drugs?


Have we lost the war on drugs? Heroin, cocaine and cannabis now cheaper and purer globally than 'at any time in last 20 years'

New report says is time to consider drug use a public health issue rather than one of criminal justice



Media Releases