Friday, 16 October 2015

November PD activities

Find below some of the great PD opportunities available in November.  Comment or email the library if you have anything to add.
Write – presentations and papers

4th Annual No 2 Bullying Conference, 18-19th April
Abstract submissions are now being accepted under the following streams:
  • Schools
  • Workplace
  • Cyberbullying
  • Higher Education
  • Principle and Practice
  • Prevention Strategies
  • Lessons Learnt 
  • Open
The 2016 Conference will focus on key principles and best practice for creating a generational change towards bullying and will examine bullying in schools, workplaces and cyberspace
Abstract submission closes: 18th Jan 2016

Read – professional reading

Darvishi N, Farhadi M, Haghtalab T, Poorolajal J (2015) Alcohol-Related Risk of Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Attempt, and Completed Suicide: A Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126870. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126870

Leigh, S. & Flatt, S. (2015) App-based psychological interventions: Friend or foe?. Evidence-based Mental Health. doi:10.1136/eb-2015-102203

Allara, E., Ferr, M., Bo, Alessandra., Gasparrini, A. (2015) "Are mass-media campaigns effective in preventing drug use? A Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis" in BMJ Open 2015;5:e007449

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Journal club (available to Healthy Options workers only)
This month’s journal club will be presented by the SA team.  Debby Kadarusman will be looking at an article on positive psychology.
When: Thursday, 19th November, 2pm (AEST)

Pennington Institute online modules for AOD workers
Modules include:
  • Introduction to brief interventions
  • Introduction to crystal methamphetamine
  • Introduction to young people and drugs
You will need to register to access the modules.  Each module includes a pre-quiz, training module, post-quiz and printable certificate
Access anytime.  Self-paced.

Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach – online course
Public Mental Health is the application of the principles of medicine and social science to prevent the occurrence of mental and behavioral disorders and to promote mental health of the population. This course illustrates the principles of public health applied to depressive disorder, including principles of epidemiology, transcultural psychiatry, health services research, and prevention. It is predicted that by 2020 depressive disorder will be the most important cause of disease burden in the entire world!  Every human being suffers from feeling depressed at some point or other, but only about one fifth of the population will experience an episode of depressive disorder over the course of their lives. This course illuminates the public health approach to disease, and the particular complexities of applying this approach to mental disorders, using depression as the exemplar.  
When:  2nd November
Duration: 7 weeks, 2-5hr/wk

Attend - conferences

Annual Scientific Alcohol and Drugs Conference
Hosted by the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Drugs (APSAD) this year’s conference will address a diverse range of issues including co-existing mental health and drug problems, aetiology, policy innovations, emerging psychoactive substances, responding to First Peoples’ needs and addressing drug related harms.
When: 8 – 11th November
Where: Perth, W.A.
Cost: $420 - $960 see website for details

International Indigenous Health Conference
The conference will highlight some of the existing Indigenous health programs currently implemented in communities throughout Australia and in other Indigenous communities in the world provide a unique opportunity for delegates and speakers to see the power of people networking together. This event also provides delegates with an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas and information regarding success stories and the challenges they have experienced in rolling out various programs and projects
When: 1st-3rd December
Where: Cairns, Qld.
Cost: $1000!2015-indigenous-health-conference/c1sdu

Second National Complex Needs Conference
This conference seeks to identify and showcase successful collaborative efforts in service delivery, with a view to informing whole-of-government approaches to policy and program development.
When: 17 – 18th November
Where: Canberra, A.C.T.
Cost: $350 - $820 See website for details

Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference
With long-term unemployment reaching a 16 year high, the impact on individuals and families, society and the economy is immense. Early intervention and targeted programs for those facing more than 12 months, or longer, of unemployment are needed.  The Conference Program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. The program will include an extensive range of topics with Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters.
When: 9 – 10th November
Where:  Melbourne, Vic.
Cost: $600 - $850 See website for details

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Insight – Tall Poppies - Webinar
Presented by Dr Jeremy Hallyar, Clinical Director, Metro North Mental Health, Alcohol & Drugs Service Qld
With all the press and hype about ice, is there a danger that we are losing sight of the evolving challenge of opioid use? This seminar will look at the USA situation over the last 20 years and consider if Australia is heading in the same direction.  Responses to opioid use will be discussed.
When:  Wednesday, 4th November, 9am (AEST)

Helping transgender people thrive - Podcast
Transgender and gender nonconforming people are becoming more accepted in mainstream society, but they still remain misunderstood and understudied. In this episode, psychologist Anneliese Singh discusses how she and other researchers are trying to understand resilience within this population. She also talks about new practice guidelines for the mental health professionals who work with them.
Duration: 12mins

“Flying over the radar” Changing practice to support children and families where a parent has a mental illness – Webinar
This webinar described ways to foster systemic change in practice to improve outcomes for families where a parent has a mental illness.
Duration: 50mins

Thursday, 15 October 2015

2015 EDRS and IDRS report findings

About the IDRS and EDRS

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) are two studies conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC).  These studies output annual reports on illicit drug use, both nationally and by state.

Participants in the research are currently using substances, i.e. the study does not look at drug use in the general population.   Data are gathered from interviews with people currently using drugs, key experts in the field, and professionals who have regular contact with people who inject drugs (IDRS) or regular psychostimulant users (EDRS) through their work.


Heroin remains the most commonly used drug amongst people who inject drugs.  The proportion of respondents using heroin remained stable, but the frequency of use had increased.  The drug is reportedly very easy to obtain and is of low purity.

Use of cocaine remained stable and use of cannabis was high, but stable. 

Sharing injection equipment was common, with 6% of respondents having borrowed a needle and 11% having lent a needle.  Re-use of own needle was common (41%).

Over half of the sample reported a mental health problem during the previous 6 months.  Most commonly reported was depression, followed by anxiety


Although decreasing over the last 12 years, ecstasy remains the most commonly reported drug of choice, closely followed by cannabis, which has increased over the last 12 years.  There is a reported decrease in use of ecstasy pills and increase in use of ecstasy/MDMA crystals. 

There was a significant increase in regular psychostimulant users reporting using other drugs with ecstasy (89%).  Reported use of any methamphetamine has significantly decreased with powder and base use significantly decreasing and crystal use remaining stable.

In terms of other drug use, there has been a significant increase in reported use of tobacco and amyl nitrate.

...and Ice

Crystal methamphetamine use is up (6%) amongst people who inject drugs (PWID), such that 67% of PWID used Ice in the previous 6 months.  Crystal methamphetamine use is stable amongst regular psychostimulant users at around 19%.

Users of crystal methamphetamine report the drug is easily obtained and the purity is high.

Harms related to methamphetamine use are high with a dramatic increase in hospital presentations and people seeking treatment.  There has also been an increase in methamphetamine related deaths.