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2014 NDARC Annual Research Symposium

Image: 2014 NDARC Annual Research Symposium
The 2014 NDARC Annual Research Symposium was held on Monday 8 September. Thanks to all who attended and provided feedback about the day. 
Links to the program and abstracts for the 2014 symposium remain available below. We have also uploaded selected presentations and posters from the day.
For any additional queries, please contact ndarc.symposium@unsw.edu.au


Registrations are now closed.




 Professor Keith Humphreys
Keith Humphreys is a Professor and the Section Director for Mental Health Policy in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Health Services Research Center in Palo Alto and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London. His research addresses the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, the formation of public policy and the extent to which subjects in medical research differ from patients seen in everyday clinical practice.
Dr. Humphreys has been extensively involved in the formation of public policy, having served as a member of the White House Commission on Drug Free Communities, the VA National Mental Health Task Force, and the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  During the Obama Administration, he spent a sabbatical year as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has also testified on numerous occasions in Parliament and advises multiple government agencies in the U.K.  

Session One

 Professor Maree Teesson
Professor Maree Teesson is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at NDARC and the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. Professor Teesson has made a major contribution to Australia’s health and medical research effort in the field of mental health and substance use. In particular, she is known nationally and internationally for her research on the comorbidity between mental health and substance use disorders. Her research interests include the epidemiology mental health and substance use disorders, the effects of alcohol on brain development, internet delivered prevention and treatment programs, new treatments for individuals with comorbid mental health and substance use disorders, and improving treatment delivery. Professor Teesson has a strong track record of winning competitive scientific grant funding and has published extensively. She maintains strong links with treatment services and is a founding member (since 1990) of The Mental Health Services Conference (TheMHS) Inc, the largest mental health services conference in Australia.
 Professor Louisa Degenhardt
Professor Louisa Degenhardt's research interests include the epidemiology of illicit drug use, comorbid mental health problems, and illicit drug surveillance. She commenced work at NDARC in 1998, and from 2001-2008 she established and expanded national illicit drug surveillance and strategic early warning systems across Australia. She was appointed a Professor of Epidemiology in 2007. Professor Degenhardt is involved in ongoing national and international projects, working for example with WHO and UNAIDS on the epidemiology of illicit drug use and associated health risks across the globe. She was the lead academic on the Secretariat for the Reference Group to the United Nations on Injecting Drug Use and HIV (2007-2010), and is currently involved in the international Global Burden of Disease project, responsible for making estimates of the burden of disease for illicit drug dependence, and illicit drug use as a risk factor for other health outcomes. Professor Degenhardt is currently chief investigator on multiple projects investigating pharmaceutical opioid use in Australia. 

Session Two

image - 2014 NDARC Annual Research SymposiumAssociate Professor Tim Slade is a psychologist trained in biostatistics and is director of the epidemiology research stream of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, based at NDARC. His research interests include the classification of mental disorders, particularly the categorical versus dimensional status of psychiatric disorders, and the epidemiology of mental and substance use disorders, including the epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol use disorders in young adults. 
 Professor Richard Mattick
Professor Richard P. Mattick is a Professor of Drug and Alcohol Studies at NDARC. He has authored over 150 scientific articles and books on the assessment, nature and treatment of emotional, cognitive and psychological and neuropsychological problems. His major current research interests are in clinical trials for management of opioid dependence, psychostimulant substitution therapy, treatment of young drug dependent people, and the effects on cognitive functioning of exposure to psychostimulants and opioids.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout One
 Katrina Champion.
Katrina Champion joined NDARC in November 2011 and is currently completing her PhD under the supervision of Dr Nicola Newton and Professor Maree Teesson. Her thesis will involve developing and evaluating the Climate Schools: Ecstasy & Emerging Drugs module, an online school-based prevention program designed to educate adolescents about the harms associated with illicit drug use. Katrina has previously completed a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology (Honours) and a Bachelor of Health at Macquarie University. Her areas of interest include the prevention of substance use among adolescents and internet-based interventions for substance use and related co-morbid mental health problems.
 Mark Deady
Mark Deady joined NDARC in January 2008 and is currently employed as a Senior Research Officer. Since 2008 Mark has worked on a range of projects relating to comorbid mental health and substance misuse at both an epidemiological level and within drug and alcohol services. Mark has previously worked on the development and evaluation of a set of national guidelines for the management of comorbid substance use and mental illness in the alcohol and other drug sector. Recently, he has been involved in the development of a suicide risk assessment toolkit for drug and alcohol services. Mark has also worked on studies at a coronial level and is currently involved with a number of interventions relating to comorbid substance use and depression. Mark is currently working, under the supervision of Professor Teesson and Dr Kay-Lambkin, to modify an internet-based intervention for depression and substance misuse for use in young people. This work will form the basis of his doctoral thesis.
 Natasha Nair
Natasha Nair joined NDARC in 2012 as a Research Assistant and is currently the Climate Schools Coordinator. She completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at Macquarie University and her Honours thesis explored alcohol use in adolescents and young adults, with a particular focus on the trajectory of drinking in those with impulsive, sensation seeking or anxious tendencies. Natasha has previously worked with the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service and ACON, and has a particular interest in internet-based public health interventions.
Breakout Two
 Etty Matalon
Etty Matalon is a Clinical Psychologist and the National Clinical Training Manager for the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC). Etty is also a Consultant who runs her own private practice that provides relevant workplace training and seminars and was the past State President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy for five years. She has 20 years clinical experience in the Alcohol and Other Drug Field having worked at two major teaching hospitals in Sydney; as the Clinical Co-ordinator for a women's detoxification and rehabilitation service where she introduced a Cognitive Behavioural Treatment Program and as the Program Manager at a Private Psychiatric Hospital. Throughout her career she has worked closely with NDARC and has provided her clinical services in relation to several trials and clinical expertise with respect to several publications.Etty taught Drug and Alcohol studies at the Institute of TAFE and has facilitated over 200 workshops and training seminars within Education, Health Services and the Defence Forces relating to Brief Intervention for Cannabis Use Disorders, Alcohol Treatment Guidelines. She has also run Relapse Prevention groups for inmates within Corrective Services.
Breakout Three
 Dr Ryan Courtney
Dr Ryan Courtney is a postdoctoral research fellow at NDARC . Ryan is currently working on an NHMRC-funded randomised controlled trial. This study aims to test the efficacy of financial counselling at improving prolonged abstinence rates among socio-economically disadvantaged smokers. Prior to joining NDARC in March 2012, Ryan was an Australian Rotary Health PhD Scholar at the Priority Research Centre Health Behaviour at the University of Newcastle. Ryan’s previous research projects investigated the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC). Ryan’s PhD examined medical advice seeking behaviour for primary symptoms of CRC and the level of risk-appropriate CRC screening in accordance with NHMRC guidelines.
Alice KnightAlice Knight joined NDARC in 2012 and works with Professor Anthony Shakeshaft on Indigenous projects, with a particular focus on how community development initiatives influence Aboriginal health. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) and previously worked within the Community Development Unit at the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory.
image - 2014 NDARC Annual Research Symposium
Elizabeth Whittaker joined NDARC in 2012 and is completing her PhD, which examines the associations between homelessness and substance use. She is also currently working as the Northern Territory co-ordinator of the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). Prior to this, Liz worked on a number of projects, including the NSW revision of the national clinical guidelines for the management of drug use during pregnancy and various homelessness projects, including the Inner City Youth at Risk, Way2Home and Platform 70 evaluations. Liz completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Honours) at University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Business Management (Human Resources) at University of Queensland. Her prior research has focused on developmental psychology and early childhood.
Breakout Four
 Natasa Gisev
Dr Natasa Gisev joined NDARC in 2012 as a post-doctoral research fellow and is working on a project entitled “Determining the impact of opioid substitution therapy upon mortality and recidivism among prisoners: a 22-year data linkage study”. Her research interests lie in pharmacoepidemiology, mental health, and the evidence-based use of psychotropic medicines. She completed her BPharm (Hons) degree in 2007 at The University of Sydney, and commenced her PhD shortly after concluding her internship and gaining registration as a pharmacist. Her PhD research focused on exploring issues related to psychotropic medicines use among individuals with mental illness in two distinct populations. Firstly, among individuals issued a Community Treatment Order in New South Wales, Australia, and secondly, among older adults residing in Finland which she conducted while on exchange at the University of Eastern Finland. 
 Dr Marian Shanahan
Dr Marian Shanahan is a member of the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at NDARC. Her PhD examined the costs and benefits of various cannabis policies and involved the completion of a substantial cost benefit analysis, a contingent valuation study and a discrete choice experiment. Dr Shanahan is an experienced health economist who has applied health economics principles to a diverse range of disease and structural issues in the health sector. This includes analysing large linked data sets, assessing hospital efficiency and the introduction of new technologies.  She has previously evaluated the economic costs of treatment and health services utilisation by a cohort study of heroin users and has been involved in evaluations of a number of pharmacotherapies and other treatments for illicit drug and alcohol misuse.  In addition she has been involved in economic evaluations of care for those with high risk antenatal problems as well as projects in the field of IVF. Dr Shanahan's current interests include assessing the costs and benefits of policies for heroin, cannabis and other illicit drugs; using discrete choice experiments to explore societal preferences for drugs policies;  and assessing the costs and outcomes of police diversion programs for cannabis.

Facilitated discussion

Image: Professor Michael FarrellProfessor Michael Farrell is the Director of NDARC. He moved to Sydney from London in March 2011 following his appointment to NDARC. Prior to joining NDARC he was Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His extensive research interests include treatment evaluation, including the development of the National Treatment Outcomes Profile, a brief outcomes measurement instrument for drug and alcohol dependence. He has a long standing interest in drug dependence in prisons and within the wider criminal justice system. He has been a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Dependence since 1995 and chaired the WHO External Evaluation of the Swiss Heroin Trial. Professor Farrell has chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Abuse (EMCDDA) from 2007 to the present.
Steve AllsopProfessor Steve Allsop has been involved in policy, prevention and treatment research and practice and professional development for health, police, education, and community organisations for almost 30 years. He has managed prevention, policy and treatment services. As Professor and Director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University he is Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He has previously worked as the A/Executive Director, Drug and Alcohol Office, Western Australia and the Director of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University of South Australia.
Jan BreckenridgeDr Jan Breckenridge is currently the Discipline Convener for the Bachelor of Social Work Program in the School of Social Sciences and Co-Convener of the Gendered Violence Research Network  - a cross-Faculty research initiative of the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Law, UNSW.  Jan has worked and researched in the areas of trauma, domestic and sexual violence and child abuse since 1986.  Her research expertise covers the interdisciplinary fields of criminology, women’s and gender studies and the intervention contexts of counselling, community and policy practice.  Jan is currently Co-Convener of the Inaugural Asia Pacific Conference on Gendered violence and Violations to be held at UNSW in February 2015.
image - 2014 NDARC Annual Research SymposiumSuperintendent Pat Paroz is the Commander of Drug and Alcohol Coordination for the NSW Police Force. He joined the NSW Police Force in 1983 working in a number of metropolitan Local Area Commands including Liverpool, Campbelltown, Holroyd and Parramatta and he was promoted to the rank of Superintendent in 2004. He has held the position of Local Area Commander in Camden, the Blue Mountains and Macquarie Fields. In 2011 he was awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service to the community and particularly for his work with disadvantaged young people. He embraces the concept of lifelong learning, having completed an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management, a Diploma in Public Safety (Emergency Management), a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration.
Ralph KellyRalph Kelly is the father of Thomas Kelly, and founder and director of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. The Foundation was established in 2012 and launched in September 2013 to help curb the kind of alcohol-fuelled violence that robbed Thomas of his life. The Foundation's vision is to foster a more responsible drinking culture and ultimately a safer and healthier community, so that everyone can enjoy Australia's streets without fear or intimidation of a violent, sexual or unprovoked attack. The foundation has been working closely with the NSW State Government, City of Sydney, St. Vincent’s Hospital, NSW Police, schools, sports communities and the corporate sector – a small army of people wanting change to ensure that the foundations mission of ensuring that all of our children come home safely can one day be met.
Professor Don Weatherburn is Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in Sydney and is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Social Science and Policy at UNSW. He is a regular commentator on issues to do with crime reporting and has published widely on topics including drug law enforcement policy, liquor-licensing enforcement, the economic and social correlates of crime, criminal justice administration, juvenile recidivism and crime prevention. His latest book is Arresting Incarceration - pathways out of Indigenous imprisonment (2014). He was awarded a Public Service Medal in January 1998 and made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2006.




Session chairs: 
Professional development points: 

All delegates are welcome to request a certificate of attendance to claim Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from their appropriate college. Please email ndarc.symposium@unsw.edu.au