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NDARC annual symposium registration opens May 23

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Date Published:
26 May 2011
Contact person:
Marion Downey
+612 9385 1080 / 0401 713 850

Translating the evidence: drug and alcohol research at the coalface

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre’s Annual Symposium 2011 will once again focus on one of the biggest challenges facing the alcohol and other drug sector: integrating research evidence into public policy and clinical practice.

“This has been a recurring theme of our Symposium over the past few years,” says NDARC Director Professor Michael Farrell. “While the research and the findings may change, the onus on us as a research community to ensure those findings are integrated into public policy and clinical practice remains the same.”

Senior NDARC researchers will present their findings at the University of NSW on Tuesday 30 August 2011 in an exciting and issue rich program which focuses on some of the most complex and hard to treat cases as well as tackling community and family based challenges around alcohol consumption in Australia.

“It is very easy as researchers to get caught up in the endless cycle of grant writing, publication and more grant writing and to lose sight of the fact that the very purpose of the new knowledge which we are generating is to ensure that both policy and practice are guided by the best available evidence,” says Professor Farrell.

“We need in effect to ensure that we do not as academics end up talking to ourselves. Which is why we encourage a broad audience from the sector to attend what we believe is a very important day in the NDARC calendar.”

The opening session of the Symposium will be chaired by Simon Cotterell, Assistant Secretary of the Drug Strategy Branch and will focus on the need for interagency co- operation in treating some of the most complex and hard to treat cases: clients with significant co-morbidities; the homeless and parents with entrenched substance use issues. Session two, chaired by David McGrath, Director of Mental Health and Drug Programs at NSW Health will look at alcohol, communities and families and will include a presentation of the final findings from the groundbreaking Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project.

In the afternoon Dr John Herron, chair of the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) will chair a session looking at a range of illicit drugs, including cannabis and methamphetamine. In this session one of the speakers, Marian Shanahan, will present findings from her PhD which assesses the economic consequences of cannabis policy and which has significant implications for the decriminalisation debate.

Finally the afternoon session, chaired by Professor Andrew Lloyd of UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine, will look at entrenched drug users. Professors Michael Farrell and Kate Dolan will present findings from their work with prison populations. Professor Shane Darke will look at the ageing heroin user presenting material from his new book: The Life of the Heroin User, typical beginnings, trajectories and outcomes.

Registration is now open.

For more information visit: http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/NDARCWeb.nsf/page/Symposium

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) Annual Symposium 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Venue: John Niland Scientia Building, University of New South Wales

New Horizons: Integrating research findings, public policy and clinical practice

8:00-8.45am Registration
9:00-9:05am Welcome to Country
9.05-9.10am Welcome to NDARC Annual Symposium 2011
                     Director NDARC Professor Michael Farrell

CHAIR: Mr Simon Cotterell
9:10-9:30am: Parental substance use, infant development and family functioning. Dr Delyse Hutchinson (Including five minutes for questions).
9:30-9:50am Mothers on the Opioid Treatment Program and their involvement with the child protection system. Dr Stephanie Taplin (Including five minutes for questions).
9:50-10:10am Breaking down silos to improve outcomes for homeless people with complex drug and alcohol and mental health issues. Dr Elizabeth Conroy (Including five minutes for questions).
10:10 -10:30am Suicide risk assessment and interventions. Working with mental health services to support drug and alcohol workers and improve outcomes for at risk residential clients. Dr Joanne Ross (including five minutes for questions).
10:30-11:00am Morning tea

CHAIR: Mr David McGrath
11.00 -11.20am Clinical and public health significance of the proposed changes to the diagnosis of alcohol abuse and dependence in DSM-5. Dr Timothy Slade (including five minutes for questions).
11:20-11:40am One size does not fit all. Alcohol use and harms across rural towns in NSW. Dr Courtney Breen (including five minutes for questions).
11:40am-12:00pm Keys to success in implementing alcohol screening and brief interventions in Aboriginal Communities. Dr Anton Clifford (including five minutes for questions).
12:00-12:30pm The Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project: overall findings and implications for future community-based drug and alcohol research. A/ Prof. Anthony Shakeshaft (including five minutes for questions).
12:30-1:00pm Poster presentations (selected entrants to give three minute overview of their posters). Convened by Professor Shane Darke.
1:00-1:45pm LUNCH

CHAIR: Dr John Herron
1:45-1:50pm Poster winners. Professor Shane Darke.

1:50-2:10pm To legalise or not? The economic consequences of cannabis policy options. Marian Shanahan (including five minutes for questions).
2:10-2:30pm  Reduce your use. Promising findings from Australia’s first internet based cannabis treatment study. Dr Sally Rooke (including five minutes for questions).
2:30-2: 50pm Methamphetamine psychosis and response to drug treatment. Dr Rebecca McKetin (Including five mins for questions).
2:50-3:20pm  Prescription opioid dependence: how severity of comorbidities impacts on treatment outcomes. Dr Fiona Shand (including five minutes for questions).
3:20-3:40 pm AFTERNOON TEA

CHAIR: Professor Andrew Lloyd
3.40-4.00pm Risks in and after prison. An overview of drugs in prison. Professor Michael Farrell (including five minutes for questions).
4:00-4:20pm Randomly allocating prisoners to methadone: where are they ten years later? Professor Kate Dolan (including five minutes for questions).
4: 20-4.40pm The ageing heroin user – policy and clinical implications. Is Australia prepared? Professor Shane Darke (including five minutes for questions).
4.40pm Closing Remarks