International Overdose Awareness Day August 31 is approaching: Prevention and Remembrance.

int OD bWe have to talk about overdose!  

International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 is approaching.

What do we know?

  • Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, has a higher than average drug mortality rate than other countries (mainly because of better reporting) . The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported around 3,000 drug related deaths occurred in 2011, up from 2,800 a year earlier.
  • Deaths from opioid drugs in Australia are rising steadily. Accidental opioid drug overdoses were projected to increase 95.8% from 2007 to 2010. Source: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales.
  • Overdose fatalities in Victoria alone outnumber road deaths.

Every one of these deaths is a family tragedy, every one preventable. Unfortunately the issue of drug overdose does not get the public attention it so obviously warrants.

Concerned? Then consider organising or taking part  in an event to help stimulate discussion.  Events enable friends and family members to grieve openly and help spread awareness of the issue. If the community understands the cost of drug overdose the issue will be recognised as a priority area for our State, Territory and Federal Governments.

Each event organised around the day, no matter how modest in scale, raises awareness and can help save lives. Marking the day need not be complicated. For ideas on holding an event visit the  International Overdose Awareness Day website at

Wearing the silver badge shows you support overdose prevention and remembrance. Badges can be ordered at

Contact if you would like any help in framing your support for International Overdose Awareness Day. Follow us on Twitter at @OverdoseDay or on Facebook at

Cannabis Diversion Survey




The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is conducting a study looking at the effectiveness of Australian police drug diversion for cannabis use/possession offenders. Specifically we seek to compare the outcomes and costs of police diversion (and of different types of police diversion) versus a traditional criminal justice response (criminal charge) for anyone who has been detected for a cannabis use/possession offence.

If you live in Australia, are aged 17+ and have been detected by police for a cannabis use/possession offence in the last 3-9 months we would like you to take part in an online survey. To participate go to:

…you could win $200

More information is available in this flyer Cannabis diversion survey

Free Training (in WA) – Everything You Need To Know About Cannabis

swanDANA and NCPIC invite you to a Saturday workshop on August 30th  2014 in Perth, Western Australia.


Morning tea  will be provided.

This Special Event is suitable for Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Mental Health Practitioners, Corrections Health, Allied Health Services, Counsellors, as well as a broader range of clinicians.

CANNABIS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW provides participants with the latest evidence-based information and peer reviewed research on cannabis

VERY BRIEF INTERVENTION FOR CANNABIS will provide participants with strategies in how to screen clients and deliver a short intervention for cannabis


Venue:Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital - D Block Ward D20

Zorba’s Room

Hospital Ave /  Nedlands WA 6009

Registration: 9.30am

Workshop: 10am – 1pm

 A flyer is attached for your information and use. Invitation Everything and Very Brief Intervention DANA Perth 30 08 14

For further information on workshop content please go to


John Redmond 02 9385 0451

Include your full name, organisation, position, telephone and email address. 

Fifty Shades of Pain Conference: Brisbane 3-5 December 2014

painThe Australian Pain Management Association Inc. and Palliative Care Queensland are hosting the first conference to examine pain from acute pain to palliative care. The Fifty Shades of Pain: Managing complex pain across the continuum conference will focus on advanced clinical issues in palliative care and pain management, bringing together more than 300 specialist palliative and pain-management doctors, nurses, allied-health practitioners, educators and volunteers from throughout Queensland and Australia. This is the first combined acute pain to palliative care and we plan to make it a biennial educational event.

Fin out more by downloading the 50 Shades of Pain Flyer

Increased taxation= Less smoking this World No Tobacco Day

wntd 2014World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) falls on May 31st.   Its ultimate goal is to contribute to protecting present and future generations not only from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Tobacco smoking kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than 80% of these preventable deaths are among people living in low-and middle-income countries.

How easy it is to forget that an average smoker dies 10-15 years earlier than a non-smoker, and in the end the patients that we work with, if their dependence includes tobacco, are more likely to die from tobacco related illness  than from other substances.  The long term professional relationships that we form with our patients mean that we are well positioned to provide them  with the most up to date information and interventions to reduce their health risks from tobacco use; vital when you consider  the prevalence of nicotine addiction.

Research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use. A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in most low- and middle-income countries. That’s why countries across the world are encouraged to raise taxes  this WNTD.

Get all the facts at

Now available – National Guidelines for Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence

opium poppyNew Clinical Guidelines for Medicated Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (the new term for opioid substitution therapy and withdrawal management) are now available. This term has been used to reflect the different treatment approaches that combine medication and psychosocial support for people who are opioid dependent.

The guidelines are  designed to provide information to assist decision-making and are based on the best available evidence at the time of development of this publication.

Be sure to read the disclaimer, acknowledgements and forward as you prepare to use them in your region.

Follow this link to access the  National_Guidelines_2014

Nurses: A Force for Change – International Nurses Day 2014

INDInternational Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit. You can access the IND Kit 2014 at this link  IND_Kit_2014. It contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.

This year IND is dedicated to raising awareness about the work of nurses around the world. It highlights the necessity to the health of the world’s population for sufficient, adequately trained nurses. It demonstrates how investing in nursing can make a difference. It also sets out the ‘how to’ invest in nursing including position statements, fact sheets and lots of website references for further information regarding:

  • How to better understand, determine and manage workloads
  • Changing roles and scopes of practice
  • Patient self management
  • Encouraging health literacy
  • The importance of good nursing working environments
  • and much more.

Equitable access to  good quality health services cannot be achieved without an adequate number of appropriately prepared nurses.

Don’t miss Ann Roche, Professor and Director of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University, at this year’s DANA Conference speaking about the future of  drug and alcohol nursing workforce issues.

Register now at this link

2014 NCPIC Webinar Series – Free Webinar Series in Cannabis Information and Interventions

 cannabisNational Cannabis Prevention & Information Centre UNSW will be launching a live webinar series in May 2014. Webinars also known as web – seminars are interactive workshops over the internet that allow geographically dispersed audiences to be reached with a simple and convenient internet logon from the participants desk computer.

 Registration and attendance for each of the three 1 hour webinars in the series is free of charge and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

 For further information and to register, please click on the links below: -

 Monday 5th May 2014

11am-12pm AEST ‘Cannabis and Driving’ with Dr. Peter Gates (Project Coordinator, NCPIC) & Prof. Jan Copeland (Director, NCPIC) and

‘Cannabis and Tobacco’ with Tracey Greenberg (Smoking Cessation Trainer, NSW Health)

 Friday 16th May 2014

1.30-2.30pm AEST ‘Cannabis Potency’ with Dr. Wendy Swift (Senior Lecturer, UNSW) and

Cannabis Interventions: counselling to emerging pharmacotherapies’ with Prof. Jan Copeland (Director, NCPIC)

Friday 23rd May 2014

2-3pm AEST ‘Novel Research and Cannabinoids’ with Prof. Iain McGregor (Professor of Psychopharmacology and Director of the Psychopharmacology Laboratory, University of Sydney) and

‘Cannabis and Cognitive Function’ with A/Prof. Nadia Solowij (A/Prof, School of Psychology, University of Wollongong)

Smoking Cessation with Assoc Prof Bittoun- Queensland

cigarettesPreventative Health, as part of the roll out of the Quality Improvement Payment for Smoking Cessation Screening in 2014, is offering FREE education with Adjunct Assoc Profess  Renee Bittoun, the leading researcher and most published author in smoking cessation in Australia .

There are 2 options:

1.       Attend the 2 day event  - day 1 on the 19th May  is the working groups meeting for the respiratory network including the smoking cessation work group.

2.       Attend just the free smoking cessation training day with Renee Bittoun on the 20th May at the Royal Womens and Brisbane Hospital auditorium .   QLD health employees will have priority attendance, but private practitioners, GP’s , NGO’s and students are also able to apply .

As smoking remains a significant issue in all mental health and addiction services it is hoped to  can get as many clinicians to attend as possible . Renee has researched smoking cessation in mental health populations and provides direct assessment and treatment to this group – so she has lots of experience in this area.

Find out more by following these links:

Draft Nicotine Addiction & Smoking Cessation Course Agenda

Forum Invitation_SRCN_May 14

SRCN Draft Forum Program190514

Draft Report on Alcohol Advertising now open for consultation

alcohol advertisingSubmissions are invited on the Draft Report - Alcohol Advertising: The Effectiveness of Current Regulatory Codes in Addressing Community Concern

You can  download the full report HERE.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency examined the current system of regulation around alcohol marketing and advertising.  The Draft Report describes this system, which consists of self-regulatory, co-regulatory and legislative elements, and evaluates its effectiveness.

The key purpose of the Review is to assess whether the current mix of provisions is serving to adequately protect children and adolescents (14 – 17 year olds) from exposure to alcohol advertising.   Considerable public concern exists that marketing and advertising of alcoholic beverages is influencing young Australians and contributing to patterns of harmful drinking.

Australians are now exposed to an extensive amount of alcohol advertising through a variety of traditional media, digital media, promotional activities and sponsorships. Evidence indicates that Australian adolescents are exposed to almost the same level of alcohol advertising as adults aged 18-24.

The Draft Report concludes that alcohol advertising and marketing is reaching children and adolescents and influencing them, and that the current system for protecting adolescents and children from exposure to alcohol advertising is inadequate.

Any interested person or organisation can make a written submission to the Agency.

Submissions are due by 5pm Friday 21 March 2014