ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - September 2012
ATODA eBulletin - www.atoda.org.au

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT

2012 ACT ATOD Election Forum
ATODA will be hosting the 2012 ATOD ACT Election forum on 11 September 2012 from 12pm- 2pm. Invitations have been sent to stakeholders. 
For further information about the ACT Election visit the calendar and news items on the ATODA website
For more information: Call (02) 6255 4070 or email carrie@atoda.org.au

4th Annual ACT ATOD Awards – Nominations now open
Nominations are now open for the 4th Annual ACT ATOD Awards, to be held on 5 December 2012 at the ACT Legislative Assembly. The application package can be downloaded here as a pdf or word doc
For more information: Call (02) 6255 4070 or email info@atoda.org.au.

Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy Assistance for Workers
Access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available across all alcohol, tobacco and other drug, mental health and youth services in the ACT to help staff address their tobacco consumption and support quit attempts at no cost to the individual employee. The NRT Policy and registration form can be accessed on the ATODA website.
For more information: Call (02) 6255 4070 or email tobacco@atoda.org.au.

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ACT Prison Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Strategy

On 15 August 2012, ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA announced the release of the draft blood borne virus management strategy for the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

Press Release from Katy Gallagher MLA, 15 August 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA today released a draft blood borne virus (BBV) management strategy for corrections, which will help protect the health of the whole community.
"By halting the spread of blood borne viruses in the AMC we stop them spreading further in the community when prisoners are released and go back to their family and friends," the Chief Minister said.
"Stopping blood borne viruses spreading in the AMC ensures the health services we have in the wider community are consistently applied."
The strategy covers educating prisoners about the spread of blood borne viruses, steps to cut off the supply of drugs in the prison, treatment and screening, and provides access to needle and syringe programs, which have been proven to be successful in the wider community, on a trial basis.
"After many meetings and discussions with staff, unions and non-government organisations I have formed the view that a full needle and syringe exchange program, as outlined in various options in the Moore Report, would not be able to be practically implemented at the AMC at this time.
"However, I do believe that it is worthwhile examining a model which has been put to me by doctors which addresses access to clean injecting equipment if considered clinically appropriate.
"The model, known as "one-for-one" medical model would see the doctors, not politicians, as the decision makers.
"The next step is to convene an implementation group to provide advice on how this model could be implemented."
An implementation group representing staff at the AMC and health and corrections officials will develop a complete plan to introduce a needle exchange trial, taking into account the safety of staff and inmates.
"It is a reality facing prisons the world over that some drugs and injecting equipment are inevitably smuggled in, despite the best efforts of staff to keep them out. Controlling this is just one aspect of managing blood borne viruses. Education, testing and needle exchange have also been shown to be effective components of a comprehensive strategy," the Chief Minister concluded.
The strategic framework is designed to stop blood borne viruses such as hepatitis C spreading in the AMC. There have been nine documented cases of in custody transmission of hepatitis C at the AMC since it opened.
The strategy includes:
  • Access to information and education about how to prevent and manage BBVs, including treatment of existing infections;
  • Opportunities for BBV screening and vaccinations for those coming into the AMC and at regular intervals during their stay in the AMC;
  • Comprehensive education and training for all AMC staff on BBV transmission and support for those infected;
  • Infection control procedures and relevant staff education and training about infection control measures in relation to BBVs;
  • Regulated access to sterile injecting equipment;
  • Detainee ready access to full-strength household bleach and disinfectant and education about their use;
  • Detainee access to their own razors, toothbrushes and the adoption and application of infection control procedures for barbering equipment;
  • Access to prophylactics, including condoms;
  • Processes and procedures in place to provide post exposure prophylaxis against BBVs;
  • Education and counselling related to injecting drug use; and
  • Drug treatment programs.
The ACT Government has also released its response to the Moore Report (Balancing access and safety: Meeting the Challenge of Blood-Borne Viruses in Prison) and an update on the Burnet Report (External component of the evaluation of drug policies and services and their subsequent effects on prisoners and staff within the Alexander Maconochie Centre).
For more information: See the press release

Strategic Framework for the Management of Blood Borne Viruses in the Alexander Maconochie Centre 2012-2014

The Strategic Framework for the Management of Blood Borne Viruses in the Alexander Maconochie Centre 2012-2014 (the Framework) has been developed to promote transparency and accountability in the management of blood borne virus infections in the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). The Director-General, Justice and Community Safety Directorate and the AMC Health Policies and Services Advisory Group chaired by the Director-General, Health Directorate will have primary responsibility for coordinating implementation of the Framework.
For more information: See the strategy

ATODA will be making a formal response to the strategy.  For further information or to get involved please contact Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer, on carrie@atoda.org.au

Media
There has been significant ACT and national media coverage.  For further details please see the news section of the ATODA website.

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Alcohol Ignition Interlocks

ATODA has been calling to improve road safety in the ACT by implementing a comprehensive, collaborative and evidence-based alcohol ignition interlock program; and welcomes the recent ACT Government announcement to establish a program in the ACT.  
To review ATODA’s work in this area see the ATODA 2012-13 ACT Budget Submission and ATODA’s alcohol ignition interlock proprosal.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 – Call for Submissions
ACT Government Justice and Community Safety Directorate
The ACT Government is seeking views from the community on an alcohol interlock program as a measure to prevent high risk people, and repeat offenders from driving after drinking to reduce their crash risk and protect others on our road.
For more information: See Time to Talk Canberra, call 132281 or email communicationsandengagement@act.gov.au
Submissions close: 7 September 2012

ATODA will be making a submission, please contact Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer, on carrie@atoda.org.au  

Give Interlock Device a Fair Go
Canberra Times, Opinion, 8 August 2012
Many people, particularly of tender years, regard a driver's licence as a right rather than a privilege, and the ease with which a licence can be obtained in Australia tends to reinforce that view.
For more information: See the article here

ACT Labor Govts Plan to Stop Drink Drivers Getting Behind The Wheel
Simon Corbell MLA, Press Release, 7 August 2012
ACT Attorney General, Simon Corbell, has released for comment, an exposure draft bill that could see a mandatory alcohol interlock program in cars to prevent high-risk drink drivers from getting behind the wheel if they had been drinking.
For more information: See the press release

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Tobacco Plain Packaging Decision

The High Court of Australia has rejected the legal challenge by big tobacco against Australia’s world-leading plain packaging tobacco laws. Plain packaging is a vital preventative health measure, which removes the last way for big tobacco to promote its deadly products. Plain packaging will restrict tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text appearing on packs. Brand and product names will be a standard colour, position and standard font size and style. All tobacco products sold in Australia must be in plain packaging by 1 December 2012.

For a summary of media articles visit: The ATODA website

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Youth Justice Implementation Taskforce

The ACT Government has released the Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT, which outlines a renewed focus on early intervention, better coordination across government agencies that work with vulnerable families, and a broader range of diversionary programs and services for those in the youth justice system. The blueprint can be accessed at the ACT Government Community Services Directorate’s webpage

ACT outlines renewed focus on youth justice reform
Joy Burch MLA, Media Release, 15 August 2012

Youth justice reform to prioritise early intervention
Canberra Times, 15 August 2012

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Review of ACT Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services

Ms Katy Gallagher MLA, ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health tabled the report The Review of the Need to Expand Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services in the ACT, 2012 and the Health Directorate response to the report in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Wednesday 22 August 2012.

The ACT Government has agreed to three of the recommendations, and notes six of the recommendations. Health Directorate commits to continuing to work with alcohol, tobacco and other drug support services in the ACT to promote quality enhancement in service delivery.  For further information:

ATODA will be making a response to the review in consultation with stakeholders and liaising with the ACT Government regarding how the sector can be supported to implement reforms. For further information or to get involved please contact Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer, on carrie@atoda.org.au or (02) 6255 4070.

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ACT Comorbidity Strategy 2012-2014 Released

The recently released ACT Comorbidity Strategy clarifies directions and priorities for those working with people at risk of, or experiencing both mental health and ATOD issues. The Strategy also seeks to better clarify the roles of ACT mental health and ATOD services in the delivery of improved services. To implement priority actions form the Strategy, a Working Group is co-chaired by ATODA, the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT and the ACT Government Health Directorate.

For more information: See the ACT Comorbidity Strategy

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group

The ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group met in August at the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy to progress a range of sector-wide activities, including:
  • A presentation by CAHMA about the opioid overdose management program, which includes prescription of naloxone;
  • Infringements scheme reform and community work orders;
  • Workers Group update;
  • ATODA update;
  • Pharmacotherapy guidelines review;
  • Karralika Pharmacotherapy Reference Group;
  • Work Safety Legislation
For more information: Please contact Vera Van De Velde, Chair on Vera.VanDeVelde@act.gov.au or for further information about the group visit ATODA's website

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group met on 2 August 2012, and are progressing work across a range of areas. If you would like to get involved, please review the information below and liaise with the Workers Group representative from your agency. Activities include:
  • Exploring opportunities for improved service collaborations and referrals. Information from workers regarding potential opportunities for improvement will be sought by their Workers Group representative;
  • Disseminating information, including badges, for Overdose Awareness Day on 31 August 2012. More information is available at www.overdoseday.com.au;
  • Collating feedback from workers to contribute to the update of the ACT Opioid Maintenance Treatment Guidelines. Workers are encouraged to provide feedback through their Workers Group representative or to amanda@atoda.org.au. Information will then inform the ATODA submission to the review process and the current guidelines and;
  • Supporting phase one implementation of the eASSIST screening tool in ACT ATOD services. If workers have any feedback on the tool or screening more broadly they can raise this with the group through their Workers Group representative.
For more information: Please see the ACT ATOD Workers Group webpage.

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Policy

Implement a Mandatory, Evidence-Based Alcohol-Labelling Regime in Australia – Petition
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)
FARE is seeking signatures in support of mandatory, evidence based alcohol labelling. In December 2011, Australian and New Zealand Food and Health Ministers decided to place the alcohol industry in charge of developing and implementing their own health warning labels. To date, only a small proportion of alcohol products carry the industry's labels and when the label is applied, it's barely noticeable.
For more information or to sign the petition: See the petition

Alcohol Advertising Review Board – First Reports
Alcohol Advertising Review Board
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board was developed in response to concerns about the current voluntary alcohol advertising regulation system. They believe that the complaints process should be independent of the alcohol or advertising industries.
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board Code sets criteria for acceptable content and placement of alcohol advertising and applies to all forms of alcohol advertising in Australia.
For more information: See the reports or read about the board

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Sector Development, Activities and Events

Implementing a smoke-free policy in ACT Mental Health Facilities
Mental Health Community Coalition ACT and ACT Government Health Directorate
The purpose of this forum is to allow both ACT Government Health Directorate and consumer advocates to discuss the policy, including presentations of some of the research evidence on implementation of smoke-free policies in inpatient mental health facilities.
Date: 6 September 2012
Time: 5-7pm
Venue: Meeting room 6, level 1, Griffin Centre
For more information and to RSVP: Call MHCC on (02) 6249 7756 or email admin@mhccact.org.au

Concurrent Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE)
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)
The new treatment manual is based on an integrated treatment approach that utilises exposure therapy, called Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE).The efficacy of the treatment was demonstrated by researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), with the results of their randomised controlled trial published to international acclaim in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this month.
For more information: See details about the resource

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cannabis Website Update
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)
NCPIC has recently revitalised the section of its website dedicated to providing resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The website now features these resources in an easily accessible montage of graphic tiles that web visitors simply click on to view the various mini-sites and projects available.
For more information: See the website

Good Practice Toolkit: Young People Affected by ATOD
Dovetail, School of Public Health and Social Work at the Queensland University of Technology
A new Guide on Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Practice covers issues such as consent and confidentiality; as well as issues relating to the various ethical dilemmas which can arise through work with young people experiencing ATOD issues.
For more information: See the guides

Let’s Talk for Suicide Prevention
ACT Government Health Directorate
Over the next four weeks, the ACT Government Health Directorate will be implementing its "Let's Talk" suicide prevention campaign.  As part of this campaign, they are inviting organisations to distribute information related to suicide prevention.

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Training and Professional Development

August - September 2012 Training and Professional Development Calendar
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The ACT Training and Professional Development Calendar collates training and professional development opportunities for workers in the alcohol, tobacco and other drug, youth, mental health, family support and community sectors.
Download the training calendar
To include your training in the next calendar, email katrina@youthcoalition.net or call the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540.

ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCCA) and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Comorbidity Bus Tour seeks to increase the capacity of frontline workers to support people experiencing co-occurring ATOD and mental health issues (comorbidity). The Comorbidity Bus Tour visits a variety of services in the ACT from the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD), mental health and youth sectors. There are currently 3 bus tours operating (Tour A, B & C) with each tour visiting different services.
Upcoming tour dates:
Tour A :  
  • Wednesday 3 October
  • Wednesday 14 November
Tour B:   
  • Wednesday 12 September
  • Wednesday 17 October
  • Wednesday 21 November
Tour C:   
  • Wednesday 26 September
  • Wednesday 24 October
  • Wednesday 28 November    
Cost: Ranges from $50 - $70.
Registration: Call (02) 6247 3540 or email katrina@youthcoalition.net
For more information: See ATODA's website

Kids Central Toolkit Training
Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
The Kids Central Toolkit provides workers with practical ideas and tools to adopt a child-centred approach to their work. This two-day workshop introduces participants to the Toolkit and how it can be used. It aims to provide workers with a theoretical and practical context for why it is important to work with kids, the key messages that kids have identified about how they might be best supported, and opportunities to use and reflect upon the use of the tools in the Toolkit.
Dates: 24-25 September 2012
Venue: Canberra Campus, Australian National University, Watson
Cost: $300 (includes catering both days, and a Kids Central Toolkit)
For more information: See the flyer, call (02) 6209 1228 or email Amanda.macdonald@acu.edu.au

Lifeline Canberra’s Accidental Counsellor Training
Lifeline Canberra
Accidental Counsellor is a two-day workshop that provides participants with fundamental skills in crisis support counselling and dealing with difficult clients and situations.  The course also covers topics such as dealing with people who are angry, highly distressed, or experiencing effects of a mental illness.
Dates: 13 – 14 or 27 - 28 September 2012
Cost: $360 per person for not-for-profit organisations and pension card holders, or $400 per person
For more information: See lifeline, call (02) 6247 0655 or email training@act.lifeline.org.au

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Conferences and Symposiums

Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Funding Program
Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education
Please see the funding and grants section for details of a new program of conference funding.

Vision, Values, Votes: ACTCOSS Conference 2012
ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS)
The ACTCOSS conference will explore how the community sector engages with political discourse and current issues impacting on people experiencing disadvantage.
Dates: 25-26 September 2012
Venue: Rydges Capital Hill Hotel, Corner Canberra Avenue and National Circuit, Forrest
Cost: ACTCOSS member $300, Non-member $340
For more information: See ACTCOSS, call (02) 6202 7200 or email

The First International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health
Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health and the University of Melbourne
This conference will explore the role of law enforcement, especially through the activities of police forces, in the protection and promotion of public health.
Dates: 11-14 November
Venue: The University of Melbourne, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria
Cost:  Full $715 / Concession $380.
For more information: See the website, call (03) 9035 4830 or email allenm@unimelb.edu.au

Population Health Congress 2012
Public Health Association of Australia
The overall theme of the Congress will be ‘Population health in a changing world’ to reflect the dynamic environment in which the broad public health field needs to, and does, operate. It will provide the opportunity for working across and within organisations on key population health issues and for unparalleled opportunities for networking.
Dates: 10 - 12 September 2012
Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia
Cost: Varies from $350 - $1100
For more information: See the website, call (02) 6296 9000 or email congress2012@confco.com.au

2nd National Cannabis Conference – from genetics to practice
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
This Conference will explore cannabis use and intervention approaches among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, school based approaches to preventing and reducing cannabis use, the role of genetics in cannabis use and dependence, the relationship between cannabis and tobacco, synthetic cannabinoids, and promising approaches to cannabis and comorbid mental health conditions.
Dates: 19- 21 September
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Grey St, Brisbane, Queensland
Cost: $559 for full fee, $310 for students.
For more information: See the website, call (02) 9385 0208 or email m.eagers@unsw.edu.au

2012 National Drug Trends Conference
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
The National Drug Trends Conference will present recent findings in illicit drug use, markets and related harms across Australia. Convened by Australia’s largest drug monitoring systems, the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS), the one day conference will include the first release of the 2012 findings. 

Date: 9 October 2012
Time: 8am – 4pm
Venue: National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Cost: $250
For more information and to register: See the website, call 0421 035 579 or email k.haworth@unsw.edu.au

Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs – Annual Conference
Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
“Culture of Change” is the overriding title of the conference and the program includes keynote presentations on emerging issues and developments in the treatment of alcohol and other drug related problems.
Dates: 18-21 November
Venue: Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Victoria
Cost: Early Bird rates of $750 for full members before 19 September.
For more information: See the website or email apsadconference@arinex.com.au

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Service Delivery and Referral

This section contains details about new or updated of services that accept referrals. For a complete listing of ACT services, please see the ACT ATOD Service Directory

ACT Opioid Overdose Prevention and Management Program
Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA)
Australia’s first overdose management program that provides naloxone on prescription to potential overdose victims has been developed and is being implemented in the ACT.  This important public health program has been driven by the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA) and the multidisciplinary Implementing-Expanded Naloxone Availability in the ACT (I-ENAACT) Committee.

The program aims to:
  • Increase effectiveness of interventions in opioid overdose management;
  • Provide comprehensive overdose management training to potential overdose witnesses;
  • Provide Naloxone under prescription to potential overdose victims; and
  • Reduce opioid overdoses through overdose prevention education.
Upcoming Course Dates:
  • 12 – 3pm, 25 September, Pilgrim House, Canberra City
  • 12 – 3pm, 30 October, Pilgrim House, Canberra City
For more information: See the flyer, contact CAHMA on (02) 6279 1670 or email nicolew@cahma.org.au.

Education and Therapy Groups
Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Government Health Directorate
The Alcohol and Drug Services regularly run support and education groups for people who are having difficulty with ATOD, people seeking support in preventing relapse, and for friends and family members. Topics include:
  • Controlling Your Cannabis Use Group
  • Supporting Families and Friends Group
  • Controlling Your Drinking Group
  • Therapeutic Recovery Group
  • Mindfulness, Meditation and Stress Management Course
  • Advanced Meditation
For more information: See the flyer or call (02) 6207 9977.  

Stepping Stones to Success
Family Drug Support
A course specifically designed for families supporting someone with ATOD issues. This 2 weekend course aims to make family members more resilient and better able to cope by providing skills and increased confidence and competence in managing the complex nature of ATOD issues.
Dates: 22 - 23 September & 6 -7 October
Venue: Canberra Hospital Garran, Level 1, Training Room 2, Building 5
Cost: $60 (FDS members $40). Fee assistance is available.
Registration and for more information: See FDS, call 0402 604 354 or email theo@fds.ngo.org.au

Centrelink Contact List - Updated
Department of Human Services
Centrelink has provided an updated contact list of Centrelink social workers, community engagement team members and service centre managers in the ACT.  In summary: social workers provide daily appointments to assist people on income support payments and their families with any issues they may have along with assessing payments such as independent Youth Allowance, Crisis Payments and Maintenance exemption; the community engagement team can come to a range of community services throughout the ACT; service centre managers can help answer all questions related to payments, programs etc; and the HOME program can assist with early intervention for people facing eviction.
For more information:  See the updated Centrelink contact list

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Newsletters, Magazines and Updates

Smoke Free Environment Initiative Newsletter
ACT Government Health Directorate
This newsletter is an update about the implementation of a Smoke Free Environment within the Division of Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug Services.
For more information: See recent editions of the newsletter here, here, here and here

Prison Issues Update
Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)
The August 2012 Prison Issues Update details recent events, research reports and news about Prisons in Australia.
For more information: See the Update

National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee – Meeting Communique
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC)
This NIDAC Communique details issues of discussion and debate from a recent meeting held in Darwin, Northern Territory.
For more information: See the Communique

ACT Population Health Bulletin
ACT Government Health Directorate, Population Health Division
The aim of this Bulletin is to provide regular information about the work of the ACT Government Health Directorate’s Population Health Division. The Population Health Division is committed to improving the health of the people of the ACT through the delivery of public health, communicable disease control including immunisation, environmental health, and epidemiological services and health promotion programs.
For more information: See the Bulletin

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Consumer Participation

Free Consumer Representative Training Course
Health Care Consumer Association
This course will provide participants with the necessary skills to make a valuable contribution to the health system. After completing the two day course, participants will receive a certificate of participation, which enables them to nominate to be a consumer representative on an ACT Government Health Directorate Committee.
Dates: 21 and 28 September 2012
Time: 10am – 3pm
Venue: HCCA Meeting Room, Sports House, 100 Maitland St, Hackett
For more information and to RSVP: See HCCA, call (02) 6230 7800 or email reps@hcca.org.au

Seeking Help for Cannabis Use Problems: your rights as a client
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)
NCPIC has released a new factsheet designed for those seeking help for cannabis use problems. It covers a range of issues that clients need to be aware of, such as knowing their rights in regards to confidentiality and giving consent, as well as the responsibilities of their health professional. We hope this will assist people in making informed decisions about their care.
For more information: See the factsheet

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors

Mental Health Week 2012 – Open your Mind
Mental Health Week Committee ACT
Mental Health Week 2012 will be held from 7 to 13 October 2012. The theme will be: Open you mind. What you can do to make the difference. Small reimbursements to the value of $1000 are available to community organizations who demonstrate that their project will contribute to the objectives of Mental Health Week.
The inaugural mental health week awards will also be presented as part of the week.
Applications close: 20 September
For more information: Call (02) 6249 7756 or email admin@mhccact.org.au

The Inappropriate Prescription of Psychiatric Medications: public lecture
The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT in partnership with Community Mental Health Australia
This public lecture will explore evidence related to the physical health effects of mental illness and treatment. Various studies since the 1980s have indicated that people with mental illness are dying on average 10-25 years earlier than their non-mentally ill counterparts. There is also clear evidence that medications prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of mental illness are contributing to the higher than average death rates.
Date: 11 September
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Finkel Theater, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road, Australian National University
Cost: $10
Registration: Online at eventbrite
For more information: See the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT, call (02) 6249 7756 or email admin@mhccact.org.au

Workforce Strategy Highlights Importance of Community Mental Health Services
Katy Gallagher MLA, 16 August 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA, today launched a workforce plan for careers in the ACT's community mental health sector.
A Real Career - the workforce development strategy for the Community Mental Health Sector is an Australian first, integrating 'peer workers' (those with a lived experience of mental illness or as carer of someone with a mental health concern) in a meaningful way.
For more information: See the press release

New ACT Shelter Website
ACT Shelter
Visitors to ACT Shelter’s new website will be able to access a range of material related to housing and homelessness including ACT Shelter reports and submissions.
For more information: See the website

National Social Housing Survey – 2010 State and Territory Results
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
This report presents state and territory findings from the 2010 National Social Housing Survey of public housing and mainstream community housing tenants.
For more information: See the report

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Employment and Volunteering Oppourtunities

Note: employment opportunities in the sector are also promoted on the Jobs of Substance website

Comorbidity Project Officer
CatholicCare
The Comorbidity Project is seeking an enthusiastic person to improve CatholicCare services for clients with Comorbidity Issues (Co-occurring Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs issues). The project is aimed at working with CatholicCare services to ensure that the needs of clients with Comorbidity can be met effectively and to improve service relationships throughout the sector.
The position is part time or full time and the successful applicant will be expected to complete a number of tasks related to improving Comorbidity Services across CatholicCare. Projects include policy and procedure development, assisting to run and organise training sessions, research and report writing on key topics such as supervision, participation in working groups, organising the Comorbidity Interagency Day and networking with key stakeholders.
Conditions will be as per the CatholicCare Enterprise Agreement Classification level 5. Supervision and professional development will be offered.
Applications close: 14 September 2012
For more information: See the flyer, call (02) 6163 7625 or email stefanie.burvill@catholiccare.cg.org.au

Prisoners Aid ACT Volunteers
Prisoners Aid ACT
Volunteers from Prisoners Aid ACT attend the Alexander Maconochie Centre visitor entrance where they help family and friends visiting prisoners. Volunteers also act as liaison with ACT Corrective Services on behalf of visitors and will refer them to other community organisations as necessary.
The call for applications is ongoing.
For more information: See Prisoners ACT or call (02) 6257 8466.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Worker - Casual Positions
Directions ACT
Successful applicants will provide casual AOD worker support in programs and services within Directions ACT which include Needle and Syringe Program, Outreach and Promotions, Arcadia House and Administration and Reception. A training program (paid) will be provided to successful applicants and attendance to the training, both theoretical and practical elements, is a requirement of accepting the position. A six month tenure is required for all casual positions at Directions ACT, with an extension available which is negotiated with the Manager or Executive Director.
The call for applications is ongoing.
For more information: See Directions ACT, call (02) 6122 8000 or email hr@directionsact.com

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Grants and Funding Opportunities

Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Funding Program (AODCP)
Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education
The AODCP aims to provide limited financial assistance to support conferences and events in related areas, and organisations employing staff or an individual who is being supported by their employer, to enhance their professional expertise through conference and event attendance.
Applications close: 30 September 2012
To apply: See the Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Funding – Sponsorship Application Form
For more information: See FARE, call (02) 6122 8600 or email rosemary.white@fare.org.au

Partners in Recovery Grant Programs: coordinated support and flexible funding for people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs (PIR initiative)
Department of Health and Ageing
PIR aims to better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs and their carers and families, by getting multiple sectors, services and supports they may come into contact with (and could benefit from) to work in a more collaborative, coordinated, and integrated way. They may have comorbid substance use or physical health issues or both, are likely to experience difficulties maintaining stable accommodation, and experience difficulty in completing basic activities of daily living
The ultimate objective of PIR is to improve the system response to, and outcomes for, people with severe and persistent mental illness who have complex needs by:
  • Facilitating better coordination of clinical and other supports and services to deliver 'wrap around' care individually tailored to the person's needs
  • Strengthening partnerships and building better links between various clinical and community support organisations responsible for delivering services to the PIR target group
  • Improving referral pathways that facilitate access to the range of services and supports needed by the PIR target group and
  • Promoting a community based recovery model to underpin all clinical and community support services delivered to people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.
It is intended PIR organisations will work at a systems-level and be the mechanism to drive collaboration between relevant sectors, services and supports within the region to ensure the range of needs of people in the target group are met. This will be achieved through the development of innovative solutions discussed and collectively owned by the PIR partners within the region. Support Facilitators will undertake the day to day tasks and develop the partnerships and relationships required at the individual level to support this.
ATOD services are encouraged to monitor the Partners in Recovery webpage for the release of the Invitation to Apply.
For more information: See the guidelines

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Media

We’re all Drinking, Smoking Much Less
Canberra Times, August 30 2012
It's official; Canberra has Australia's most sensible population when it comes to booze, smokes and drugs. The latest snapshot of the city's bad habits supplied to the ACT government's health authorities show us drinking, smoking and taking drugs much less than our fellow Australians.
For more information: See the article

Alcohol Abuse Estimates Attacked
Canberra Times, August 29 2012
The alcohol industry is responding to stricter controls on drinking by using a New Zealand economist to challenge estimates that abuse is costing the nation $15 billion a year.
The move comes as a research group advocating heavier taxes today releases research showing alcohol is far more affordable today than it was 30 years ago.
For more information: See the article

No ACT Funds for Cigarette Makers  
Canberra Times, August 20 2012
The ACT government will become the first in Australia to stop investing in companies that make cigarettes, cluster bombs or land mines.
For more information: See the article

Researchers Make Heroin Addiction Breakthrough
ABC News, 16 August 2012
Scientists have made an important step in helping people who are suffering from addiction to opioid drugs like heroin.
For more information: See the article

Police Follow the Silk Road to Online Drug Marketplace
Canberra Times, 11 August 2012
Police and customs officials are turning their attention to the online marketplace of illegal drugs, Silk Road, which is achieving an estimated $22 million a year in sales.
For more information: See the article

Adolescents Most at Risk of Brain Damage from Long Term, Heavy Cannabis Use
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Press Release, 9 August 2012
Long term, heavy cannabis use is harmful to the developing brain, according to new research conducted at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
For more information: See the article

Creative Students Urge Smokers to Butt Out
Katy Gallagher MLA, 8 August 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher today commended the creativity of entrants in the 2012 Art In, Butt Out Competition.
For more information: See the press release

India May Adopt Australia’s Plain Packaging Laws
Canberra Times, 5 August 2012
Australia's push for plain cigarette packaging has inspired India to consider similar laws, opening up a new frontier in the fight to reduce tobacco consumption.
For more information: See the article

Positive Results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice
Simon Corbell MLA, Press Release, 22 August 2012
A two year progress report on justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people shows improved government collaboration to support at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and reduced numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being arrested or charged in relation to criminal activity Attorney General, Simon Corbell, said today.
For more information: See the press release

Crime Continues to Fall in the Capital
Simon Corbell MLA, Press Release, 22 August 2012
Canberra continues to be one of the safest places to work and live with the latest report card on crime showing most reported crime types are continuing to fall in the capital.
For more information: See the press release

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Phone: (02) 6255 4070
Fax: (02) 6255 4649
Email: info@atoda.org.au
Mail: PO Box 7187,
Watson ACT 2602
Visit: 350 Antill St. Watson

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The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) is the peak body representing the non-government and government alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) sector in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ATODA seeks to promote health through the prevention and reduction of the harms associated with ATOD. 

Views expressed in the ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. Not all third-party events or information included in the eBulletin are endorsed by the ACT ATOD Sector or the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. No responsibility is accepted by the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT or the editor for the accuracy of information contained in the eBulletin or the consequences of any person relying upon such information. To contact us please email ebulletin@atoda.org.au or call (02) 6255 4070.