ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin 
ATODA eBulletin -

News from ATODA

Submission to the ACT Budget 2016 – 2017 Consultation

The ACT ATOD sector has proven efficient in reducing the demand for more expensive acute health and criminal justice services, improving the wellbeing of Canberrans and saving lives. Despite this, drug related health interventions receive less funding than criminal justice responses. The sector has identified some areas where existing resources could be better allocated, don’t exist, or where reform is not possible without an additional funding injection. These include:
  1. Recurrent investment in specialist drug services to create capacity to respond to increased demand and rising methamphetamine-related harms
  2. Expand Naloxone availability through training and capacity building in the ACT
  3. Implement a program of methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug training to build capacity in non-ATOD settings (e.g. domestic violence, care and protection, justice, homelessness, mental health) to provide appropriate screening, brief intervention and to strengthen referrals and partnerships with specialist drug services
  4. Provide subsidised Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for all specialist drug service clients who smoke
  5. Fill a major policy gap in the ACT by identifying practical, evidence-based tobacco control strategies that will reduce smoking among disadvantaged sub-populations
  6. fully fund the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Smoking Cessation Program as per the 2012 ACT Government election commitment
  7. Improve the ACT Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program to a) provide a comprehensive financial assistance scheme and b) provide immediate eligibility to install interlocks upon sentencing
  8. Develop, implement and independently evaluate a ‘swift, certain and fair’ alcohol and drug specific ACT pilot project
  9. Develop a business case to implement a ‘Health specific Throughcare Program’ at the Alexander Maconochie Centre
The requests for funding in ATODA’s submission are considered within the context of some increasing drug related harms, the challenging fiscal realities of the ACT economy and Canberra’s ambitious social policy agenda. The priorities identified seek to have long-term benefits for individuals, families and communities of Canberra and are consider against the scientific evidence.
To download the full submission, click here.
Drug Services Forum
The forum seeks to provide a mechanism for ACT Health funded and delivered specialist drug services and ACT Health policy to: strengthen information sharing; provide service updates and discuss shared issues, successes, challenges and opportunities for ongoing improvement; and support engagement in policy processes. The forum is co-chaired by ACT Health and ATODA.
Date: Thursday 25 February 2016
Time: 9:30am – 12pm
Invitees: This forum is by invitation only
For further information please contact Asmara on
ATODA’s communications remain intermittent
ATODA is still in the process of completing the move to our new office at 11 Rutherford Cres., Ainslie. Our emails and phones continue to be working intermittently. Thank you for your patience and support.

 back to top

ACT Policy

Expanding the Use of Criminal Infringement Notices in the ACT

The ACT Government is inviting submissions to the ‘Expanding the use of Criminal Infringement Notices in the ACT - Options Paper’. The Paper proposes seven additional offences for inclusion in the ACT’s Criminal Infringement Notice scheme to deal more expediently than going through the court process with criminal infringement notice offences. The paper also proposes to include level 2 drink driving offences for first time offenders. Criminal Infringement Notices are designed as an alternative to court proceedings but do not operate as a substituted form of prosecution and trial.  Rather, they are an offer by the Government to not proceed with a prosecution if a fine for the offence is paid.
Closing date: 7 March 2016 
For more information: Visit the ACT Government website or email
ATODA will be making a submission, to provide input please contact contact Carrie Fowlie on

 back to top

Australia Day Honours

Medal of the Order of Australia
Mr Brian McConnell was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through drug and alcohol support services.
ATODA congratulates Brian (and Marion) McConnell for their award and the remarkable work done over the last 20 years, their contribution to the AOD sector and the community.
Brian, Marion and others have been amongst other things the heart and backbone of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. The book to commemorate 20 years of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform The Drug Law Wars: Twenty years of families fighting at the front was launched at the end of 2015 by Senator Katy Gallagher at the ACT Legislative Assembly. Copies can be ordered here:

Public Service Medal
Mr John Bernard Hinchey (the Victims of Crime Commissioner) from the ACT Government was awarded the Public Service Medal, which recognises outstanding service. ATODA congratulates John for his achievements, commitment to evidence based alcohol and drug policies and to families.

 back to top

ACT New Ministry

The new Ministry for the Legislative Assembly of the ACT was announced at the end of January 2016.
Andrew Barr MLA
  • Chief Minister
  • Treasurer
  • Minister for Economic Development
  • Minister for Urban Renewal
  • Minister for Tourism and Events
Simon Corbell MLA
  • Deputy Chief Minister
  • Attorney-General
  • Minister for Capital Metro (until 30 June 2016)
  • Minister for the Environment and Climate Change
  • Minister for Health
  • Minister for Police and Emergency Services
Mick Gentleman MLA
  • Minister for Planning and Land Management
  • Minister for Racing and Gaming
  • Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations
  • Manager of Government Business
Shane Rattenbury MLA
  • Minister for Corrections
  • Minister for Education
  • Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs
  • Minister for Road Safety
Yvette Berry MLA
  • Minister for Housing, Community Services and Social Inclusion
  • Minister for Multicultural and Youth Affairs 
  • Minister for Sport and Recreation
  • Minister for Women
Meegan Fitzharris MLA
  • Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research
  • Minister for Transport and Municipal Services
  • Assistant Health Minister
Chris Bourke MLA
  • Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
  • Minister for Children and Young People
  • Minister for Disability
  • Minister for Small Business and the Arts
  • Minister for Veterans and Seniors
For more information: See the media release, visit the ACT Legislative Assembly website, email or call (02) 6205 8144

 back to top

Training and Professional Development

ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT 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.
The next Comorbidity Bus Tour for 2015 will be Tour C on 10 February 2016.

Cost: Members of the Youth Coalition, ATODA or MHCC ACT $50, $60 Non-member or non-government organisations, $70 Government workers

For more information: Visit ATODA's website, email or call (02) 6247 3540

Online Graduate Programs in Addiction
Turning Point

Turning Point deliver the Graduate Certificate in AOD Studies, Graduate Diploma in AOD Studies and the Master of Addictive Behaviours (together with Monash University).
These courses are suited for those with at least a bachelor degree. 

For more information: Visit the Turning Point website, email, or call (03) 8413 8700

 back to top

Conferences and Symposiums

Australian Winter School Workshop
Lives Lived Well, LeeJenn Group, Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA)

Registrations are now open for the workshop Piecing the puzzle together: Designing, developing and implementing evidence-base services. This workshop will provide an update on the latest scientific information on substance misuse treatment and the implementation of evidence-based practices.
Date: 13 -14 April 2016
Time: 9am – 4pm
Venue: Rydges South Bank Brisbane

For more information: Visit the Winter School website, email, or call (07) 3834 0207

 back to top

Resources and Publications

National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase (NDAK)
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University

The National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase (NADK), developed by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) with support from the Australian Government Department of Health, has now been expanded to include Methamphetamine.
To access the Methamphetimane page, go to:
The NADK is the only publicly accessible, centrally located source of comprehensive alcohol and drug data.  It utilises a diverse range of reliable data sources and presents key information in a simple, easy to use format.
The NADK also includes information about Alcohol and Cannabis.
For more information: Visit the NADK website, the NCETA website, email or call (08) 8201 7535
Overdose Prevention Videos
Penington Institute

The Penington Institute has updated two overdose-prevention videos released in 2015 to reflect the change to scheduling for naloxone (addition of naloxone to schedule 3) on 1 February 2016.
The two videos include critical information on how to recognise and respond to opioid overdose, including administering the life-saving medication naloxone to a person who is not responding.
The videos:
  • Naloxone: saving lives - is for people who are at risk of opioid overdose and their friends and families.  It explains how to recognise the signs of overdose and safely administer naloxone.
  • Naloxone: experience and perspectives - is for frontline workers and people who are at risk of overdose. In the video, police, ambulance officers, doctors and health workers speak about the lifesaving capacity of naloxone, and their support for its use in a community setting. 
For more information: See the videos, email, or call (03) 9659 0699
 back to top

Service Delivery

Education and Therapy Groups 2016
Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS), ACT Health

The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS) regularly runs support and education groups for people who are having difficulty with alcohol and other drugs, people seeking support in preventing relapse, and for friends and family members.
Groups include:
  • Controlling your Cannabis Use
  • Controlling your Drinking
  • Controlling your Ice Use
  • Mindfulness, Mediation and Stress Management Course
For more information: See the flyer, or call (02) 6207 9977

 back to top

Newsletters, Magazines and Updates

Winnunga News
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service

The purpose of this monthly newsletter is to provide information on the happening at Winnunga, current topics and upcoming events.
For more information: See the latest issue
 back to top

Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sector

Youth Gambling Survey
Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Youth Coalition of the ACT has launched a survey for their Young People and Gambling project. They are looking for young people aged 18-30 in the ACT to do a 5-minute survey.
They are also looking for interview and focus group participants (who will be remunerated $30 per activity).
The survey can be found here:

For more information: Visit the Youth Coalition website, email, or call (02) 6247 3540

Capital Health Network Primary Mental Health Reform Update
Capital Health Network
The Capital Health Network will be providing regular updates regarding the primary mental health reforms. The latest publication included news on: Update from the Department of Health, Baseline Mental Health Needs Assessment and the Primary Mental Health Strategic Reform Group.
For more information: See the full Update, or call (02) 6287 8099

Call for Applications to the ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Miniterial Advisory Council
ACT Government

ACT Minister for Community Services, Ms Yvette Berry MLA, is seeking nominations for the ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Ministerial Advisory Council.
The Council provides an opportunity to discuss and provide advice to the ACT Government on Government policies, programs, services and processes. The Council also makes recommendations to Government on current and emerging issues affecting LGBTIQ people.
Members will be selected for their expertise and experience in issues affecting the LGBTIQ community and their networks. Nominations are invited from both individuals and people representing organisations associated with LGBTIQ groups.
Closing date: 31 March 2016
For more information: Visit the ACT Government website, email, or call (02) 6207 2343.

Rainbow Activity Calendar 

Mental Health Foundation ACT has released the Rainbow Activity Calendar for February 2016.

For more information: See the calendar, or visit the Mental Health Foundation ACT website
 back to top


Sobering Up Shelter - Casual ATOD Worker 
CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn

The role of the ATOD worker is to assess, monitor and supervise intoxicated persons who are admitted to the service, and offer pre-discharge intervention strategies, information and referral.

This position will fill casual shifts when staff are on leave. 

For more information: See the position description, email, or call (02) 6163 7640

 back to top

ACT Media

This section includes ATOD related media from or relevant to the ACT

Government set to extend smoking bans, hand more powers to police on domestic violence
Canberra Times, 8 February 2016
The government will extend smoking bans in Canberra, allowing the minister to declare public spaces and events smoke free, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has foreshadowed.
For more information: See the article
Police search for alleged booze-boot thieves after Bolt Bar burglary in Aranda
Canberra Times, 8 February 2016
Police are calling for help to identify five people seen loading the boot of a vehicle with alcohol stolen from a bar.
For more information: See the article
Why alcohol causes so much damage that is so hard to fix
Canberra Times, 7 February 2016
According to a recent report of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, a fifth of all Australian drinkers consume three-quarters of the grog. The heaviest-drinking 5 five per cent – about 1 million Australians – consume more than eight standard drinks of alcohol every day, and the proportion of alcohol being consumed by heavy drinkers is increasing.
For more information: See the article

Canberra man Rory Coghlan denied bail after allegedly selling MDMA to undercover police officer
ABC News, 7 February 2016
A Canberra man who allegedly sold drugs to an undercover police officer has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court.
For more information: See the article
Australians quadrupled use of codeine, morphine
Canberra Times, 4 February 2016
Australians have quadrupled their use of painkillers such as codeine and morphine for cancer and other chronic illnesses over a decade, a study says.
For more information: See the article
Woman who ‘left children in car while running from police’ charged with drug driving
Canberra Times, 3 February 2016
A woman left three young children in her car when she tried to run from officers after being pulled over for dangerous driving, police say.
For more information: See the article
Once-popular party drug ketamine now used to treat severe depression
Canberra Times, 3 February 2016
Studies showing ketamine not only produces a rapid and robust antidepressant effect; it also puts a quick end to suicidal thinking.
For more information: See the article

Attorney-General Simon Corbell stands firm on one-punch laws
Canberra Times, 2 February 2016
The ACT government has no intention of introducing harsher penalties or mandatory sentences on so-called "one-punch" attacks, Attorney-General Simon Corbell has reaffirmed.
For more information: See the article

Synthetic drugs are killing our kids, so let’s take control
Canberra Times, 2 February 2016
Prohibiting recreational drugs hasn't worked, so it's time to try regulating them.
For more information: See the article

Heavy marijuana use can damage short-term memory, study shows
Canberra Times, 2 February 2016
New research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine confirms what many of us have suspected for some time: If you smoke a lot of weed - like a lot of it - it can potentially do permanent damage to your short-term memory.
For more information: See the article

Inmate bashed in AMC handed jail sentence for traffic offences
Canberra Times, 1 February 2016
A Indigenous inmate who was viciously bashed while on remand in custody for multiple traffic offences has been sentenced in the ACT Magistrates court.
For more information: See the article

‘Sophisticated’ cannabis hydroponics system uncovered in ACT
Canberra Times, 30 January 2016
A "sophisticated" cannabis grow house has been discovered by police in Canberra's far south during a search following reports of a disturbance.
For more information: See the article
Pharmacists in new bid to stop codeine prescription push
Canberra Times, 30 January 2016
Pharmacists are rolling out a new reporting system for codeine-based painkillers such as Panadeine and Nurofen Plus in a fresh bid to convince drug regulators there is no need to make them prescription-only.
For more information: See the article
Law change needed as part of reform
Canberra Times, 30 January 2016
The ACT government should be commended for being prepared to make changes to tackle the growing problem the territory has with alcohol-fuelled violence.
For more information: See the article
Tax toke: the budget office models GST on marijuana
Canberra Times, 30 January 2016
The PBO, which was set up to provide independent and non-partisan budget analysis to politicians, did the costings at the request of libertarian crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm, who wants marijuana fully legalised.
For more information: See the article

Our illicit-drugs policies aren’t working – we need new ones
Canberra Times, 29 January 2016
There has been a lot of coverage in the media about music festivals over the past few weeks, much of which was negative and focused on an isolated yet tragic incident that occurred last year. 
For more information: See the article

More Canberrans speed and risk drink-driving than other states, report finds
Canberra Times, 29 January 2016
Canberra leads the nation for the number of people speeding, risking possible drink-driving, and being hospitalised due to traffic accidents, a new report has found.
For more information: See the article

Another ‘coward punch’ outside Canberra pub captured on CCTV
Canberra Times, 29 January 2016
Lock-out laws, operating hours and service of drunk punters could be included in a major reform package to be released by the ACT government as it seeks to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence.  
For more information: See the article

‘I can’t believe people can be so cowardly’: victim reveals impact of one punch
Canberra Times, 29 January 2016
Aidan Chard knows the pain of a punch can linger long after the moment a fist unexpectedly strikes a face.
For more information: See the article

Drink driving is a crime, not a petty infringement
Canberra Times, 28 January 2016
One would have thought somebody, somewhere, in the ACT government would have realised that three weeks after announcing the worst year for deaths on Canberra roads in half a decade was not the best time to propose effectively decriminalising low range drink-driving.
For more information: See the article

Alcohol abuse: radical plan to serve drinks in homeless shelter has key backers
Canberra Times, 26 January 2016
A proposed radical change to the way Sydney shelters treat homeless people with alcohol dependency has some influential and unlikely advocates.
For more information: See the article

You don’t have to be drunk to enjoy being Australian
Canberra Times, 26 January 2016
Of all the issues raised by yesterday's Australia Day and Citizen of the Year awards one cuts across almost all the rest. It is the problem of binge drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence which was brought to the fore by the choice of Professor Gordian​ Fulde​ as our Senior Australian of the Year.
For more information: See the article

Karalee Katsambanis: Drink-driving with kids in the car is like Russian Roulette
Canberra Times, 25 January 2016
Mistakes are forgetting a baby bottle, a baby hat, a nappy, a change of clothes. Mistakes are not playing Russian Roulette like you did with your baby and the rest of the people on the road.
For more information: See the article

 back to top

Contact ATODA:

Phone: (02) 6255 4070
Fax: (02) 6255 4649
Mail: PO Box 7187,
Watson ACT 2602
Visit: 350 Antill St. Watson

Access Previous E-Bulletins
 Unsubscribe from the eBulletin | Update preferences 

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 or call (02) 6255 4070.