Reducing alcohol harms with African and other newly arrived communities

Confident Communities  

A toolkit for working with African and other newly arrived communities to address alcohol-related harms

This evidence-based guide for AOD workers covers issues relevant to working with a range of diverse communities including:

  • Building cultural competency
  • How to effectively consult with a diverse range of community members to identify needs and preferences for addressing AOD harms
  • Examples of harm reduction strategies developed with newly arrived communities

Confident Communities was developed by Hunter Multicultural Community Drug Action Team and the Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC) with the assistance of African migrant communities in the Hunter New England area. The toolkit can be downloaded from the Australian Drug Foundation. A limited number of hard copies can be ordered from DAMEC by calling (02) 9699 3552.

The toolkit is linked to a Facebook page where workers, organisations and the general public can share ideas and experiences relating to preventing alcohol-related harms

This work was supported by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by

NSW Lockout Legislation: Research Participants Wanted

Investigating displacement effects as a result of the Sydney, NSW alcohol lockout legislation

Researchers at The University of New South Wales and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre are seeking volunteer research participants to learn about potential displacement effects in Sydney nightlife following the introduction of the February 2014 Sydney Lockout Legislation. We are looking at potential effects in two key areas: Kings Cross/Potts Point and Newtown and with two different populations: residents and patrons. 

Would the research project be a good fit for me?

The study might be a good fit for you if:

  • You are aged 18 or over


  • You fit one of the following criteria:

o    Resident of Newtown

o    Resident of King’s Cross/Pott’s Point

o    Patron of licensed venues in Newtown

o    Patron of licensed venues in King’s Cross/Pott’s Point


What would happen if I took part in the research project?

  • Complete an anonymous demographic questionnaire that will take approximately 5 minutes.
  • Take part in a focus group that will take approximately 40-50 minutes. This will discuss your experiences before and after the introductionof the lockout laws, including whether you have noticed any change in disorderly conduct, public amenity and drinking/illicit drug use in your area (Kings Cross/Potts Point or Newtown).

Focus groups will be held on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd of June at King’s Cross (Reg Murphy) Activity Centre from 6:45pm until 7:45pm, on Monday 29th of June at the Joseph Sargeant Centre (Erskineville) from 6pm until 7pm and on Tuesday 30th June from 6pm to 7pm at Brown Street Community Hall (Newtown).

Will I be paid to take part in the research project?

There are no additional costs associated with participation in this research project, nor will you be paid. Food and drink will be provided


Who do I contact if I want more information or want to take part in the study?

If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study please contact:

Name: Alexander Weedon-Newstead
Phone: 0437 751  014


Quitting Cannabis Seminars

The National Cannabis Prevention & Information Centre UNSW is presenting a new 4-part webinar series ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ starting in three weeks on 12, 19, 26 June and 3 July 2015. 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 participant’s desk computer.

Registration and attendance for each of the four ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ 1 hour webinars is free of charge. The intervention is especially suitable for counsellors and psychologists who have a thorough understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

For further information and to register for each webinar, please click on the links below: –

NCPIC 12th June 2015
11am-12noon AEST ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ PART 1 presented Etty Matalon, National Clinical Training Manager, NCPIC.

NCPIC 19th June 2015
11am-12noon AEST ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ PART 2 presented Etty Matalon, National Clinical Training Manager, NCPIC.

NCPIC 26th June 2015
11am-12noon AEST ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ PART 3 presented Etty Matalon, National Clinical Training Manager, NCPIC.

NCPIC 3rd July 2015
11am-12noon AEST ‘Quitting Cannabis? 1-6 sessions (QC 1-6) – A Clinical Intervention’ PART 4 presented Etty Matalon, National Clinical Training Manager, NCPIC.

World Report on Addictions

Media Release from Uni of Adelaide:

The world’s first comprehensive report on global addictions has revealed Australians smoke less tobacco and drink less alcohol than the British, but Aussies take more illicit drugs.

The Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours: 2014 Status Report, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, is the first time that global data on the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use, and gambling, has been presented in a single compilation. A paper on the report was published today in the journal Addiction.

The paper’s lead author Associate Professor Linda Gowing, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences, says alcohol and tobacco use are by far the most prevalent addictive behaviours worldwide and cause the most harm.

“Approximately 84% of Australians drink alcohol at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 83.9% in the United Kingdom and 68.9% in the United States; however, 3.7% of Australians are considered to have an alcohol use disorder, compared to 12.1% in the UK and 7.8% in the US,” says Associate Professor Gowing.

“Australians are also slightly lighter smokers compared to the British, but smoking is still relatively common – 20% of Australians smoke tobacco at least once in a 12-month period, in comparison to 22% of the British.

“The report found alcohol and tobacco are the most common addictions in most countries and they are also the most harmful. 11% of deaths in males and 6% of deaths in females are linked to tobacco each year globally. Alcoholism is associated with a range of health issues and takes years off someone’s life,” she says.

Associate Professor Gowing says the data revealed the impact of illicit drugs is significant in Australia.

“10.3% of Australians smoke cannabis at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 5-7% in the UK ; 3% use ecstasy, compared to 1.1-1.7% of people in the UK; and 2.1% of Australians use amphetamine-type drugs at least once in a 12-month period, compared to 0.7-1.2% in the UK,” says Associate Professor Gowing.

Associate Professor Gowing says it is important that this data is used to further reduce the impact of alcohol abuse and tobacco smoking.

“This data is highly valuable and can be used to guide policy-makers and researchers in planning responses to addictions world-wide,” says Associate Professor Gowing.

“It’s encouraging that less Australians use tobacco and abuse alcohol than other developed countries like the US and the UK; however it’s important that we continue to work towards reducing the impact of alcohol and tobacco on the Australian community,” she says.

2015 Annual Alcohol Poll

FARE launched its 2015 Annual Alcohol Poll: Attitudes and behaviours this morning at the Victorian Parliament.

The 2015 Poll was carried out by Galaxy Research for the sixth consecutive year and provides valuable trend data and insights into community perspectives on alcohol.

Did you know that 92 per cent of Australians think that they drink responsibly? This is pretty concerning when you consider that 32 per cent of Australians drink to get drunk and in light of campaigns that call for people to drink ‘responsibly’.

A copy of the report can be found at Have a look and see what else you can find.

2015 National Cannabis Conference – call for abstracts

2015 National Cannabis Conference – call for abstracts closes 1 May 2015

The 2015 National Cannabis Conference, hosted by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, will take place at the Rydges Melbourne, between 7 and 9 October 2015.

Call for abstracts is now open, and will close 5pm on 1 May – this means less than one month to submit your abstract.

The conference topic areas have been chosen to respond to the developing evidence-base on cannabis-related issues and include areas such as cannabis use and intervention approaches among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, road safety issues, synthetic cannabinoids and promising approaches to cannabis and comorbid mental health conditions. Highly renowned and respected international speakers have been secured for the conference, including Professor Marilyn Huestis, Professor Jose Crippa, Professor Kevin Sabet and Professor Nadia Solowij.

For information about submitting your abstract, or sponsorship opportunities, visit

National picture of ice in Australia: get the report

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Justice

25 March 2015

Australian Crime Commission’s first report into national picture of ice in Australia

Our nation’s addiction to this mind-eating, personality-distorting, life-ending drug is undermining the social fabric of communities, and paying big dividends to the organised criminal syndicates that are profiting from its misery.

In recent years we’ve seen the creep of ice use stretch across the nation, with individuals from all levels of society succumbing to its depravity.

Ice causes psychosis and long term psychological issues, is linked to violent criminal attacks against innocent bystanders, road deaths, robberies and vicious assaults against frontline health or law enforcement responders.

Given the gravity of the problem, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has developed the first unclassified intelligence picture of the threat posed by ice to our nation, which I’m releasing today with ACC Chief Executive Officer, Chris Dawson, in Canberra.

The report provides a national picture of Australia’s ice market and outlines the role of organised crime in the supply, distribution and use of ice.

It also details law enforcement efforts of unprecedented seizures and an increase in the weight of detected methylamphetamine and precursor chemicals used in its manufacture.

These are the efforts of Australia’s law enforcement agencies including the Australian Federal Police’s National Anti-Gang Squad – fast tracked by the Coalition in 2013, intelligence gathered by the ACC’s Australian Gangs Intelligence Coordination Centre opened by the Coalition in 2013, and an $88 million boost in funding from the Coalition to screening at Australian borders.

But despite these efforts the entrenched, evolving and lucrative organised criminal market for the production, distribution and use of ice, has been the catalyst for the mounting harm and havoc inflicted on our communities.

The report confirms ice poses the greatest threat to the Australian public of all illicit drug types.

We’re hearing everyday a new story of how ice is ruining lives, destroying families, and hurting communities.

The report says:

* Australian illicit drug users pay a premium price for most illicit drugs compared to prices in key foreign markets ($80US in China for a gram compared to $500US in Australia for the same amount) making our country an attractive marketplace for the manufacture and importation of methylamphetamine;

* more than 60 per cent of Australia’s highest risk serious and organised crime targets are profiting from the misery of ice to the detriment of the economic and social fabric our communities;

* there are concerning trends including the increased availability and use of methylamphetamine in areas where the drug has not previously been prevalent – particularly regional, rural and disadvantaged communities; and

* serious and organised crime groups, are mixing other illicit drugs into methylamphetamine in an attempt to increase addiction levels and maintain the consumer base.

Significant border detections, national seizures and arrests highlight the continued focus by our law enforcement agencies on the response – but ice is not solely an issue for law enforcement.

The purpose of this report is to help shape Australia’s understanding of the methylamphetamine market and the challenges posed, so we can focus our collective efforts to combat this national harm.

The fight against ice is for everyone – governments, law enforcement agencies, health, education, industry, non-government organisations, community leaders, parents, colleagues, teachers and peers.

I want to thank the ACC for the work that has been done on this report, for providing this advice to the Government which I will be taking to my ministerial colleagues to advance our collective efforts to combat this national harm.

The report can be found here:

Australian Crime Commission

25 Mar 2015

Exercise for cannabis withdrawal treatment

Study Recruiting Now!! Exercise for cannabis withdrawal treatment

This is a 7 day inpatient cannabis detoxification study with an innovative daily exercise regime.

The study takes place at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney, and we are looking for cannabis users who are seeking help to reduce their use or quit.

Details of this study and how to get in touch can be found here:

Alternatively please feel free to download a copy of the recruitment poster and place it in your treatment facility or link to any of our recruitment materials through your webpage:

We are looking for people who need help with their cannabis use – please forwards them on.

Consumer Participation Training for Consumers (Victoria)

APSU has been delivering the Experts by Experience – training in consumer participation for consumers – since 2007. This training module is one of the main strategic components of APSU’s task to increase consumer participation in Victoria’s AOD treatment services.

The next Experts by Experience training will be held on 16 – 17 April 2015. In this training round we would mainly like to provide the opportunity for those service users that are currently engaged in some participation activities, but have not had the opportunity to attend the relevant training. We particularly encourage all service providers that have one or two active consumers to seize this training opportunity.

There is a limited number of places. We will conduct a brief telephone interview with each applicant before final enrolment.

To apply or for any further information contact or (03) 9573 1776.

Application should contain the following information:
– Full name
– Contact telephone and e-mail
– Address
– Organisation or project that you are participating in

Final date for applications is Friday, 27 March 2015.

This training will be held at SHARC 140 Grange Road Carnegie

This training is free of charge. A light lunch will be provided.

Training schedule

Thursday, 16 April
10.30 – 12.30 Consumer Participation
12.30 – 1 Lunch
1 – 3 Victoria’s AOD Service System

Friday, 17 April
10.30 – 12.30 Advocacy and Human Rights
12.30 – 1 Lunch
1 – 3 Meetings and Consumer Boundaries

PHAMS and MH Respite Get Funding Extension

Via the ANCD:

The Abbott Government is to extend funding for two programs that provide support for people with a mental illness and their carers.

The Government says organisations that currently receive funding to provide services under the Personal Helpers and Mentors program will have their contracts extended to 30 June 2016. Funding was due to cease on 30 June 2015 Providers who deliver services under the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support program will also have their funding extended.

The Government says the funding includes more than $136 million from 30 June 2015 to 30 June 2016, extending:

166 PHaMs services in 2015-16, committing more than $82 million; and
197 MHR:CS services in 2015-16, committing more than $54 million.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield said the funding extension will ensure supports are maintained as the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues across the country.

“In 2013-14 Personal Helpers and Mentors services assisted more than 18,500 people severely impacted by mental illness. In the same period the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support services assisted more than 40,400 carers of people severely impacted by mental illness and their families through respite, education and group activities.”

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting people who are severely impacted by mental illness, as well as those who care for them,” Minister Fifield said.

“The extension of these contracts will ensure people living with mental illness and those who care for them can still access these support services.”

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) program offers one-to-one support to people aged 16 and over who are severely impacted by mental illness.

“To deliver maximum flexibility for PHaMs providers as they prepare to operate in an open market under the NDIS, some funding arrangements may change to adapt to the NDIS model,” Minister Fifield said.

“The Mental Health Respite: Carer Support program helps carers of people with mental illness to improve their wellbeing and enable them to maintain their important caring role.” Minister Fifield said there will be no immediate changes for Mental Health Respite: Carer Support providers. Changes can be expected over time as the transition to NDIS continues, to ensure there are effective supports for families and carers in their caring roles. “This one-year funding extension will help ensure a smooth transition to the NDIS for these services,” Minister Fifield said.