Here’s where you go to sign the petition to put some pressure on Tony Abbott’s Government to reverse their decision to de-fund ADCA:
For those who work in the ATOD field, I can’t imagine a much more worthy video to share than this one. A retired police captain rips apart all the myths surrounding prohibition and ‘The War on Drugs’.
Have a look and share:
Professional body representing alcohol and other drugs sector urges government not to abandon vital services in drastic funding cut
The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) has expressed strong disappointment at the Commonwealth government’s decision, announced yesterday, to discontinue funding for the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA).
APSAD is the Asia Pacific’s leading multidisciplinary organisation for professionals involved in the alcohol and other drug field including health professionals, researchers and frontline clinicians from major universities, research institutes, treatment facilities and healthcare agencies.
APSAD President Dr Rose Neild said the news of ADCA’s de-funding and voluntary administration was an unwelcome shock to the sector.
“As the peak national body for non-governmental agencies working to reduce problems from alcohol and other drugs, ADCA played an important role in bringing the experience and knowledge of agencies and professionals to bear on treatment and prevention policies and their implementation across Australia,” Dr Neild said.
“ADCA’s National Drug Sector Information Service, run with resources from the federal government, has been the primary resource for agencies and workers in the field concerning the relevant clinical and research literatures which form the basis of evidence-based practice and policy.
“APSAD considers that these two functions must continue to be filled, and urges the Commonwealth government to continue to provide resources for these functions.”
News of the government’s decision came as 500 alcohol and other drug experts from around the country and overseas gather in Brisbane at APSAD 2013, Australasia’s largest and most comprehensive annual summit on alcohol and other drugs.
APSAD is dedicated to increasing the profile of the issues related to the use of alcohol and other drugs, through the dissemination of information from the wide range of professions involved in this field. In addition, we strive to promote improved standards in clinical practice and in research into this and allied subjects. It also provides a network of drug and alcohol professionals in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific.
APSAD is committed to:
Press release from Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform:
Abbott Government fails first test on drug policy
The Abbott Government, with no consultation or explanation has recklessly defunded the peak body, the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)
“Axing all funding for ADCA without consultation and in pursuit of a false claim of fixing the debt shows up the Federal Government as unprincipled and evidence free”, said Brian McConnell, President of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. “This peak body provides the best evidence based advice and guidance to all drug and alcohol service providers throughout Australia. It has also provided that advice to past governments. This Government may not like unbiased reliable advice but the service providers have found it to be invaluable for the provision of their services.”
“The loss of central coordination that follows this ill-advised cut will be a severe blow to all who are seeking help for their problematic drug use. It will mean that service providers will follow their own random paths and not apply best practice. The end result will be adverse social consequences for their clients and that will cost future governments dearly and will run contrary to the agreed harm minimisation policy of all Australian Governments.”
“Financial cuts to this peak body that provides high quality policy advice, resources and guidance will ultimately affect the standard of services provided especially to those who most need the services – the poor, the homeless, the socially marginalised, and the indigenous.”
“ADCA was established in 1966 and has been a well-respected by all governments since that time. To defund so swiftly and without explanation is incorrigible”, said Brian McConnell. “And the annual Drug Action Week organised throughout Australia by ADCA has provided an excellent week for the AOD sector to publicise its services to the public”.
Without this organisation those in the AOD sector will be left floundering for information and support.
Mr McConnell urged the federal government to reconsider this poor short-sighted decision.
Here on the Drug Blog we don’t usually get overtly political in regard to Governments, but here’s an appalling example of the current Commonwealth Government’s approach:
ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (ADCA) (Administrator Appointed) DEFUNDED
Funding for the Alcohol and other Drugs Council (ADCA), the national peak body representing organisations and workers in the sector, has been axed by the assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash.
ADCA was notified yesterday of the decision to cut core funding for its day to day operations and individual projects; this prompted an emergency meeting of the ADCA Board last night where directors unanimously agreed to put the organisation into voluntary administration.
ADCA has been funded continuously as the national peak for nearly half a century. As the latest casualty in the new coalition government’s austerity drive, the impact of this decision will be felt across the community according to the organisation’s patron, Professor Ian Webster AO. “In 46 years, this is the only government that has decided it can do without ADCA’s advice,” Professor Webster said.
Governments of all persuasions have for years approached ADCA for advice on alcohol and other drug (AOD) matters, trusting its reputation as a reliable, balanced source. While such advice may not have always been palatable to them, it has always been unbiased and evidence based.
“The government’s decision is a devastating blow to the sector and undermines years of work to minimise alcohol and other drug-related harm across the Australian community. It effectively erases decades of corporate knowledge – and leaves the sector without representation at a national level,” ADCA Chair Dr Mal Washer said.
ADCA’s National Drug Sector Information Service, a repository of nearly 100,000 AOD resources, will effectively shut down as a result.
“This is one of the world’s most comprehensive AOD library services which has been accessed for years by other libraries and individuals worldwide. Its contribution to clinical practice and professional development is inestimable,” according to ADCA Vice President Professor Alison Ritter.
Other projects and services affected by the funding cut include:
- Drug Action Week, which for 16 years has allowed communities Australia wide to raise awareness and commemorate those working to reduce AOD harm – and the associated National Drug and Alcohol Awards
- The National Inhalants Information Service, the first central online information source for volatile substance misuse
- The Register of Australian Drug and Alcohol Research and,
- Drugfields, a new project designed to encourage and support workforce development.
“Each of these is highly significant to research, awareness and the sector’s future workforce,” Ian Webster said. “Workforce sustainability must rank as one of the most important issues of our time – regardless of the sector.”
“The government needs to reconsider its shortsighted decision. Every day, media outlets are full of stories of AOD related violence, crime, the disadvantaged, homelessness and poverty. The cost to the community is crippling, yet governments seem oblivious to it.
“One major group affected by serious AOD-related harm is our first Australians. The Prime Minister wants to be a Prime Minister for Aboriginal Australia. He needs to understand how this decision will further alienate the peoples he claims he wants to represent,” Professor Webster said.
1. Here’s ADCA’s patron, Prof Ian Webster, on the decision - link.
Alcohol and drug smartphone applications (apps) are flooding the market with 247 million people downloading health-related apps worldwide last year (Jahns, R., 2013). There are now so many of these apps that the Australian Drug Foundation’s ADIN website has been reviewing them.
What makes a good app?
Recent research has identified that young people are interested in apps that are:
- Supporting health-related behaviour change
- Accurate, legitimate and secure
- Easy to use
- Positively impact mood through generating positive alerts and reminders
The key characteristics of an app that young people were interested in was the ability to track behaviour and goals, as well as the ability to acquire advice and information ‘on the go’ (Dennison, L., et al, 2013). Apps like MyFitnessPal and Quit Now: My QuitBuddy are excellent examples of apps that apply these principles.
For more examples of what makes an app good (or bad), check ADIN’s app reviews.
If you know a good alcohol, other drug or mental health app you’d like reviewed, suggest it on the ADIN website.
CANBERRA ALLIANCE FOR HARM MINIMISATION & ADVOCACY – CAHMA
Would you like to work for an established local organisation committed to improving the health and human rights of people who use/have used illicit drugs? If so, read on about a rare but exciting opportunity to join CAHMA – Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation & Advocacy. We are looking for someone with great energy who has leadership qualities and management skills plus a commitment to making a real difference to the lives of people who use illicit drugs and those in drug treatment in the ACT and surrounding area.
CAHMA is the ACT’s only peer-based drug user organisation and is a member of the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), the peak national organisation representing people who use or have used illicit drugs. CAHMA is also auspiced by AIVL and is co-located with them, in the City Centre. CAHMA currently runs a range of information, education, referral, outreach and advocacy services in and around Canberra. This is a full time position for 37.5 hours per week.
Reporting to the AIVL Executive Officer, the CAHMA Manager will be responsible for managing all CAHMA projects and programs, including management of a small team of staff and volunteers; representing CAHMA on high level committees and at public events; and supporting the development of CAHMA towards independence. A starting salary of up to $70,000 per annum, plus superannuation, is offered for this position. Salary packaging is negotiable and other generous terms and conditions of employment are also available.
As a peer-based organisation, people with direct experience of the issues the organisation represents are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Applicants MUST address all key selection criteria in their applications to be considered for interview. Application packs can be obtained from the AIVL website at: anniem
APPLICATIONS CLOSE AT 5.30PM ON MONDAY 9th December 2013.
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales is currently advertising two exciting new research officer positions.
One of the positions will be working on a range of studies examining opioid use and harms.
The other position will be working on a range of reviews of the epidemiology and harms associated with illicit drug use, and effective interventions to prevent and treat drug use and dependence. This will in part feed into the Global Burden of Disease 2.0 project as well as the Disease Control Priorities project:
Both projects are led by Professor Louisa Degenhardt in collaboration with researchers across Australia and internationally.
Both positions are Level 6. Position one description and selection criteria is available here: http://www.hr.unsw.edu.au/services/recruitment/jobs/08111303.html
Position two description and selection criteria is available here: http://www.hr.unsw.edu.au/services/recruitment/jobs/08111304.html