PD Blog -October

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library. All times are AEST (QLD time)

Online resources

Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

Choi, N. G., & DiNitto, D. M. (2019). Older marijuana users in substance abuse treatment: Treatment settings for marijuana-only versus polysubstance use admissions. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 105, 28-36.

Frederick, T. (2019). ‘A person like me’: identity narratives, dual process theories, and subsistence related decision-making among young people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-18.

Guerrero, E. G., Khachikian, T., Frimpong, J. A., Kong, Y., Howard, D. L., & Hunter, S. (2019). Drivers of continued implementation of cultural competence in substance use disorder treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 105, 5-11.

Lyvers, M., Narayanan, S. S., & Thorberg, F. A. (2019). Disordered social media use and risky drinking in young adults: Differential associations with addiction‐linked traits. Australian Journal of Psychology, 71(3), 223-231.

Pavlidis, A., Ojajarvi, A., & Bennett, A. (2019). Young people and alcohol abstention: youth cultural practices and being a non-drinker in Finland and Australia. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-16.

Tael‐Öeren, M., Naughton, F., & Sutton, S. (2019). The relationship between parental attitudes and children’s alcohol use: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Addiction.

Villeneuve, M. P., F.-Dufour, I., & Turcotte, D. (2019). The Transition Towards Desistance From Crime Among Serious Juvenile Offenders: A Scoping Review. Australian Social Work, 1-17.

Open Access Articles

Barratt, M. J., Hughes, C. E., Ferris, J. A., & Winstock, A. R. (2019). Australian music festival attendees who seek emergency medical treatment following alcohol and other drug use: A Global Drug Survey data report. Melbourne: Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University

Brown, R., & Morgan, A. (2019). The opioid epidemic in North America: implications for Australia. Australian Institute of Criminology.

Morres, I. D., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Stathi, A., Comoutos, N., Arpin‐Cribbie, C., Krommidas, C., & Theodorakis, Y. (2019). Aerobic exercise for adult patients with major depressive disorder in mental health services: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Depression and Anxiety, 36(1), 39-53.

Murrup‐Stewart, C., Searle, A. K., Jobson, L., & Adams, K. (2019). Aboriginal perceptions of social and emotional wellbeing programs: A systematic review of literature assessing social and emotional wellbeing programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians perspectives. Australian Psychologist, 54(3), 171-186.

e-book of the month

Greenfield, S. F. (2016). Treating Women with Substance Use Disorders : The Women’s Recovery Group Manual. New York: The Guilford Press.

Filling a crucial need, this manual presents the Women’s Recovery Group (WRG), an empirically supported treatment approach that emphasizes self-care and developing skills for relapse prevention and recovery. Grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy, the WRG is designed for a broad population of women with alcohol and drug use disorders, regardless of their specific substance of abuse, age, or co-occurring disorders. Step-by-step intervention guidelines are accompanied by 80 reproducible clinical tools, including participant handouts, session outlines, bulletin board materials, and more.

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Useful resources

Text the effects – SMS drug information service

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) operate an SMS service called “Text the Effects” which allows anyone to text in the name of any drug and get a reply with all the information about the effects of drugs in a confidential and accessible way, any location, any time.

Simply text the name of the drug you want to know about to: 0439 835 563. Workers can also order wallet size “Text the Effects” information cards from the ADF.

Clinical documentation guide

Insight is proud to release “Case in Point” which is a free 30 page guide for AOD practitioners on how to best record clinical case notes and undertake case formulation.

The resource contains a range of practical hints, tips, instructions and examples as well as overviews of common clinical documentation methods such as SOAP, DAP and the 5P’s model.

The guide is now available for free download and will shortly be available in hard copy for Queensland-based workers and services so stay tuned for further announcements.

Aboriginal engagement resource

In collaboration with Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC), the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) have developed a resource to be used by Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) to build connections, work together and support each other to prevent and minimize harm associated with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in their local communities.

Trauma and mental health in young people

Most young people will have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Multiple and prolonged exposure to trauma is also common. When a young person reaches out to open up about trauma, the way that others around them respond can have a massive effect on the young person’s ability to understand and cope with what has happened. Some aspects of trauma remain largely misunderstood, especially when it comes to its relationship with mental health.

This mythbuster has been created for young people, their families, and carers. It aims to tackle some of the most common and harmful myths about trauma in the mental health space, and to replace these with a better understanding of what trauma is and how it can affect young people.

Queensland Government: Domestic and family violence information site

Attend – informal learning sessions, seminar series

Insight Queensland

Free workshops in Queensland

Understanding psychoactive drugs

Prerequisite: Online Induction Material – Module 2 

This workshop is designed for those wanting to gain a basic understanding of what psychoactive drugs are and the various licit and illicit substances used in Australia today. The workshop also covers:

  • classification and effects of psychoactive drugs (including street names for commonly used drugs)
  • patterns of use and harms from substance use
  • basic neurobiology
  • intoxication and overdose
  • tolerance and withdrawal
  • pharmacotherapies currently available

Toowoomba: 31 October

Introduction to motivational interviewing

Prerequisite: Online Induction Material – Module 5

This workshop develops core skills in working with clients who are ambivalent about making change to their substance use. This interactive skills-based course covers:

  • motivational interviewing principles and processes
  • using the OARS micro-counselling skills
  • brief motivational assessment
  • motivational interviewing strategies
  • practical skills development.

Townsville: 11 October

AOD crash course

This one-day workshop is designed for new and/or non-specialist workers who want to develop a broad understanding of psychoactive drugs and a basic knowledge and skillset in how to support someone who may be experiencing problematic substance use.

NB: This course features content highlights from all of Insight’s Core Skills Workshops, particularly “Understanding Psychoactive Drugs”.  It is not recommended if you are planning on completing the full suite of Core Skills Workshops. There is also some duplication with content contained within Dovetail’s Young People and Drugs (YPaD).

Topics covered include:

  • history of substance use, statistics, prevalence and rates of use
  • key substance types, effects and patterns of use
  • understanding harm and substance dependence
  • values, language, stigma and discrimination
  • the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)
  • aims and objectives of AOD treatment
  • basic assessment and brief intervention
  • basic harm reduction and managing intoxication
  • where to go for more information, training and support

Gold Coast: 30 October

Culturally secure AOD practice featuring IRIS

This updated 1-day workshop aims to build cultural capacity when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who use substances. Designed for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers alike, the course promotes a culturally-secure AOD framework and approach to direct practice.

Participants will learn how to use the Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS) and associated brief intervention tools alongside other practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for use in everyday practice.

Cairns: 9 October

Gold Coast: 31 October

Micro-counselling and brief intervention skills

This workshop uses a mix of case-studies, live-practice scenarios and video examples to explore the range of counselling techniques and skillsets required to form and maintain a therapeutic relationship with clients, conduct screening and brief interventions and have difficult conversations with clients and family members.

Topics covered include:

  • Active listening skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Recognising and overcoming barriers to effective communication
  • Conducting screening and brief interventions using FRAMES and brief motivational interviewing techniques
  • Managing challenging behaviours by utilising de-escalation and refusal skills
  • Responding to common counselling dilemmas and client curveballs

Toowoomba: 30 October

Assessing and managing withdrawal

he aim of the course is to develop basic knowledge and skills in the assessment and management of withdrawal for people who are dependent on alcohol and other drugs as outlined in the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal Clinical Practice Guidelines.

It is highly recommended that the workshop ‘Understanding psychoactive drugs’ is completed prior to attending this course to provide you with an understanding of psychoactive drugs, neurotransmitters, tolerance and withdrawal

Topics include:

  • understanding dependence, tolerance and withdrawal
  • rationale and principles underpinning withdrawal management
  • patient presentations for withdrawal management
  • assessments for substance specific withdrawal management
  • drug-specific withdrawal symptoms, including the withdrawal process and expected

Brisbane: 22 October

Relapse prevention and recovery

Prerequisite: Online Induction Material – Module 6

This workshop will equip workers with practical and positive strategies to assist clients who experience difficulty maintaining their drug use goals including preventing and managing relapse.

Topics covered include:

  • precursors of relapse
  • the Resolution Breakdown model
  • identifying high risk situations for substance use
  • relapse prevention and management interventions
  • practical skill development exercises.

Brisbane: 10 October

AOD harm reduction

NB: Participants must have completed Insight’s “Understanding Psychoactive Drugs” workshop or be an existing employee of an AOD or Mental Health service to be eligible for this workshop.

This course is designed to equip frontline AOD and Mental Health specialists with up-to-date information on generalist and substance-specific harm reduction strategies for AOD clients.

Other topics covered include:

  • evidence underpinning harm reduction as an intervention
  • principles of ethical harm reduction
  • substance-specific harm reduction strategies
  • full overview of safer injecting practices

Participants will also be provided with an overview of the types of injecting equipment available at primary NSPs and witness a practical demonstration of safe injecting with a prosthetic device.

Gold Coast:  14 October

Cairns: 30 October

Crystal clear: responding to methamphetamine use

This half day workshop is designed to assist frontline health and community service practitioners who work in AOD treatment or casework support roles to better understand and respond to the specific needs of clients who use methamphetamine.

Topics covered include:

  • overview of meth/amphetamine: what it is and how it affects the body
  • history, statistics, current trends and rates of use
  • risks, harms, dependence, intoxication, withdrawal and psychosis
  • harm reduction and evidence-based treatment options
  • overview of new “Meth-Check” treatment tools
  • supporting families and significant others
  • designing services to better respond

Brisbane: 15 October

Sensory approaches for AOD practice

Sensory Approaches is a collective term for a range of interventions that focus on supporting the client to achieve regulation of affect, attention and behaviour through regulation of bodily arousal states using a range of sensory modalities.* It is widely used in mental health services as a trauma informed approach, and as a first line intervention to manage difficult emotional states.

This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of sensory approaches, their application for people experiencing problematic substance use, and tools to assist people to self-regulate.

Cairns: 16 October

An introduction to mindfulness in AOD

NB: This workshop is being offered over two half days. Participants must commit to attend on both days to receive an attendance certificate for this workshop.

Part A: 9.00am – 1.00pm, Thursday, 17th October 2019

Part B: 9.00am – 1.00pm, Thursday, 24th October 2019

Mindfulness is a specialised skill in awareness, attention, and acceptance. There is ever increasing evidence of the benefits of mindfulness based interventions within alcohol and drug treatment for stress reduction, craving management and relapse prevention. The aims of this one day experiential workshop are to provide an introductory overview of mindfulness, explore the application of mindfulness within alcohol and drug treatment, and give participants practical exposure to mindfulness techniques.


Dovetail -Young people and drugs

This full-day workshop targets practitioners who work directly with young people aged 12 – 25 years in a one-on-one capacity including youth workers, alcohol and drug workers / clinicians, child safety officers, youth justice officers, residential support workers, youth support coordinators, school-based youth health nurses, Indigenous health workers, mental health professionals, guidance officers and employment and vocational staff.

The training provides an overview of youth alcohol and other drug (AOD) use including:

  • A framework for Youth AOD Practice
  • History, context and background to AOD policy in Australia
  • Stats, figures and current trends in youth AOD use
  • Risk vs protective factors
  • Engagement and assessment
  • The Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Brief intervention
  • Practical hints, tips and tricks for working with young people with AOD issues

Brisbane: 29 October

Screening for problem gambling

Free e-learning module from Lives Lived Well

Attend -conferences

APSAD Conference 2019 -Hobart

When: 10-13 November

Cost: $460-1120

How could a different approach to investment in the alcohol and other drugs sector shape change in our field? Regulatory changes, shifting funding patterns from siloed provision to multi-disciplinary consortiums, innovations in treatment and research, could see our field in a very different place in just a few years. Advances, connections, and learning from this conference could have a far reaching impact on the lives of people engaging with substances into the future.


Write – presentations and papers

Australian Social Work is asking for papers on how embodiment is understood in social work practice.  For more details and submission guidelines click here.


Listen – podcasts, webinars

Insight Webinars

Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00

Naltrexone – ‘hype or hidden potential’

16 October

Dr Jeremy Hayllar: Many of us will be familiar with naltrexone implants in the management of opioid use disorder. However there is a range of applications for naltrexone in AOD (and beyond). This presentation will discuss the use of naltrexone across a number of disorders.

Understanding the complex relationship between substance use disorders, mental health, family, community and culture.

23 October

Dr Wole Akosile: The rates of SUDS in patients with non-substance use psychiatric diagnosis is very high. There is a complex interaction between both disorders the aetiological principles behind both disorders are likely similar and include social, environmental, psychological, genetic and epigenetic factors. Having these disorders come at a great personal cost to the individual, their families and broader society. This presentation will explore factors contributing to the development of both disorders beginning with early childhood environment, attachment and parenting styles. It will also explore the role of culture and society in perpetuating or curtailing these disorders. This paper will also explore its cost and toll to our society and family. Intervention will involve all levels of society and will take a cultural re-think to SUDS and non-substance use psychiatry diagnosis treatment.

Alcohol and other drug treatment within a prison setting for Aboriginal men

30 October

Dr Michael Doyle: Three-quarters of people in prison have a history of hazardous use of alcohol and other drugs (AoD), yet there is a paucity of research into AoD use and prison-based treatment. This lack of prison-based AoD research exists despite the enormous body of research conducted over many decades into problematic AoD use generally in Australia. The lack of existing knowledge has a disproportionately great impact on Aboriginal people because they are vastly over-represented in Australian prisons. Theoretically, under the principle of equivalence of care, people in prison should receive health care to the same standard as they could access in the community. However, this is may not always be the case.

Insight Webinar Archive

Long acting injectables explained

3 October: 9:30-12:00

Insight is hosting a free seminar/webinar featuring representatives from both Camurus and Indivior who will be providing an overview of their respective long-acting-injectable buprenorphine (LAI-B) products which are now available in Australia (Buvidal by Camurus, and Sublocade by Indivior).

Positive Choices

Alcohol, MDMA and cannabis use: Impact on the adolescent brain

11 October: 11:00-12:00

This will explore the development of the adolescent brain and how it is impacted by the use of alcohol, cannabis and MDMA. Harm reduction strategies will also be discussed.

Trauma and the brain


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