The Loop - e-news
National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia.
[ Issue #30, March 2016 ]
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Dear Members & Supporters,
This month in “The Loop”

All of the Board and Staff at NOFASD Australia hope you had a very safe, happy and enjoyable Easter.

Earlier in the month we put out the call to the NOFASD Australia Ambassadors to contribute to the "From My Desk"section of the newsletter.  This March issue, we introduce Dr Doug Shelton, a paediatrician and the Eminent Staff Specialist and Clinical Director of Community Child Health. He is the Medical Director of Women's & Children's Health Services and Specialty & Procedural Services with Gold Coast Health. He is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University and a Churchill Fellow.   
Dr Shelton shares his thoughts around the challenges faced in FASD diagnosis.

Next month, we'll hear from another of our Ambassadors, and hope to make this a feature of our newsletter, adding depth and a different 'flavour' to our usual offerings.

'The Loop' belongs just as much to our readers as it does to us, so we would also love to hear from you!  If you would like to contribute to our newsletter, as a full piece for 'From My Desk', or any other part of the newsletter, we'd love to hear from you! Please email Terri at terri@nofasd.org.au

 

Until next time,
Terri Baran
Social Media & Administration Officer

 

NOFASD Australia does not necessarily agree with the articles below. They are provided for reference and interest purposes only.
 
From My Desk

This month we introduce Dr Doug Shelton (MB BS, Dip Paed, FRACP), the first of our NOFASD Australia Ambassadors to contribute to 'From My Desk'.  Dr Shelton is a paediatrician and the Eminent Staff Specialist and Clinical Director of Community Child Health. He is the Medical Director of Women's & Children's Health Services and Specialty & Procedural Services with Gold Coast Health. He is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University and a Churchill Fellow.

 

 Currently in Australia there are only three services providing FASD diagnosis – Gold Coast, Sydney and Perth and the immediate challenge is to increase clinical services with attention to prevention, diagnosis and intervention. The personnel required for diagnosis are a paediatrician or child psychiatrist, a child psychologist and a speech pathologist. Many current services already have such a combination of staff and these would include child development services, child youth mental health services (CYMHS or CAMS) and non-government services like Headspace and BushKids in Queensland or the Royal Far West Children's Health Scheme in NSW. A brief count of child development services across Australia showed at least 73 services spread across the country. If we were to add in the other services mentioned above it would be well over one hundred existing services.

 
How is it that out of one hundred services who could potentially diagnose FASD that there are only three who are actually doing it? Is it hill, skill or will? Hill – the task is just too big and resources are too tight. Skill – the teams don’t have the necessary FASD expertise to do the job, or Will – there is not drive or appetite for change. In all truth the answer is probably a combination of all three but the low hanging fruit is 'skill'. Many teams have the required personnel and with a little extra training could begin to diagnose FASD. Services will say they are already too busy to diagnose another condition, but the unfortunate truth is that every service has clients living with FASDs on their caseload that are being completely missed or misdiagnosed and mis-managed. Clinicians need training in FASD to improve their skill sets and to increase awareness of FASD within their services, once this happens clinicians are usually very effective at driving positive change. The Gold Coast provides two-day training course twice yearly for clinicians (FASDCourseGCH@health.qld.gov.au)
 
The government does not understand just how common FASD may be nor its economic impact on Australia's global domestic product. International prevalence for societies similar to Australia sits between 2% and 5%, which based on the current population of Australia is between 480,000 and 1.2 million affected individuals. When viewed in this light FASD is a significant public health problem. It is estimated that FASD costs the Canadian economy $5.3 billion annually. Based on the Canadian population of 33 million and a health system similar to Australia, the equivalent cost for Australia can be estimated at approximately $4 billion dollars annually. Is there a politician anywhere who would not like to inject an additional $4 billion into the Australian economy every year, because that is potentially what could happen if there were no FASD. Put another way, decreasing the cost of FASD by $1,000 per individual would inject between $500 million and $1.2 billion every year.
 
Clinical services used to prevent, diagnose and treat FASD can also be used for those affected by other prenatal exposures including illicit and prescription drugs. The evidence for other "Neurodevelopmental Exposure Disorders" (NDED) caused by prenatal drug exposure is steadily increasing though the evidence base for alcohol is better established. Perhaps it is time for a new umbrella term, changing from FASD, which is inherently stigmatising, to NDED which is less so, still includes FASD under this umbrella term and is more apt for our times.
NDEDs are embedded in every health related service in the country, whether child or adult based. NDEDs are a significant clinical and public health problem, the cost to our economy is likely to be significant. Most are completely invisible and will remain so until we think and act differently.
Of Special Interest

Alberta aunt faces fetal alcohol spectrum diagnosis loophole

Rita just wants proper care for her niece who's likely suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but she's unable to get the young girl tested.  Rita — who isn't identified as her niece, J, is under the ward of the government — said she can't get an FASD test from Alberta Health Services because J's mom didn't disclosed she was using drugs and alcohol while pregnant.

But Rita said all the signs of FASD are there, according to what a school psychologist told her.
"The psychologist strongly recommended that we had her tested for fetal alcohol syndrome because she has all the signs and symptoms of it," she said. "They refuse to test her and I am in shock that this is what happens." According to Alberta Health Services (AHS), J isn't eligible for a test because maternal alcohol use during pregnancy wasn't confirmed.

This raises a similar issue in Australia. Australian kinship carers have spoken with us about the potential conflict arising from the need to provide evidence of prenatal alcohol use (which means the question would need to be asked of the child's biological parent). Often the grandparent, for example, is estranged from their child (the parent of the child in their care) and there is no legal order supporting the placement.
The diagnostic process then becomes too risky. As one Australian posted on Facebook in response to this article, the only help that these kids have in our education system is hoping that they can can an intellectual disability diagnosis to get any assistance though. Even then, teachers awareness of the difficulties these kids face on a day to day basis is too low to offer any assistance. "As an integration aide in Victoria I have found myself giving constant advice to teachers, and face a day to day battle trying to get teachers to modify work to the correct level to cater for the needs of these kids. At least with an ID the kids can get help. Having worked for 5 years in Western Australia, where an ID diagnosis for FASD was unheard of, at least there are some kids getting some help in Victoria, Australia."

 

National & NZ News and Media

Don't drink if planning a pregnancy: avoiding foetal alcohol spectrum disorders
If you're trying to get pregnant, stop drinking. And if you're sexually active and drink alcohol, it's best to use contraception. That's the advice from health experts to protect unborn children from lasting damage, as new research reveals that millions of women risk exposing their developing babies to alcohol. The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders chief executive, Vicki Russell, said it was important to advise, rather than stigmatise, women who drink while pregnant, and to support them to reduce their alcohol intake. Women called the organisation, worried because they drank before realising they were pregnant, and it was a "devastating time" for them, Ms Russell said. "Unfortunately we can't give them an answer, we can't say, 'You'll be fine'. We don't know which unborn child is vulnerable, which pregnancy is vulnerable."  But FASD could be totally avoided, Ms Russell said. "Why take the risk when it's something you can prevent by not drinking? No alcohol, no FASD."

 

ADHD Drugs Overprescribed, Misused: Study
Rate of misuse of psychostimulants to treat ADHD are rising, due to overdiagnosis of the condition and overprescription of the drugs, according to the authors of an editorial published in the Medical Journal of Australia. The use of stimulant medication in children to treat ADHD may be a "simplistic attempt to find solutions to more complex problems underlying behavioural and emotional difficulties", write Dr Adrian Dunlop and Professor Louise Newman. Increasing awareness and understanding of risk factors, as well as recognition of the need for coordinated educational and family support had contributed to the rising rates of ADHD diagnosis. Excluding other conditions - such as trauma-related neurodevelopmental difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, for which stimulants are an an appropriate treatment - is vital, the authors write.

 

Booze price hike good for health: report
Increasing the price of alcohol, particularly cheap wine and cider, would boost tax revenue by $2.9 billion annually and be a boon to public health, says a new report. The economic modelling found that a 10 per cent hike in all alcohol excise and the scrapping of the wine equalisation tax (WET) would lead to a 9.4 per cent cut in booze consumption and a corresponding cut in alcohol harms. The extra tax revenue could be spent in the health system targeting chronic disease prevention and research, says the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). Each day, 15 Australians die and 430 are hospitalised because of alcohol, while other far-reaching effects include family violence and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, says FARE.

 

Supported Students, Successful Students
School counselling and wellbeing services are increasing by 45 per cent across NSW public schools.  As part of the $167 million Supported Students, Successful Students initiative, schools will also receive additional funding for wellbeing services that best meet their students' needs.
Some of the new resources under the initiative include:  236 new school counselling/psychology positions;  More than $51 million for wellbeing services equivalent to an additional 200 Student Support Officers; and More than 500 graduate scholarships to boost the recruitment of school counsellors, psychologists and wellbeing officers.


Nationals to run in Sharman Stone's seat
The retirement of federal Liberal MP Sharman Stone has set the stage for a two-cornered contest with the Nationals in a rural Victorian seat. Transport Minister Darren Chester flagged in a statement on Monday the Nationals will run in the seat of Murray and intend to pre-select a top quality candidate to "give the local community the choice they have asked for".  Dr Stone has announced she's quitting politics at the next election after 20 years in parliament.

Dr Stone is a current ambassador for NOFASD Australia and patron of the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorder Association. Sharman is a great supporter of FASD awareness in Australia. Among her other FASD related achievements, Sharman (with Peter [Sid] Sidebottom) established the Bipartisan Committee for FASD Prevention - perhaps it was in 2010-11. I wonder who will take on this vital role inside government? - Vicki

 

Submitters have their say on FASD [NZ]
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has welcomed the strong level of interest shown by people in a proposed action plan for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Around 150 submissions have been received from across the country regarding a discussion document on the plan. "This is a complex issue and I am delighted that people have been taking the time to share their insight and experience. I wanted to test if work in this area currently being undertaken is heading in the right direction and the positive response to this proposed action is very encouraging. We have had significant support for this initiative and the high level direction we have proposed, as well as very constructive feedback around priorities and improvements."

 

New book on Teina Pora tells of personal crusade to clear an innocent man [NZ]
Teina Pora, convicted for a murder he did not commit and wrongly imprisoned for 21 years, needs an apology, according to a new book. In Dark Places: The Confessions of Teina Pora and an Ex-Cop's Fight for Justice, writer Michael Bennett lays out the many strands of Pora's story over the course of 23 years - from the morning a 17-year-old car thief was picked up by police, to the night the Privy Council in London quashed his convictions. Pora was wrongly convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of 39-year-old Susan Burdett at her Papatoetoe home. He gave police a false confession, motivated by a $20,000 reward for information.
Purchase the book, "Dark Places: The Confessions of Teina Pora and an Ex-Cop's Fight for Justice" at Paul Little Books.



Resources & Multimedia

FOR INDIVIDUALS, PARENTS & FAMILIES

Tracey shares her story
A mother of four, Tracey shares her story with her 13 year old daughter who has FASD.


Communication and people with FASD
For people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), communication is generally fraught with difficulties.  While a child with FASD might want to do what they are asked, whether they are eventually able to do so will depend on the way the instructions are expressed. For example, a neuro-typical child will respond appropriately when asked to pour water into a glass. However, a child with FASD will need to know more details before they take action, such as which glass and how much water.  All people with FASD are different, however there are common themes and issues which occur that we can attempt to address.

10 Simple Ways for Parents to Recharge
Do you feel like you’re running on empty? You’re not alone. All parents feel like this at times. And parenting a child with learning and attention issues can be especially draining. Here are 10 easy ways to recharge when your energy reserves are running low.


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years - a Memoir
In a sequel to her first memoir, Barbara Studham gives insight into how family life can be ruthlessly disrupted by behavior disorders caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Barbara spent twenty years raising grandchildren with FAS. Through her wealth of experience with the disorder, she leads us through her desperation, fears, hope, and prayers while coping with her grandchildren's teen years. 


9 Terms to Know If Your Child Struggles With Executive Functioning
Here are nine key terms and phrases doctors and other professionals use to describe executive function skills and the way your child thinks and learns.


How Calm and Firm Wins with FASD
It's not easy to parent a child with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). Ask any one of us who are in this trench…keeping our cool when we're pushed to the edge daily, is an uphill climb. How can we successfully parent our children when every day is a fierce battle?


8 Reasons for FASD Meltdowns
Savanna Pietrantonio writes, "In an effort to reframe my understanding of meltdowns I've had to look deeper into the meaningful gifts of the meltdown and to change my fear and shame into acceptance that they are always going to be my body's unique way of communicating with me."


FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS

FASD & Stigma: Why Do Women Drink When Pregnant?
Fetal Alcohol Spectum Disorder is an entirely preventable form of brain damage, increased awareness has meant a woman's decision to consume alcohol during pregnancy has become highly stigmatized, and as a result, individual circumstances that surround their choice to drink are rarely explored or understood. "This is unfortunate before alcohol use in pregnancy is a highly complex issue, complicated by the fact that many women consume alcohol prior to finding out they are pregnant," says Sue Kobus, a research associate within NeuroDevNet's FASD Research Group. Kobus has produced a new video that addresses stigma through the lens of Colette Philcox, the birth mother of a boy with FASD whose partner coerced her into drinking with him when she was pregnant. To refuse was to ensure a beating.

 

FOR EDUCATORS
8 Magic Keys: Strategies for Students with FASD
A DVD available for purchase from NOFAS. This is a short 21-minute animated video that introduces the topic of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It demonstrates key strategies that have been proven to help students who experience brain-based disorders become more successful in school and in life. Scenarios depicted in this video represent both secondary and elementary situations. Join Mario as he talks about what it is like to live with an FASD. Mario collects all of the 8 Magic Keys with the support of friends, educators and family.


Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
A key to supporting students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is having a good understanding of FASD and how individuals with FASD are impacted. This resource provides an explanation of FASD, its impact on the brain as well as explores behavioural patterns in students with FASD. Strategies for designing classroom instruction and routines to support students with FASD are also highlighted. The resource was developed by Dr. Jacqueline Pei and her colleagues, Stephanie Hayes and Alethea Heudes.  Module One provides clear explanations of how prenatal alcohol exposure affects brain development.

 

FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIONS
"Invisible" - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the Justice System
This video features the personal stories of three people with FASD and their struggles within the justice system. Invisible exposes the myths and realities of FASD and what experts believe is needed to help offenders with the disorder. 

International News and Media

CANADA
Ontario set to unveil first strategy on fetal alcohol disorder
The Ontario government is set to announce the province's first strategy to combat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - a strategy expected to include a massive education effort aimed at would-be mothers, teachers and health care providers. According to Health Canada, 300,000 people are living with FASD. In developing its strategy, the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services has held province-wide round table meetings and consulted with expert researchers in the field. 

 

MP picks up cause for those afflicted with FASD
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell has introduced a private member's bill that would ensure a change in how individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are treated in the criminal justice system. Bagnell's bill was picked 34th in Parliament's draw of private member's bills out of a total of 270. To the Yukon MP, the importance of the bill lies in a mismatch between individuals with FASD and the criminal justice system in Canada. "There's all sorts of undue suffering because their condition doesn't match the system." The bill, if passed, could allow those suffering with the disorder to get appropriate treatment during sentencing and connect them to external support to help them land on their feet when they are released.


SOUTH AFRICA

Mums-to-be pledge to stop drink
A pilot programme that rewards expectant mums who pledge to cut out alcohol during their pregnancy has been launched in the Stellenbosch wine farming community.  Due to high levels of alcohol consumption among farm workers and the risk of foetal alcohol syndrome, three pregnant mothers who work at local wine farms took the pledge and hope others will follow their lead. They are also attending pregnancy workshops to get tips on a healthy pregnancy.

 

UNITED STATES
SalusCare: Help available for addicted moms-to-be
Pregnancy on most occasions is a most joyous time in a woman's life. However, for women with addiction to alcohol and/or other licit or illicit drugs it can be traumatic. Addiction in these cases are usually accompanied by depression and loss of hope and helplessness.  Unfortunately. these events happen all too often. One study reported that approximately 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have used illicit drugs or alcohol at a troubling rate, while another study of pregnant women using self-reports and a variety of screening tests indicate that 0.5 percent to 35 percent have used illicit drugs and/or alcohol during pregnancy.

Latest Research

AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH

Soft neurological signs and prenatal alcohol exposure: a population-based study in remote Australia
Lucas BR., Latimer J., Fitzpatrick JP., Doney R., Watkins RE., Tsang TW., Jirikowic T., Carmichael Olsen H., Oscar J., Carter M., & Elliott EJ, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 15 March 2016, doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13071
The aim of this study was to identify soft neurological signs (SNS) in a population-based study of children living in remote Aboriginal communities in the Fitzroy Valley, Western Australia, born between 2002 and 2003 and explore the relationship between SNS, prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). A total of 108 of 134 eligible children were assessed. SNS were more common in children with PAE or FASD, consistent with the known neurotoxic effect of PAE. The Quick Neurological Screening Test, 2nd Edition, is a useful screen for subtle neurological dysfunction indicating the need for more comprehensive assessment in children with PAE or FASD.

 

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH

For both men and women, pregnancy and alcohol are a toxic mix
Experts have set off a firestorm of controversy when they suggested that women stop drinking alcohol if they are trying to get pregnant, or could get pregnant. Some people took this advice as prioritizing hypothetical, yet-to-be-conceived children over real women, which has brought up a number of issues from female autonomy to access to birth control - but how clear is the science about what causes fetal alcohol syndrome and related fetal alcohol spectrum disorders? "Alcohol is probably the worst of all the drugs in terms of effects on the fetus," said Rajesh C. Miranda, Ph.D., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "The data from human studies and from animal models is clear; alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes FAS/FASD, and there is no safe level of consumption and no safe time." It's not just women: alcohol consumption by an intimate partner can make it more difficult to quit during pregnancy, and a number of animal studies also show that a male partner's alcohol consumption patterns may also directly contribute to fetal developmental defects and to behavioural problems.

 

Transgenerational Transmission of the Effect of Gestational Ethanol Exposure on Ethanol Use-Related Behavior
Nizhikov ME., Popoola DO., & Cameron NM., Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 15 February 2016, doi: 10.1111/acer.12978
Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) enhances the risk for alcoholism by increasing the propensity to consume alcohol and altering neurophysiological response to alcohol challenge. Trans-generationally transmittable genetic alterations have been implicated in these behavioral changes. This study explored the transgenerational transmission of PAE-induced behavioral effects across three generations. It found that ethanol (EtOH) exposure increased EtOH consumption compared to both water and untreated control groups in all generations. The results provide behavioral evidence that late gestational moderate EtOH exposure (equivalent of four alcoholic drinks over a human pregnancy) increases EtOH intake across 3 generations and may alter sensitivity to EtOH-induced sedation-hypnosis across 2 generations.

 

Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Factors Associated with Positive Outcomes and Contact with the Criminal Justice System
Currie BA., Hoy J., Legge L., Temple VK., & Tahir M., Journal of population therapeutics and clinical pharmacology, 9 March 2016
Adults with FASD are at increased risk for contact with the criminal justice system (CJS). To date, there has been limited research devoted to development of supports for adults with FASD and it is unclear what supports are required to improve outcomes and reduce CJS contact.  This study examines the services and supports experienced by a small group of adults with FASD living in both rural and urban locations in Ontario, and their contact with the CJS. Early diagnosis of FASD is associated with more positive outcomes including reduced amount of contact with the CJS. It is likely that early diagnosis leads to the receipt of more supports throughout childhood and contributes to a better understanding of FASD by family and caregivers.

Adaptation in families raising children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Part I: What has helped
Coons KD., Watson SL., Schinke RJ, & Yantzi NM., Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, doi: 10.3109/13668250.2016.11556659 
There is limited research investigating the lived experiences of parents raising children the FASD. The aim of this paper is to identify how parents have adapted to the experience of raising their child with FASD.  Parents of children with FASD report a number of strategies, supports, and transformational outcomes. Five themes were identified: understanding FASD and advocating on their child's behalf, day-to-day adaptation changes/improvements, transformational outcomes, as well as the importance of informal and formal supports. Understanding what families do in order to facilitate adaptation is important when assisting families who may not be adapting as successfully. Continued research looking at the family experience of raising a child with a developmental disability, such as FASD, is necessary.

 

Life Expectancy of People with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Thanh NX., Jonsson E., Journal of population therapeutics and clinical pharmacology, 9 March 2016.
The objective of this study was to estimate the life expectancy and specify the causes of death among people with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The life expectancy was found to be 34 years for people with FAS, which was about 42% of that of the general population.  The leading causes of death for people with FAS were "external causes" (44%), which include suicide (15%), poisoning by illegal drugs or alcohol (7%), and other external causes (7%). The life expectancy of people with FAS is considerably lower than that of the general population. As the cause of FAS is known and preventable, more attention is devoted to the prevention of FAS is urgently needed.

 

The Clinical Application of Applied Behavior Analysis in a Child with Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Case Study
Connolly SC., Millians M., Peterman R., & Shillingsburg MA., Clinical Case Studies, 23 February 2016, doi:10.1177/1534650116632298
The current case study describes the longitudinal assessment of a young child diagnosed with Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified.  The patient participated in an applied behavior analysis (ABA)-based Verbal Behavior treatment program to target communication impairments and functional skill deficits.  Outcomes included rapid skill acquisition across several areas of functioning (e.g., expressive and receptive language, visual-performance, and adaptive emotional/behavioral functioning). The impact of treatment on global areas of functioning will be reported.

 

Drinking During Pregnancy and the Developing Brain: Is Any Amount Safe?
Charness ME., Riley EP., & Sowell ER., Tends in Cognitive Sciences, February 2016, doi:10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.011
Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure can have lifelong, disabling effects on brain and cognition. Unlike animal studies, research on light-to-moderate drinking in humans demonstrates less consistent impact. Discussions of negative research findings in popular media underestimate potential adverse outcomes and complicate decisions about risks versus benefits of light-to-moderate drinking during pregnancy.


Special Education of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Popova S., Lange S., Burd L., Nam S., & Rehm J., Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal, 23 March 2016, doi:10.1080/09362835.2015.1064415
This study aimed to estimate the cost associated with special education among children (5 to 14 years) with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in elementary and middle school by sex, age group, and province and territory in Canada.  It was estimated that there were 6520 students with FASD receiving special education in Canada in 2011-2012.  The cost of special education among these students was 53.3 million Canadian dollars. Implications for decision- and policymakers, educational systems and school staff are discussed.

Upcoming Events

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND 
Australian Winter School - Sydney, New South Wales
DATE:
13-14 April 2016
DETAILS: This year's Winter School brings a mixture of interactive and intensive clinical practice and practical implementation of tools and will feature international and national presenters and facilitators. The 2016 Australian Winter School workshop series will provide an opportunity for delegates to: deepen their knowledge of treatment, policy and research; develop clinical skills; and connect with others and exchange ideas.  The two-day format will return in 2017. 


ATDC 2016 Conference
- Hobart, Tasmania
DATE: 12-13 May 2016
DETAILS: The ATDC 2016 Conference Rethinking Prevention: a broader agenda encourages presenters and delegates to discuss how we support and provide prevention, treatment and harm reduction interventions in the current environment and into the future. Recognising preventative approaches at all levels of our work is one aspect of rethinking prevention. The conference will explore how we prevent harm in multiple ways, not only dealing with substance use activity. Are AOD policies developed with sufficient attention to prevention; is the stigmatisation and discrimination of substance users preventable; how do we move beyond thinking about ATOD use as simply an individual’s behaviour or choice? The fundamental question of how to ensure integration between policy, practice and research will underpin the conference program, guaranteeing a stimulating two days for all attendees.

 

NADA Conference - Sydney, New South Wales
DATE: 6-7 June 2016
DETAILS: Bringing together people from across the alcohol and other drugs sector, this conference will provide a forum to highlight and foster interagency partnerships. This is a vital opportunity for the sector to exchange best practice and showcase its achievements in responding to complexity.

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