News PD Blog: August 2023

PD Blog: August 2023

Research articles

Roxburgh, A.D.,  Best, D., Lubman, D.I.  & Manning, V. (2023) Composition of social networks to build recovery capital differ across early and stable stages of recovery, Addiction Research & Theory, DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2023.2238594

Ratcliffe, J., Kanaan, M., Galdas, P. (2023). Reconceptualising men’s loneliness: An interpretivist interview study of UK-based men, Social Science & Medicine,

Brynte, C., Khemiri, L., Stenström, H. et al. (2023). Impulsive choice in individuals with comorbid amphetamine use disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. BMC Psychiatry .

Dermody, S. S., Uhrig, A., Moore, A., Raessi, T., & Abramovich, A. (2023). A narrative systematic review of the gender inclusivity of measures of harmful drinking and their psychometric properties among transgender adults. Addiction.

Berg, A., Francia, L., Lam, T., Morgan, K., Lubman, D. I., & Nielsen, S. (2023). Enriching qualitative alcohol and other drug research by engaging lived experience peer researchers in a dual‐interview approach: A case study. Drug and Alcohol Review.

D’Souza, B. Butler, T., Shakeshaft, A., Calder, I., Conigrave K. & Doyle, M. (2023). Learnings from a prison-based drug treatment program on planning for release: A qualitative study. Drug and Alcohol Review.



Improving culturally responsive practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending mainstream drug and alcohol services

Insight QLD, 6 September, 10:00-11:00 AM

Health services should be culturally safe and welcoming to people from any cultural backgrounds, however there is evidence that Aboriginal people receive less benefit from non-Aboriginal health services than non-Aboriginal people. This project aimed to plan, implement and evaluate a new process to drive organisational improvements in the cultural responsiveness of non-Aboriginal services. An overview of the culturally responsiveness process and findings from the evaluation will be presented. 

Sara is Program Lead, RISE Team (Research, Innovate, Strengthen, Embed) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW. Her research is focused on preventing harms from alcohol and other drugs in rural and regional NSW and working collaboratively with communities to tailor health services and strategies to suit their setting. 

Raechel Wallace a proud First Nations woman from Wandi Wandian and Wodi Wodi country within the Yuin Nation. She has been working in the Aboriginal alcohol and other drug sector for almost 20 years. She is currently working as a Senior Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales and as Aboriginal Program Manager for the Network of Drug and Alcohol agencies (NADA) which is the alcohol and other drug Peak body for NSW. She is also a Director on the Aboriginal Corporation Drug and Alcohol Network of NSW 

Presnted by Sara Farnbach and Raechel Wallace


Supporting people who use methamphetamine through SMART Recovery Mutual-help Groups

Cracks in the Ice, 6 September, 12:00-1:00 PM

This Cracks in the Ice webinar will provide attendees with information about • Mutual-help groups like SMART Recovery • Recent research findings that highlight the potential of SMART Recovery for supporting people who use methamphetamine This webinar will be presented by Dr Alison Beck, a Clinical Psychologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Wollongong and April Long, Chief Executive Officer at Smart Recovery Australia This information will be relevant to health workers, researchers, people who use methamphetamine, families and the general community. The webinar will run from 12pm to 1pm (60 minutes) which includes the presentation and a live Q&A session.

Preventing emotional abuse of children: The role of parenting support

Australian Institute of Family Studies, September 6, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Recent research suggests emotional abuse in childhood is highly prevalent and contributes to a range of physical, social and psychological problems. Despite this, emotional abuse in childhood is poorly understood compared to other forms of child maltreatment, such as physical or sexual abuse, and is often overlooked in practice settings. Recently, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study found that about 35% of young people aged 16-24 years had previously experienced emotional abuse, with the rate 1.5 times higher among girls than boys. Furthermore, individuals who experienced emotional abuse in childhood were 2.3 times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months and 2.1 times more likely to have self-harmed, even after accounting for other experiences of maltreatment. Emotional abuse occurs at the hands of parents and primary caregivers and can overlap with other unhelpful forms of parenting. This makes the family environment key for the prevention of emotional abuse in childhood. Parenting programs have been shown to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors associated with child maltreatment. In partnership with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) as part of National Child Protection Week, this webinar aims to contribute to the dialogue on this years’ theme of ‘where we start matters’. This webinar will help you: • understand the nature, prevalence and impact of emotional abuse in childhood • identify the family-related risk and protective factors associated with early adversity and child maltreatment • consider the role of parenting support in preventing and reducing emotional abuse in childhood • start conversations about emotional abuse with parents and children and assess the impact the abuse is having.

Understanding and supporting the unique perspectives and contributions of workers in the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector with lived and living experience

Turning Point, 12 September, 1:00-2:00 pm

Understanding and supporting the unique perspectives and contributions of workers in the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector with lived and living experience , presented by Ms Anke van der Sterren, Research and Sector Capacity-Building Manager.

This presentation will examine the characteristics of the lived and living experience workforce in the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) sector in the ACT, how the perspectives of lived/living experience workers shape their practice, and how we can best support their work and wellbeing. The presentation will draw on data from two research projects of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA): the ACT ATOD Workforce Profile; and the ACT ATOD Service Users Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey.

The webinar will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Examine the characteristics of the lived and living experience workforce in the ATOD sector
  • Gain insight into how ATOD workers believe their lived and living experiences influence their practice
  • Explore the qualities identified by ATOD service users as important in the lived and living experience workforce
  • Reflect on how these understandings may inform: improvements to ATOD workforce recruitment, retention and professional development pathways; the development of supportive, non-discriminatory workplaces; and the provision of high-quality ATOD treatment and support to clients.

The benefits of routine outcomes measures and feedback: A case example

Insight QLD, 13 September, 10:00-11:00 AM

This presentation will discuss the project implementing routine outcome measures and feedback (ROMF) at Lives Lived Well. The benefits, challenges and processes will be covered.

Professor Leanne Hides is the Lives Lived Well Chair in Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health at the University of Queensland. She is Deputy Director of the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research.  Leanne is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of clinical and research experience in addiction.

Parenting, emotional regulation and substance use: the challenge of changing intergenerational histories

Insight QLD, 4 October, 10:00-11:00 AM

In order to change intergenerational patterns of adversity associated with problematic substance use, it is essential to attend to family functioning and outcomes for children. This presentation will discuss examples from the Parents under Pressure (PuP) program to illustrate how workers may enhance family-level interventions in practice.

Professor Sharon Dawe is a clinical psychologist and academic. She has worked in academic settings for over twenty-five years and has an international reputation in the field of addiction, child and family studies, child maltreatment and child development. 

Cannabis legalisation and public health

Insight QLD, 11 October, 10:00-11:00 AM

Several jurisdictions around the world have implemented changes to their cannabis laws and policies. This talk summarises research on the public health impacts of cannabis legalisation based mainly on studies conducted in North America, where the legalisation of medical and recreational cannabis use has been in effect for the longest.

Dr Janni Leung is an NHMRC Development Fellow at National Centre For Youth Substance Use Research (NCYSUR) at The University of Queensland.

Social Substances: The Online Landscape of Substance Use

Insight QLD, 18 October, 10:00-11:00 AM

Social media platforms have become a hub for information regarding potentially risky behaviours, particularly among youth and young adults. As these online platforms continue to gain popularity, it is likely that exposure to certain high-risk and publicly available content, such as that which depicts active substance use or discusses access to licit or illicit substances, may influence the norms and risks perceptions of youth and young adults.

Carmen Lin is a biostatistician and a Ph.D. candidate with the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research. 

Brienna Rutherford is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research. 

What about the siblings and the family in the drug and alcohol sector?

Insight QLD, 25 October, 10:00-11:00 AM

Family culture is shaped by layers of interwoven rules, roles, responsibilities and relationships. This presentation covers how siblings understand and may be impacted by drug use in the family, and suggests how AOD services could better support siblings and families.

Dr Julie Perrin is a clinical social worker with mental health accreditation in private practice and a sessional academic. 

Behavioural addiction: Opening Pandora's loot box and navigating the mass debate

Insight QLD, 1 November, 10:00-11:00 AM

Research on gambling has led to an understanding that non-substance-related addictions exist, however it is less clear how we define these. This talk discusses considerations that are important to strike the balance between acknowledging behavioural addiction and avoiding pathologisation of normal behaviours with candidates such as pornography-use disorder, buying-shopping disorder and others.

Associate Professor Matthew Gullo is a clinical psychologist in the School of Applied Psychology and the Centre for Mental Health, Griffith University. 

Exploring how clinicians work with trauma in AOD settings

Insight QLD, 8 November, 10:00-11:00 AM

There is a well-established relationship between the experience of adverse or traumatic events, and substance use disorders. This presentation will reflect on conducting trauma-related research in an AOD service, what we learnt in doing so, and will draw on the existing literature to provide tips on improving treatment approaches. 

Logan is a clinical psychologist who works primarily in the area of comorbid trauma and substance use. He is an Accredited Consultant and Trainer in EMDR Therapy and provides supervision and training to clinicians across Australia.  

Young men’s anxiety: The blind spot in men’s mental health and why it matters

Turning Point, 15 Nov 2023 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Globally, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder facing young men today. Unfortunately, we know little about how anxiety disorders manifest in young men, and what drives them to seek help. Whilst anxiety has deleterious effects across the life course (increasing the risk of comorbid psychological and physiological health issues), young men have low rates of help-seeking, limited anxiety literacy and perceive significant social pressure to adhere to traditional norms of masculinity including emotional-restrictiveness, stoicism, and fearlessness in the wake of anxiety symptoms.

In a world first collaboration with Orygen the Centre for Youth Mental Health and the global men’s health charity, Movember, the Men’s Anxiety Project has developed the first theory of young men’s anxiety, the Rising-Reckoning-Responding (Triple-R) anxiety model. This three-process theory details how young men grapple with and move through diverse anxiety experiences. From being unaware of, or avoiding anxiety, in the rising phase, young men face up to symptoms in the reckoning phase and eventually integrate and accept anxiety as a core part of their identity in the responding phase.

For young men locked in the rising phase, ambulance services are beholden to responding to acute anxiety symptoms (i.e., shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea) and frequently serve as a bridge to mental health support for young men with undiagnosed or untreated anxiety. Given young men’s acute anxiety symptoms closely resemble life threatening conditions (i.e., myocardial infarction, dyspnoea, asthma, and stroke), diagnostic testing and clinical management can be extensive and resource exhaustive.

In Partnership with the National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit (NAMHSU) at Turning Point, the Men’s Anxiety Project are now testing and translating findings from the Triple-R anxiety model into an emergency setting. This work is evaluating clinical characteristics and contexts of young men’s anxiety-related ambulance attendances. Findings detail young men’s experiences of anxiety and their pathways to help seeking, highlighting the need for resources catering to the unique challenges faced by young men with anxiety. This work also emphasises the importance of gender sensitive early interventions to divert men away from emergency services.

Addicted to the sunshine: the role of sensory inputs and occupations in substance use and treatment

Insight QLD, 22 November, 10:00-11:00 AM

Sensory inputs and occupations are integral to substance use, as well as the coping skills and meaningful lifestyle choices that can support wellbeing. Despite this, these areas are often overlooked in alcohol and other drug treatment. This presentation will explore the science in this area and considerations for evidence-informed care that takes into account the sensory and occupational needs of this population.

Michelle Taylor is an occupational therapist. The focus of her clinical work has been the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors. She has strong interests in sensory approaches, occupational approaches and creative writing. She currently works at Insight as an Advanced Clinical Educator.

Working in the Criminal Justice System in collaboration with the AOD sector

Turning Point, 27 November, 12:00-1:00 pm

This presentation will provide practitioners with an overview of the Drug outreach program provided by Fitzroy Legal Service exploring how it has built a success from a collaboration with the AOD sector. We will also provide some of our observations which can ultimately lead to improving the life of the person beyond the legal matter.

Through an exploration of the work that they do, the webinar will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • Understand how to assist a person who uses drugs to obtain a better legal outcome, or at least avoid a worse one
  • Provide practical tips for working with people in the criminal justice system
  • Understand hidden aspects of the law that may affect people who use drugs

Presented by Adam Willson – Acting Manager, Criminal Law at Fitzroy Legal Service & Tristan Brumby-Rendall, Drug outreach Lawyer, Fitzroy Legal Service.

AOD lived and living experience workers FAQs (Frequently Avoided Questions)

Insight QLD, 29 November, 10:00-11:00 AM

A series of commonly encountered questions around the development of the AOD lived/living experience workforce and responses from two LLE Educators working at Insight. 

With a social science background and 20 years of providing training and harm reduction services, Brett brings a living experience of AOD use to his current role as an educator with Insight. 

Mat brings a broad variety of experience from his time working as an Advanced Peer Worker across the Acute Mental Health Inpatient Wards of Logan and PA Hospitals. As an Educator, Mat strives to reduce the stigma people who use drugs experience when accessing services. 

Presented by Brett Hodges and Mat Tipping

LGBTIQA+ Resources

Inclusive communication with LGBTIQ+ clients

Drawing on a rapid review of the evidence, this guide outlines why inclusive communication matters and what works to ensure inclusive communication and supports practitioners to use this evidence in their decision making when working.

The social and emotional wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ young people

This webinar helps practitioners adopt an inclusive approach to young people with diverse sexuality, gender or variations of sex characteristics. It discusses findings from an extensive survey on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ young people, shares first-hand stories and practice considerations.

Working with gender diverse young people and their families

This webinar introduces ideas of gender and identity formation and discusses the struggles that individuals, families and services face in responding to the changing landscape in this area. It provides an opportunity to explore some of the essential information and skills needed for practitioners to deepen their understanding of gender, and work in an inclusive and affirmative manner.

Multicultural resources

  • Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre | Queensland Health QTMHC is a statewide service which provides information, referrals, resources and clinical consultation including access to bi-cultural workers Ph: 07 3317 1234.
  • Multicultural Connect Line has support and information to find aid, assistance, and mental health services in your language Ph: 1300 079 020 (Mon-Fri 0900-1630hrs).
  • World Wellness Group (WWG) provide bulkbilling health services including mental health prevention and treatment programs that promote health and wellbeing. Ph: 07 3333 2100.
  • Refugee Health Network QLD is a single point of call for assistance with identifying appropriate primary health providers for refugee health needs including assessments and ongoing care for people from a refugee background. Ph: 07 3864 7580; E:
  • The Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) – provides free, flexible, and culturally sensitive services to promote the health and wellbeing of people who have been tortured or who have suffered refugee related trauma prior to migrating to Australia. free and confidential Ph 07 3391 6677.
  • Multicultural Australia provides settlement and support services for refugees, and newly arrived humanitarian aid entrants.
  • AMPARO provides independent individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds with disability Ph: 07 3354 4900.
  • Access to Health Care in Australia – YouTube The Access to Health Care in Australia videos provide information (available in 19 different languages) on the Australian health care system for newly arrived community members including information about accessing a GP, the role of health care interpreters, and emergency care. (Please note this is a NSW Health video and the phone number at 3 minutes 40 seconds for refugee health is different for the Qld RHN 07 3864 7580).
  • Free Interpreting Service delivered through TIS National to provide Medicare relatable services to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare including access to Private medical practitioners and pharmacies Ph: 131 450 (24/7)

(From Insight QLD’s newsletter)


Insight QLD Training workshops

All workshops listed below are free and are for Queensland based workers only. Bookings are essential. Unless otherwise stated, run from 9:00-16:30.


5 September- Assessing & managing withdrawal

12 September- Trauma informed care for AOD practice

12 October -Relapse prevention & management

17 October – AOD crash course

23 October- CBT 4 AOD workers (2 days)

26 October- Sensory approaches for AOD practice

31 October -AOD & the brain

7 November- AOD crash course

21 November- AOD harm reduction

23 November- Trauma informed care for AOD practice

27 November- Motivational interviewing for AOD practice (2 days)


5 September- Motivational interviewing for AOD practice (2 days)

Gold Coast

14 September- AOD & the brain

Sunshine Coast

17 October- Motivational interviewing for AOD practice (2 days)


14 September- Relapse prevention & management


6 September- Young people & drugs

7 September- Young people & drugs: youth housing & residential services (9-3:30 PM)

Alcohol, Nicotine & Tobacco and the Hypnosedatives: ‘Drugs and the Body’ video series

In these three videos,  the health effects of the major licit drugs: Alcohol, Nicotine & Tobacco and the Hypnosedatives will be examined. Together these drugs make major contributions to the burden of disease associated with problematic substance use. For each drug class  the major forms that these drugs take, and how they are consumed will be examined. Each lecture will also cover topics such as withdrawal syndromes, the toxicity of these substances, mortality, their effects upon each of the major organ systems, as well as mental health.

Strengths based Practice

NADA have compiled some resources to enhance strengths-based parctice.

“Strengths can be physical, emotional, social and psychological. They may not be apparent to the person accessing your service at first, but simply seeking support is considered a strength. Working from a strengths-based perspective means identifying positives within individuals and working on building their support network and connections in their environment.
Strengths and trauma-informed care
A strengths-based approach is a crucial part of trauma-informed care because it ensures the focus isn’t only on a person’s history of traumatic experiences and their impacts.  Instead, it steers the worker to look at a person’s strengths and growth. It empowers people as experts in their own lives. Strengths range from personal values and personal characteristics to positive relationships.

Download this resource [PDF] to learn more about trauma-informed care and strengths-based practice.
Watch a panel discussion on the importance of trauma-informed care and the difference it can make to people accessing AOD services.

Applying a strengths-based approach in practice   
Ask questions [PDF] to reveal and reinforce the strengths of people engaging in your service, for example:

  • Be goal oriented: ‘What is one thing you would like to work towards while you are here?’
  • Assess the strengths: ‘What did it take to get you here today?’
  • Make links to resources: ‘Are there people or activities that you have connected with before?’
  • Apply the right methods: ‘Let’s focus on your story of courage—how can we grow that?’
  • Emphasise positive relationships: ‘Did you know there is a great neighbourhood centre that does some cultural programs you might be interested in—shall we give them a call?’
  • Provide opportunities for meaningful choice: ‘Are you aware there are a couple of different kinds of programs we offer—can I take you through them and we can explore what might suit your situation best.’

Practice information

Strengths based tips and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives
‘Aboriginal people are incredibly resilient! And strength-based approaches builds upon this. By using clients’ strengths in AOD work, you take away the shame. Strengths-based approaches also encourage high levels of self-esteem—clients see achievements quickly and then reach their goals.’  Lee Lawrence, Nana Muru Project, Lives Lived Well

Yarning tools: These excellent Aboriginal tools were developed by the Remote Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce Program in collaboration with Menzies School of Health Research’s Aboriginal and Islander Mental Health Initiative.

Mental health tips
Words can affect a person’s sense of self and make them feel included or excluded. They can convey hope and optimism or a sense of pessimism and low expectations. When talking or writing about mental health, think about the language you use. Refer to the Recovery oriented language guide for more details.

Building on personal strengths: Check out these stories on the Flourish website that explore how people have connected with their strengths such as music, art, community groups and support networks.

Other resources
Advocate: Strengths-based [PDF]
TEDx talk: A brilliant exploration on what it is to look at strengths, rather than deficits.”

(Email from NADA, 2023)


Online resources

Black Dog Institute: Health Professional Resource & Education Hub

Join the free community of practice of moderated forums for:

  • Tips for using e-mental health
  • Practitioner self-care
  • Clinical scenarios
  • Adult mental health
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Lifestyle mental health
  • Research
  • Non-clinical issues
  • Events and training

Indigenous wellbeing conference 2023

Our Voices | Our Solutions | Our Decisions | Our Time

Improve the social and emotional wellbeing of First Nations Australian, Māori and Pasifika people at the Indigenous Wellbeing Conference.

30-31 October, Darwin Convention Centre Larrakia Country or Online

Cost: $1079 +GST in person or $399+GST online

NEW E-learning modules from Insight QLD

Working with diverse populations


Check out the full catalogue here

More details

If you require more details are any information, please contact the library. Please note the libraraian will be away from 12 September until 15 October.

Resource details are all obtained from the providers’ promotional content.

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