APSAD 2015 Scientific Conference Report
Almost 400 delegates from around the world visited Perth for the 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Scientific Conference. Nearly two-thirds of delegates were from outside Western Australia, including international visitors from New Zealand, UK, USA, Singapore, Netherlands, Austria, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
The program featured a range of international, national and local speakers presenting on a diverse range of topics, including focusing on specific drugs like alcohol, methamphetamine and cannabis and issues around offender health, injecting drug use, young and older people, media and social marketing, maternal alcohol and drug use, and treatment delivery and access.
International highlights included presentations on interventions for alcohol related harms. The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program emphasised the public health benefits of monitoring sobriety among people arrested for alcohol related offences while the SafERteens project shows that an intervention delivered in emergency departments can reduce youth alcohol use and dating violence. The developmental impacts of youth alcohol use, including changes in brain structure were also explored. First Peoples’ research featured a keynote on injecting drug use in Indigenous communities and the associated harms, while an invited symposium focused on integrating an Indigenous worldview into the delivery of services. Both sessions drew positive feedback from delegates.