Contributing to rural and remote health research dissemination

May 2018

Professor Ann Roche presented on the patterns and prevalence of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in rural Australia at the 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium on 11 April, 2018. The Symposium:

  • Marked 20 years since the establishment of the first university department of rural health in Australia focusing on access and equity, addressing health issues and building the workforce. 
  • Provided an opportunity for researchers specialising in rural and remote health to share their findings and to explore opportunities to transform health outcomes and service delivery.

Professor Roche’s presentation highlighted the findings from NCETA’s recent examinations of the patterns and prevalence of AOD use in rural Australia. Specifically, the presentation examined:

  • The differences between rural and metropolitan areas for:
    • Risky drinking
    • Cannabis use
    • Methamphetamine use
    • Prescribed opioids
    • Treatment episodes
  • Trends over time in State/Territory prevalence rates
  • Implications for treatment services, policy and funding.

Other speakers at the Symposium included Senator the Honourable Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Rural Health, Professor Paul Worley, Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner, and Professor Tom Calma, Chancellor, University of Canberra.

The Symposium also provided an opportunity for NCETA to share information and strategies with public health researchers about creating a more sustainable rural health workforce and overcoming some of the challenges associated with service provision in rural and remote settings.