Experts to shed light on current issues in substance use at NDARC Symposium

September 2016

An exceptional line-up of speakers has been confirmed for this year’s NDARC Annual Research Symposium, to be held on Monday, 12 September 2016 at the John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW.

This year’s event, titled Current Issues in Substance Use: The Bigger Picture, will have a particular focus on issues of social disadvantage – the theme of the opening session and the keynote speech.

Guest keynote speaker, Professor Kate Conigrave, is an addiction medicine specialist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a Professor at the University of Sydney and an NDARC conjoint Professor.  Kate has worked in partnership with Aboriginal community controlled agencies in NSW and other states, and with communities in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory over the past 15 years. She will be joined on stage by Scott Wilson, Director of Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia.

The joint keynote will focus on the issues facing Aboriginal communities and the evaluation of interventions designed to reduce the burden of substance use in these communities.

Professor Anthony Shakeshaft will follow up the keynote with the results of three NDARC interventions in regional and remote Indigenous communities; and Dr Ryan Courtney will unveil the results of another ground-breaking intervention designed to improve smoking cessation rates among hard to reach low socio-economic groups.

Another highlight of the Symposium is a presentation by Professor Kate Dolan, which will discuss the global burden of HIV and viral hepatitis among prisoners and detainees. The work forms the basis of a three-part series published in The Lancet.

The Symposium will also feature the first release of the 2016 findings from Australia’s largest drug monitoring systems, the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS).

Other sessions will focus on prevention and intervention, including the over-the-counter supply of opioid antagonist naloxone by community pharmacists and drug checking at music festivals.

In the afternoon you will be able to tailor the program to your special interests with a choice of four breakout sessions. 40 posters featuring our latest research will be on display. The popular five-minute poster presentations will this year feature posters on methamphetamine use, alcohol treatments and ecstasy markets, among others.

The event program is available for download here

Abstracts for each session can be viewed here