11h 30m CPDConference

Party Drugs Conference

2-Day Conference for Nurses and Other Health Professionals Working with Adolescents

Party Drugs Conference - Brisbane 2019


28 - 29 Nov 2019
Mercure Hotel Brisbane,
85-87 North Quay

Change Date


Book Online Now  

Why Attend

Party drugs have been around since the 1970s but are just as popular today as they were then. From disco biscuits to other club drugs, these illicit substances aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it is essential for nurses and other healthcare professionals to know what to do when someone presents with symptoms associated with the use of party drugs. Attend this conference to learn about:

  • What’s actually in a party drug?
  • Are “legal highs” actually legal?
  • What is “chemsex”?
  • What are the current arguments for and against pill testing?
  • Is caffeine the new party drug?
  • What to do when someone presents with serotonin syndrome and much, much more...
Don’t miss this conference – book now!

cover image
Get Event Alerts
Set a reminder email for this event


Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Anne-Marie Parisi

It’s Party Time…

Party drugs continue to grow in popularity. Australians appear to be engaging in this type of drug-taking as a part of recreational activities. But what is the health impact? This introductory session reviews:

  • What is a “party drug”?
  • Is the use of party drugs on the rise?
  • Who is most likely to be affected and what are the consequences for society?
  • Who is supplying people with party drugs and where are they coming from?
10:00 Morning Tea

Anne-Marie Parisi

The Pharmacology of Party Drugs

Youths are commonly taking MDMA, ketamine, and ecstasy as party drugs as they leave the person feeling drunk without the consequences of a “hangover” or the costs associated with alcohol. This session looks at the common drugs that are seen in clubs, at parties, festivals, and other events and how they are changing the way health care is provided. It includes:

  • What types of substances are found in party drugs?
  • What are the common immediate effects associated with party drugs?
  • How do party drugs affect different body systems and how do they clinically manifest?
Tim Emerton

Party Drugs and Alcohol – A Match Made in Hell?

Alcohol is commonly used in combination with illicit drug use, in particular with drugs such as cocaine. This session will look at some of the short- and long-term harms that occur when party drugs are mixed with alcohol. It also revisits the drug of most concern in our society – alcohol. Topics include:

  • Are people turning to party drugs because of the cost of alcohol?
  • Are certain party drugs, such as cocaine, more dangerous when mixed with alcohol?
  • When might we see a fatal tipping point if the two are combined?
  • What are the long-term effects?
  • Is substance-related brain injury reversible?
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Dr Jeremy Hayllar

Grievous Bodily Harm: All About GHB

GHB is commonly labelled as the date rape drug, but it did not start out that way. Find out why GHB has moved from an anaesthetic used during delivery to one of the most notorious date rape drugs available. This session includes:

  • What is GHB usually used for?
  • What are the effects of GHB on the body?
  • What can medical professionals do when a person is suspected of being in a GHB induced coma?
Karen-Ann Clarke

When to Seek Help

When festival-goers take drugs at a festival, there is a fine line between feeling a high and a possible medical emergency, especially in those who do not know how to take them. This session highlights the dangers of drug-taking practices in parties and festivals, as well as when these partygoers need to seek help. It includes:

  • Why is it important for the person taking the drug to know what type of drug they’re taking and how to take them?
  • What are the signs they need to watch out for and when do they need to seek emergency assistance?
  • How can we educate festival-goers on what to do if their friend is overdosing?
3:30 Afternoon Tea

Karen-Ann Clarke

From Death We Learn: The NSW Inquest into Festival Drug Deaths

This session is an introductory session into the ongoing NSW inquest, which will be featured throughout the conference. This session will discuss:

  • An overview of the findings
  • What is still being determined
  • Any changes that have been made as a result of these findings
4:45 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Karen-Ann Clarke

The Pill Testing Debate Continued

More than 230 participants used a drug-checking service at a music festival this year. Unlike a previous trial, around 86 per cent of the tested substances had a high purity content, which could potentially be fatal if ingested. Is this novel approach to harm reduction effective or encouraging use? Let’s debate:

  • What is “Pill Testing”?
  • How accurate are they?
  • After the testing – what happens next?
  • What are the arguments for and against it?
  • Are we promoting drug use by making it safer?
  • Is it helping make more informed decisions?
Jake Najman

No Laughing Matter: The Risks of Nangs

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as nangs or laughing gas, is a type of legal high frequently used in parties and festivals. Though seemingly harmless, the use of this inhalant has resulted in potentially lifelong injuries for some people. This session will discuss a legal high that is now a legal grey area in most countries. It will discuss:

  • What is nitrous oxide?
  • How does nitrous oxide affect the body?
  • What are the risks associated with nitrous oxide inhalation?
  • Can nitrous oxide be fatal?
10:45 Morning Tea

Dr Wendell Rosevear

Understanding and Engaging with Users for a Relief Outcome

In the treatment of drug addiction, it is essential to take the time to understand why users take drugs in the first place and to engage with them to find alternatives to drug use. This session discusses:

  • What are the reasons why people end up using illicit drugs within or outside of the party scene?
  • What are the ways we can help party drug users reach relief outcome?
12:15 Lunch and Networking

Dr Amy Mullens

Chemsex: What It Is and What It Is Not

“Chemsex” is a term that refers to a specific type of drug use. Alarmingly, it appears to be on the increase, and it is associated with a range of risks, such as sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. In this session, you will find out about:

  • What is triggering chemsex?
  • What common substances are associated with chemsex?
  • What are the public health risks?
  • What is the duty of care of health professional towards those who engage in chemsex?
  • How can we promote harm minimisation?
Dr Wendell Rosevear

The Realities: Chemsex and the Serotonin Storm

Serotonin storm, also known as serotonin syndrome, is a group of signs and symptoms resulting from serotonin toxicity. It can occur from the use of common chemsex and party drugs such as cocaine and LSD, and as medical professionals, when someone presents with this condition, we need to know how to recognise it and what to do. This session will talk about:

  • What is serotonin syndrome?
  • Why is this condition potentially fatal?
  • What can be done to treat serotonin syndrome?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Alison Hutton

The Role of Harm Minimisation to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Misuse at Outdoor Music Festivals (OMF)

As OMF have grown in popularity, so too has the amount of recorded patient presentations, highlighting the impact that OMFs have on the health and safety outcomes for the audience, especially young people. Coordinated harm minimisation at these events can minimise public health risks related to drugs and alcohol for this population. This session looks at:

  • How OMF can be used to promote healthy behaviours
  • How harm minimisation and health promotion be used toward the prevention of drug-related illness at OMF
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

No matter where a health professional works, they may encounter the impact of “party drugs”. They are cheap and accessible yet illegal and appear to be gaining popularity. However, their impact can be fatal due to the unknown and harmful composition of these substances. Nurses and other health professionals, as well as teachers, need to be able to identify and rapidly respond to people affected by these emerging modern drugs. Increased awareness of the nature of these drugs will assist in the prevention and effective minimisation of harm and, thereby, improve health outcomes.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to inform health professionals and teachers about the risks associated with the use of “party drugs” and strategies to minimise harm, particularly among adolescents and young adults.

Your learning outcomes:

Appropriately assess a person in your care for symptoms associated with the use of party drugs
Provide effective management and supportive care to a person affected by party drugs
Explain the risks of toxicity and the associated medical implications of party drugs
Appropriately encourage harm reduction strategies for users of party drugs


educator avatar

Jake Najman

Professor of Sociology and Director of the Queensland Alcohol & Drug Research Education Centre (... Read More

educator avatar

Amy Mullens

Associate Professor Amy Mullens, Msc, PhD, is an Associate Head of School (Outreach & Engagement) at... Read More

educator avatar

To Be Determined

... Read More

educator avatar

Tim Emerton

Tim Emerton works as a Nurse Practitioner: alcohol and other drugs in an outpatient withdrawal and p... Read More

educator avatar

Wendell Rosevear

Dr Wendell Rosevear co-founded the Gay & Lesbian Health Services in Brisbane in 1990. He founded GLA... Read More

educator avatar

Jeremy Hayllar

After degrees in law then medicine, and undertaking training in general medicine and gastroenterolog... Read More

educator avatar

Alison Hutton

Professor Alison Hutton is the acting Head of School at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the U... Read More

educator avatar

Karen-Ann Clarke

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ exper... Read More

educator avatar

Anne-Marie Parisi

Anne-Marie Parisi is a credentialed diabetes educator and accredited pharmacist, combining medicatio... Read More


28 - 29 Nov 2019


Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane QLD,4000


$740.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

Get a Letter of Support
Are you looking for support from your manager to attend this event?
Enter your email below and we'll send you a letter of support