8:30am - Registration and Refreshments
What Is Meant by ‘Addiction’?
It is not unusual to associate addiction with a range of negative behaviours, such as gambling, alcohol and drugs. But how many times have you said, or heard other people say, ‘I am addicted to chocolate’ or as the song says ‘I am addicted to you’. In this introductory session, we will explore:
- What do we mean when we say ‘we are addicted’?
- Are all addictions equal and are all addictions toxic to the body?
- What is the difference between addiction, substance dependence and substance misuse or abuse?
- Are substances, such as tobacco products, anabolic steroids and alcohol, also classified as ‘drugs’?
The Brain and Addiction
The increase in new knowledge provides an understanding of the impact of intoxicating substances on the brain. Several factors may affect the vulnerability of the brain to these substances. This session will give an overview of why some people become ‘addicted’ or ‘dependent’’ while others do not. It will also give consideration to:
- How is the brain affected?
- Is there a typical profile of a dependent person?
- What conditions may influence dependence? For example:
- Stressful life events across the life cycle
- Social determinants of health in early life
- Mental illness
- Is there a genetic connection?
10:30am - Morning Tea
Addiction in Australia: An Update
The harm from substance abuse is well recognised in Australia. However, how addiction is viewed and how resources are applied to its management is important in understanding services available to people who develop substance dependence. In this session, we will look at:
- What is the current focus of substances of dependence in Australia?
- What are the most common addictions among Australians and how does this vary between populations or regions?
- What are the underpinning principles of the National Drug Strategy?
- Is Australia's tough position toward illicit drug use the best policy choice?
Pharmaceutical Medicine Misuse
As the types and availability of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs change, so does the form of substance misuse. While the problem of psychoactive drugs has increased, people who misuse commonly available medicines on prescription or over-the-counter (OTC), e.g. stimulants and depressants, have also been emerging. These may be used in combination and may lead to death. In this session, we will discuss:
- What are the most common misused licit and prescribed substances?
- What is the extent of the problem and who is most vulnerable?
- Do people who misuse prescribed or OTC pharmaceutical medicines present a different picture?
- Now that OTC opiates are not available, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to access prescribed opiates, what are the ramifications for people who have been misusing them up until now and for our communities?
- What is your responsibility if you suspect a team member is diverting medicines?
12:30pm - Lunch and Networking
Communication and Engagement
Building therapeutic relationships and engaging people with addictions is an important part of the process of minimising harm and beginning recovery. Any sense of judgment or unfriendliness may result in distrust, frustration and more deception, which can affect the treatment process for the addiction or another medical problem.
- The aim of this interactive session is to practice communication skills within the context of working with people who are substance dependent
- It will include motivational interviewing technique
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea
Treatment Options for Addiction
As addiction is a chronic disease, it is not feasible that people can be cured by stopping the substance for a few days. Recovery is slow, may often need to be repeated, should be holistic and, in many cases, demands lifelong vigilance. This final session of the day will examine:
- What are the key evidence-based principles for an effective treatment program?
- Is there one single treatment that supports anyone with addiction?
- How are medications used in treatment?
- How do you challenge the alcohol and drug culture framework and support clients in their recovery program?
4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar