ANCD archive page 2


The ANCD discussed and determined action on a number of matters at its meeting. These included:

  • The need to engage with all governments to promote a far more balanced response to new psychoactive substances (NPS). In particular, the need for a greater focus on prevention, treatment and ensuring consumers are not inadvertently criminalised particularly where other evidence based options were available.
  • Addressing the current lack of data available on participation in diversion programs and the level of funding support it receives.
  • Preparations for the upcoming NIDAC conference. The conference will take place in Melbourne on 4-6 June 2014.
  • The continuing challenge in providing accurate and currently relevant data in the public domain and ensuring an appropriate response to overdoses, given rates can change quickly but current data systems are not timely.
  • The importance of continued expansion, evaluation and peer involvement in naloxone programs and other overdose prevention efforts throughout Australia.
  • The need to address the continuing community concerns about the high levels of risky alcohol use, and their associated harms.
  • The availability of a paper released by Jobs Australia, Reforming employment assistance: A blueprint for the future – with conclusions that are generally consistent with the ANCD’s position developed in some previous work surrounding employment issues for people with alcohol or drug use treatments or histories.
  • Discussion of a new process for development of ANCD Projects with the development and trialling of an expanded consultation on the focus and scope of projects, utilising a web-based Expression of Ideas approach to the sector.
  • Plans to release a number of reports in coming months, including:
    • Alcohol Action Plan.
    • Link between ATS use and the transmission of HIV and other BBVs in the South East Asia region (APDDIC).
    • Survey of young people’s attitudes and views about alcohol and other drug issues.
    • Secondary school principals’ opinions regarding alcohol and other drug issues for schools. This will be accompanied by a letter to education ministers on alcohol and drug issues in schools, and a checklist for schools on development of alcohol and drug policies.
  • Members received an update on the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC). Highlights included progress on NIDAC’s work on a professional body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander AOD workers; the release of a position statement on funding; participation in the Justice Roundtable; and the report on consultations undertaken by NIDAC for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Drug Strategy.
  • Members received an update on the Asia-Pacific Drugs and Development Issues Committee (APDDIC). Highlights included the upcoming launch of a report on ATS use and BBVs in the Asia Pacific, continued work with the UN on compulsory treatment centres and the release of the APDDIC Strategic Plan.
  • Members received an update on the current national projects being undertaken at the Commonwealth level.
  • Members received the following presentations:
    • Dr Adrian Reynolds discussed alcohol policy in Australia. Dr Reynolds’ presentation included information on the scope of health and social problems related to alcohol use, the evidence-base available on interventions that can work to reduce these problems, and strategies for getting these interventions accepted into policy.
    • Professor Jon Currie discussed drug treatment. Professor Currie provided information on the neurology of drug use, the role of this information in conceptions of drug use and addiction, and the principles following from it for treatment, including the program offered by the National Centre for the Neurobiological Treatment of Addiction (NCeNTA).