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Queensland PHNs collaborate to promote alcohol and other drugs training

Dec. 18, 2020

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Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use is one of the major causes of disease burden in Australia(1) , yet risk factors attached to it are modifiable and disease and sickness can be prevented.

Recognising this, the Department of Health allocated funding to Australian PHNs to specifically promote targeted AOD training for GPs, conducted by the RACGP and ACRRM. Whilst specialist AOD treatment services are not located in every community, GPs invariably are, and therefore have a key role to play in supporting their patients to address problematic substance use.

GPs are one part of a larger story; practice staff – including practice managers, practice nurses and receptionists – are key in providing inclusive and nonstigmatising support to patients attending the practice.

The seven Queensland PHNs have collaborated to commission training from Insight Centre for Alcohol and Other Drug Training and Workforce Development, the leading provider of alcohol and drug training, education, clinical resources, practice advice and other workforce development services in Queensland. This training is part of a broader strategy to address the impact of COVID-19.

The training aims to assist busy general practice managers, practice nurses, Aboriginal Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing Workers and practice reception staff to build confidence, skills and knowledge in effectively responding to clients or patients who experience problematic AOD use in Queensland.

The free training in AOD related topics includes COVID-19 and substance use, managing complexity in the general practice environment, and foundational drug knowledge including cannabis, alcohol and methamphetamine. These fun, engaging and interactive sessions will be conducted by Insight clinical educators, and recorded to be made available to participants for review and viewing on demand.

In Brisbane North, general practices will receive backing from the PHN’s Primary Care Liaison Officers to complete a quality improvement workbook related to AOD, as well as peer support from Mental Health General Practice Liaison Officer, Dr Matthew Cadman. Practice incentive payments are available for completion of the workbook and education.

Registration for the training is essential and required by 31 December 2020. For further information, contact Amie Horwood, Project Lead | Primary Care Liaison on amie.horwood@brisbanenorthphn.org.au, or Gai Lemon, Program Development Officer (Alcohol and Other Drugs) at gai.lemon@brisbanenorthphn.org.au.

1. AIHW (2020) Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015 (updated August 2020) Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.

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