ReCord: ReGen's December 2013 eUpdate.
This issue: Updates on our new Torque and methamphetamines programs, ABI training, extended after hours service, new online ReGen Shop and resources, conference, consumer participation, advocacy updates, and other news.
UnitingCare ReGen
Drug Action Week 2013

Seasons greetings from the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

It’s been a significant couple of months for the Victorian alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector, with treatment providers completing their submissions for the first stage of service recommissioning.

We’ve also seen the release of the Shergold report on future community sector reform in Victoria and the surprise (and disappointing) defunding of ADCA, the peak body for the Australian AOD sector. The first highlights opportunities for Victorian Government and community sector to work together to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians. The second issues an ominous warning about the Federal Government’s drug policy intentions and commitment to funding evidence based treatment services. I recommend you read ADCA's response and consider signing the ‘Save ADCA’ petition.

On a lighter note, we’ve survived another Movember and raised over $1,000 for men’s health promotion. You can see the fruit of our collective efforts on our Facebook page.

And lastly, at our recent AGM we said farewell and thanks to Ian Angus who has chaired the Board and welcomed Dr Sandy Ross as the new Chair and Dr Joanna Wriedt as Deputy Chair. The evening also featured starring roles for two of our consumers (see below).

We at ReGen wish you all a safe and a happy festive season.

This ReCord includes: Updates on our new Torque and methamphetamines programs, ABI training, extended after hours service, new ReGen Shop and resources, conference, consumer participation and advocacy updates, along with a (brief) round up of the latest thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas.

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen


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December Update on our services

New online ReGen shop. New resource
We are pleased to announce that you can now purchase all our treatment and education resources at the new online ReGen Shop. It is hoped that the availability of online purchasing will make it easier to obtain the resources you need.
The launch of the shop coincides with the release of our new stunningly designed and written Little Book on Alcohol, the first in a series of new publications resulting from an overhaul of our much loved ‘Big Book’ series of educational resources for young people. A great last-minute Christmas gift? Well, just maybe, parents and grandparents have already bought copies as a practical (but fun) resource for young people and parents.

AOD and mental health recommissioning
ReGen responded to the Advertised Call for Submission seeking four Catchments in the North and West Metro Region in a strategic alliance with Odyssey House Victoria and a range of partners in service delivery, and in the health and community. ReGen also provided supporting roles for other bids both within the AOD and mental health community support services (MHCSS) sectors. We’re looking forward to the next stage in the process and the opportunity to provide more accessible, more consistent services for Victorians affected by problematic AOD use.

Last week we went to two interviews for two separate bids as part of the MHCSS reforms. ReGen was providing AOD and workforce development expertise, as a Dual Diagnosis Capable organisation.

Torque program underway
Our new Torque program (a non-residential rehabilitation program for people in contact with the Justice system) commenced in November. Our early experience indicates that basing the program on our established 6-week Catalyst model is providing an effective approach to supporting significant change in the lives of program participants. Over the coming year, we will be working with participants, other service providers and our external evaluators (LeeJenn Health Consultants) to further improve and refine program content and delivery.

ABI training for AOD workers
We were swamped with enquiries following our recent offer of a four-hour workshop on Acquired Brain Injury for Victorian AOD workers. We have subsequently added a further three workshops to meet demand from workers looking to increase their skills in working with people with AOD and potential or diagnosed ABIs. There are still a very few places left in the sessions scheduled for 11 Feb & 12 May. Contact for details.

Building sector responses to methamphetamine use
As part of our ongoing work to develop appropriate responses to the needs of people affected by problematic methamphetamine use, ReGen has developed a new three-hour education program for people who have been placed on a drug diversion order or are concerned about their methamphetamine use. To expand its potential impact, we have developed facilitators’ manuals and trained staff from a variety of services in the delivery of the program.

While we’re still updating our promotional materials for 2014, you can find the dates (or register) for next year’s Methamphetamines Personal Education Program sessions (commencing 6 Feb) via the calendar at the side of our Client Courses page.

Christmas/New Year services 
For many, the festive season can be a very difficult time. As usual, our services will remain open during the Christmas/New Year period to support those needing assistance during that time. This year, our extended after hours service will be offering additional coverage over the public holidays (see below).

Increasing after hours service access 
Our extended after hours service (in partnership with and funded by the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local) that aims to increase the accessibility of our services outside regular working hours is now up and running. The service will be operating over the Christmas/New year period and is open to residents of Hume (excluding Sunbury), Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Banyule and Darebin. Service staff can be contacted 6.00pm to 11.00pm on weekdays and 10.00am to 3.00pm on weekends on (03) 9497 1122.

We presented on a range of subjects at the recent APSAD conference (Australia’s largest AOD conference): our approach to Consumer Participation, enhancing AOD treatment online, how social media can support AOD advocacy and initial learnings from the development of our Torque program. Our presentations are available via our Slideshare page. Accompanying video from the social media presentation is on our YouTube channel. Photos from the conference are on our Facebook page.
Find more news on our programs
Working together
Consumer Participation

As well as presenting our approach at the APSAD Conference, we’ve made some important progress in strengthening our Consumer Participation (CP) systems. We’ve run CP training with a pool of consumers and appointed a group of Consumer Workers, who are now helping to lead a range of strategic and service improvement initiatives, such as the draft Strategic Plan 2014-17. More details are available in the latest edition of ReSpect (our consumer participation update). Please subscribe here to ReSpect as the next edition will be an eUpdate.

A huge thanks too to Marie and Stephen for their participation in our AGM. Marie co-presented our Consumer Participation work. Stephen presented us with a piece of his artwork marking his involvement with ReGen. Photos from the night are available on our Facebook page.
Read more on Consumer Participation
Drug Action Week
Advocacy in action

Our appearance before the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Supply and Use of Methamphetamines generated significant media interest on TV, radio and in print. See our website for our written submission to the inquiry and our work on improving our treatment services for people undertaking methamphetamine withdrawal.

See more of our advocacy work
Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work.

We take our work very seriously, but we know how to have fun. Check our Facebook page for photos from our Christmas Party or our YouTube channel for video of some of the fabulous performances by staff members from across the organisation.

We are currently recruiting an AOD Activities Worker to join the amazing team at Curran Place, our adult residential withdrawal service. See our website for details.

Keep an eye on our employment page for upcoming vacancies in the new year or more detail on working conditions at ReGen. We’ll also be notifying our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn followers of new positions.

Find out more about working at ReGen
Interesting links from Australia and around the world

The following are a selection of links to recent AOD research and media coverage we have curated on our page:
  • The State Government has released the 2010/11 Victorian Drug Statistics Handbook, providing detail on patterns of AOD use and associated harms:
  • Pfizer’s decision to withdraw Xanax from the Australian market following it’s rescheduling (which we supported):
  • Mission Australia’s annual youth survey, highlighting the issues concerning teenagers, what they think is important and where they seek help:
  • Details of the ‘Part of the Picture’ study into the AOD treatment and support needs of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual in the UK:
  • Following the closure (and subsequent reopening) of Silk Road, an alternative online market shut down following a major theft by one of its vendors:
View our collection of recent media articles

Over to you

You can support our work by donating, supporting our advocacy on social media, or doing your own. Our position papers and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking into a key AOD issue such as Harm Reduction or Recovery Oriented Practice.

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