ReCord: ReGen’s April 2015 eUpdate
This issue: Updates on our programs, events, resources, consumer participation, advocacy and other news.

UnitingCare ReGen

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

It’s been a busy few months for ReGen and the rest of the Victorian alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector.  In addition to our ongoing focus on working through the various challenges associated with delivering restructured treatment services, we’ve had the successful VAADA conference, the release of the Victorian Government’s ‘Ice Action Plan’, calls for the expansion of Victoria’s Drug Court, the temporary extension of Commonwealth funding for key services and, most recently, the announcement of a task-force to inform the development of a national methamphetamine strategy.
There’s so much going on that we think it’s time to reflect on the current progress of the Victorian treatment reforms and the development of our own services.  I invite you to join us for our free Innovation in Action Seminar (April 30) to add your experience to the discussion of what has been achieved in the past six months and what challenges remain.  The event is nearly booked out.  Register now to secure your spot.
This ReCord includes:
Updates on our upcoming Innovation seminar, changing patterns of consumer needs, service developments,  program outcomes, resource promotions, consumer participation and advocacy updates, along with a (brief) round up of the latest resources and thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas.

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen

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Innovation in Action Seminar (30 April)

Innovation, inclusion and collaboratioin
We are delighted that the Hon. Martin Foley MP (Minster responsible for the AOD & mental health sectors) will be opening our annual Innovation in action seminar. The free event will focus on the need for changes to established practice by Victorian AOD services within the new treatment system.  Presentations by ReGen staff, consumers and partner organisations will discuss what the agency has learned from the development of key programs and service initiatives (such as the Torque non-residential rehabilitation and methamphetamine education programs). The seminar will also feature a Q&A session on the progress to date in implementing the reforms and the challenges faced by consumers, service providers and the wider community.

The full panel will be confirmed shortly, but members will include:
  • Elise van der Wal (ReGen Consumer Consultant)
  • Neos Zavrou (Odyssey House Victoria)
  • Moses Abbatangelo (cohealth)
  • Kent Burgess (Victorian Aids Council)
  • Sam Biondo (Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association)
  • Donna Ribton-Turner (ReGen)
Register for the seminar.
Find out more about the seminar

Update on our services

Torque evaluation findings
The 18-month pilot of the Torque non-residential rehabilitation program for people in contact with the justice system comes to an end in June.  You can see the full external evaluation report on the first twelve months of program delivery, or ReGen’s briefing paper that summarises the findings and provides recommendations for future service development.  Of particular note is the finding that, combined with ReGen’s ‘Step-up. Step-down’ model for methamphetamine withdrawal, Torque is providing an effective treatment option for people experiencing methamphetamine dependence.
Methamphetamine treatment
Methamphetamine is now the primary drug for 29% of people seeking treatment through our services. This now puts it on a par with alcohol (at 33%) as the most common drug of choice amongst our consumers.  We’re continuing to build on our work to develop targeted treatment responses to methamphetamine dependence and promote evidence-based policy.  Our briefing paper for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services on future service development options is now available on our website.  We look forward to seeing more detail on proposals included in Victoria’s ‘Ice Action Plan’ and the outcomes of the newly announced national task force.
Heroin use on the rise
While the impacts of methamphetamine use have dominated recent media coverage and public discussion of AOD related harm within our communities, there has been a clear trend within ReGen services of increasing numbers of people seeking treatment for heroin dependence.  After being very stable at 7% of all treatment episodes for the past four years, since the start of 2015, heroin presentations have increased to 11% across all our services and 20% in our Inner North catchment.

‘Mother and baby’ withdrawal update
The planning for ReGen’s new ‘mother and baby’ withdrawal service is nearing completion.  We are expecting construction to commence in August.  During the 12-month construction phase, ReGen anticipates some disruption to the operations and capacity of our co-located adult residential withdrawal service.  More details to follow.
Our presentations on Consumer Participation, Nurse Practitioners and the Torque program evaluation from the VAADA conference are available via our Slideshare page.
We will also be presenting on Torque and our ‘Step-up. Step-down’ methamphetamine withdrawal model at the upcoming Australian Winter School in Brisbane.

Read more about our services

ReGen Resources

Save over 50% on our Dual Diagnosis bundle:
  • 10x Mind your head & 10x Drug use and mental health brochures for $25 +p/h (regular price $54)
 If you’d like to save on postage costs and you’re coming to our Innovation in action seminar, we’ll have all our resources (including the Dual Diagnosis bundle) available for sale on the day.

Check out ReGen's Online Shop

Consumer participation

A huge thanks to the Torque and Catalyst participants and Consumer Consultants who recently spoke with ministerial advisors who visited the programs. Sharing their personal stories and experiences of the programs clearly had a big impact with them and provided a great story to pass on to the Victorian Government. It's more evidence for the power of consumer advocacy and why we put effort into creating safe opportunities for people to talk about their experiences.
We’re running our latest round of free Consumer Participation training at our Coburg site on April 20-21.  See our website for details. The latest edition of ReSpect (our Consumer Participation update) will be out soon. See our  latest report on how we’ve responded to consumers’ suggestions on how to improve our services.
Please subscribe to receive future editions of ReSpect.

Read more on Consumer Participation

Advocacy in action

We focus our advocacy on three key areas: building community understanding of AOD issues and challenging the stigmatisation of people who use our services, improving treatment and supporting evidence-based public policy.
At the policy level, we’ve published our response to recent Federal funding decisions for treatment services, made submissions to the National Drug Strategy consultation and the review of the Victorian Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act and supported calls for the expansion of Victoria’s Drug Court.  We’ve also received media coverage for our response to the Victorian ‘Ice Action Plan’.  We’ve been able to increase public awareness of our Torque program through a Radio National story.  We also hosted two events for International Women’s Day featuring ReGen staff and consumer presentations of their experiences of leadership and the impact of economic abuse within intimate relationships.  See our Facebook page for photos from the events at our Coburg and Thomastown sites.  Presentations are available via our website and Slideshare account.

View our collection of recent media articles

Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work.

We are currently recruiting two full-time roles: a Forensic Counsellor and a Family Counsellor.

Keep an eye on our employment page for upcoming vacancies in the near future 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

The following are a selection of links to recent AOD research and media coverage we have curated on our page:

French Govt approves establishment of three new MSICs

See more Latest News 

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 Orientated Practice.
Please let us know what you think about the 'ReCord' and feel free to forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

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