ReCord: ReGen's February 2013 Update.
This issue: Innovation Seminar, methamphetamine withdrawal, service updates, media and advocacy.
UnitingCare ReGen
Innovation in Action Seminar 2013

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

This will be a big year for ReGen and the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector in Victoria with the reforms planned to move into recommissioning most of the adult non-residential AOD services from July. A key balance for ReGen will be preparing for this, whilst ensuring that we maintain our focus on clients to promote health and reduce alcohol and other drug related harm.

This ReCord includes: details of ReGen’s Innovation Seminar, which features Dr Adam Winstock (creator of the Global Drug Survey and Drugs Meter initiatives); a pilot for a new approach for managing methamphetamine withdrawal; a new positioning paper on Family Inclusive Practice (with supporting evidence); a (brief) round up of the latest thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas; and photos from our rocking Christmas party.

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen

P.S. Book early for the Innovation seminar. Seats are limited!

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2013 Innovation in Action Seminar
Join us at ReGen’s 2013 Innovation Seminar

We are delighted to confirm Dr Adam Winstock (creator of the Global Drug Survey and Drugs Meter initiatives) as the key note speaker at ReGen’s Innovation Seminar on March 14. Adam will also be joining a panel of AOD and mental health sector leaders to discuss emerging AOD issues and approaches to service delivery, research and advocacy.

When: 9.00 am to midday Thursday 14th March 2013
Where: UnitingCare ReGen, 26 Jessie Street, Coburg VIC 3058 (3 mins from Moreland train station – Upfield line). Limited parking available.
Register: Via By Friday, 8th March 2013
Please advise Lisa Lanphier 03 9384 8824 or of any disability needs.

See our website for more information about the seminar and other panel members or why we think the Global Drug Survey is important.

Visit the Seminar Event page here

New stuff from ReGen

Position papers – Family Inclusive Practice
Including family members affected by another’s AOD use is an essential task for treatment and education providers like ReGen. Our new position paper on Family Inclusive Practice (FIP) explains why we think it is so important. The accompanying supporting evidence provides the rationale for our position.
We have also incorporated new and emerging research on existing position papers on Harm Reduction, Opioid Replacement Therapies, Recovery Orientated Practice and Medically Supervised Injecting Centres.

Evaluation demonstrates benefits of family education program
Developed in 2005 by Family Drug Help at sharc, the Action for Recovery Course (ARC) has been delivered in partnership with ReGen since 2008. The six-week program offers family members of a person with problematic alcohol and other drug use the chance to learn more about their role in the person’s recovery. The recent evaluation demonstrated the benefits for participants (and other family members) and the value of providing family programs in AOD treatment settings.

Working together
Update on our services

Methamphetamine withdrawal pilot
Earlier in the year, ReGen sought feedback from the AOD sector on our identification of a doubling in the proportion of people seeking treatment for dependence on amphetamines and methamphetamines. In response, other service providers reported a similar increase in demand. ReGen is undertaking a trial of new clinical guidelines for using a more targeted approach to managing methamphetamine withdrawal at our adult residential withdrawal service, Curran Place. The trial will be running until May 2013.

Conference presentations
Before Christmas, Ray Stephens (our Online Project Leader) discussed the potential value of social media for regional and rural health workers at the Loddon-Mallee Alcohol & Drug Service Providers' Network Regional Forum.
ReGen also presented on a variety of topics at the recent VAADA conference. We ran a Twitter workshop for AOD practitioners, presented our approach to workforce development, the role of our AOD Nurse Practitioner and discussed the importance of social justice as a driver for change. All presentations are available online.
We’ll also be presenting the evaluation findings from our partnership with Family Drug Help at sharc in delivering the Action for Recovery Course and the ongoing development of our Intensive Support Service for people with multiple and complex needs at the upcoming Public Health Association of Australia National Social Inclusion and Complex Needs Conference

See more of our conference presentations

Social media survey
Consumer feedback

Social media survey 
ReGen is currently conducting a survey of social media use by people who use AOD services. Our interim results provide a useful insight into both the current patterns of use amongst our clients and possible options for exploring the use of social media by our clinical services. Responses to date indicate:
  • Almost all have concerns about discussing aspects of their AOD use (or their efforts to change), but over half already do so;
  • Looking for information (72%) is the most common reason for their use of social media;
  • Two-thirds access social media via mobile devices;
  • Facebook (83%), YouTube (72%) and Twitter (50%) are the most popular platforms;
  • All but one expressed interest in the possibility of using social media to keep in contact with ReGen (or other treatment services).
Survey forms are available in the waiting area at ReGen’s sites and online until the end of February.
Please encourage anyone you think may be interested to complete the survey. It will help inform future efforts to explore the potential applications of social media in the AOD field.

Access the social media survey

Advocacy in action

Having our say… with the media
ReGen continues to advocate for responsible and accurate media coverage of issues relating to drug and alcohol use. Recent media releases have focussed on the importance of diversion programs for preventing future AOD-related harm and the need to improve treatment funding and accessibility within the Victorian AOD reform process.

Have a look at what else we’ve had to say on a range of AOD issues. If there’s an issue or debate you think ReGen should contribute to, contact us through our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts or website.

See more of our advocacy work

Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work. Check out the photos from our staff Christmas party and our 2012 Staff Survey results.

Staff/Board changes
The new year brings fresh faces and some other changes at ReGen. These include:
  • Margaret Paterson joined our Board, bringing a wealth of experience as a retired General Practitioner in the Darebin and Hume areas;
  • Trevor King (senior AOD researcher and former Deputy Director of Turning Point) returns to ReGen to support our review of the evidence base for our various services; &
  • Ray Stephens will continue to lead our online treatment enhancement and other web initiatives, despite moving to Beechworth (three hours drive north-east of Melbourne). His new regional location provides ReGen with a great opportunity to pilot the effectiveness of our new remote videoconferencing project for service delivery and staff communications.
Employment opportunities
ReGen is currently seeking an AOD counsellor to join our team at Port Phillip Prison. See our employment page for more information.

Find out more about working at ReGen

Interesting links from Australia and around the world

Here’s a (very) brief selection of links to recent reports, resources and other publications relating to AOD issues both in Australia and overseas. If you haven’t seen them already, we think they’re worth a look:
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 new and updated position papers and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking into a key AOD issue.

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