University of Sydney researcher Dr Jennifer Johnston; the director of drug and alcohol services for the Mid and North Coast Local Health Networks John Leary and Associate Professor Nick Lintzeris from the University of Sydney are among speakers at the week’s Drug and Alcohol Forum.
University of Sydney researcher Dr Jennifer Johnston; the director of drug and alcohol services for the Mid and North Coast Local Health Networks John Leary and Associate Professor Nick Lintzeris from the University of Sydney are among speakers at the week’s Drug and Alcohol Forum.

Improved treatments for drug dependents

OPIOID replacement treatment, withdrawal treatment, psychotherapies and cannabis dependence are among the topics being discussed today at a Drug and Alcohol Services Educational Forum in Coffs Harbour.

The two-day forum, which opened yesterday, has drawn about 100 professionals working in the field of drug and alcohol services between Port Macquarie and the Tweed to Opal Cove Resort.

The visiting educators have come from the University of Sydney; University of NSW and the University of Newcastle.

While the bulk of attendees are local health network staff, they also include GPs and non-government service providers.

The director of drug and alcohol services for the Mid North Coast and North Coast Local Health Networks, John Leary, said research was making great strides in the development of opioid replacement treatments (once called methadone programs) including the introduction of new drugs, so there was considerable focus on this.

He said there was also a shift towards the mis-use of legal drugs like oxycodin and MS Contin (morphine in tablet form).

“We want to make sure all our clincial service staff are fully informed,” Mr Leary said.



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