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Human Sciences Perspectives Workshop

Registration for this event has closed

A Day on Drugs: What's the problem and how to reduce it. 

How can we reduce drug and alcohol dependence, improve mental health and aid the transition of users back into society? This workshop is designed to bring together diverse researchers in the field of addiction to work towards better treatment outcomes for substance abusers.

This event will:

  • consider addiction processes from different perspectives to provide a multi-disciplinary understanding of addiction
  • reassess current therapies and their therapeutic efficacies
  • help to determine pathways for translating research and to learn how industries can broaden this reach to impact our population.

Effects of drug addiction in Australia

Imagine a person who neglects their family, their work and has no place in society. Their health is failing – they're anxious, psychotic, aggressive and live only for their next hit of methamphetamine or "ice". They don't care about anything else.

Australia is one of the highest users of methamphetamine in the world (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 2012 Illicit drug report), and our rates of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use are at a staggering level, with 86%, 40% and 35% of Australians aged 14 years or over using these substances, respectively (2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).

Drug abuse and addiction are serious mental health disorders that carry substantial socioeconomic burden, further exacerbated by limited treatment options. Recent estimates show that drug and alcohol abuse cost Australians over $50 billion dollars annually. This workshop brings together real world experience and diverse research perspectives to address this significant problem.

External guest speakers


Session 1: What we know about addiction

Time Topic
9:00 – 9:30 Coffee and registration
9:30 – 9:35Acknowledgement of Country & Welcome
Prof Mike Jones, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Human Sciences
9:35 - 9:45Introduction
A/Prof Jen Cornish, Psychology
9:45 – 10:00 Addiction: What's the problem?
Lisa Matthews, Director Jarrah House
10:00 - 10:25Pharmaceutical opioid use in Australia: Use, misuse and unintended consequences
Dr Briony Larance, NDARC, UNSW 
10:25 – 10:50 Understanding the phenomenon of addiction
Ms Anke Snoek, Philosophy
10:50 – 11:50 Using preclinical models to understand addiction and disorders
Prof Barbara Sorg, Co-chair, WSU Translational Addiction Research Centre
11:50 – 1:20 Poster session and lunch

Session 2: Treatment and Implementation

Time Topic
1:20 – 1:45 Pharmacotherapies for addiction
Dr Sarah Baracz, Psychology
1:45 – 2:10 Using learning theory to inform addiction treatment
Dr Melissa Norberg, Psychology
2:10 – 2:35 Disseminating and implementing addiction research
Dr Erica Crome, Psychology
2:35 – 2:45 Discussion & key actions
2:45 – 3:15 Afternoon tea

Session 3: Building industry relationships

Time Topic
3:15 – 4:00 Understanding industry for translation of research
Ms Moragh Blyth, Marketing Executive, IBM (this session is open to all interested researchers – beyond the scope of addiction)
4:00 – 4:15 Discussion, key actions and close
A/Prof Jen Cornish


Entry is free and open to the public. Registration closes on Wednesday, 16 September 2015

For further information, please email Jen Cornish.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

9.00am - 4:15pm
Australian Hearing Hub
Level 1, Lecture Theatre
16 University Avenue
Macquarie University

View map l Getting to Macquarie University