Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment 2020

The Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment 2020 provides an analysis of the global synthetic drugs market.

  • The first part of this report provides options for responses to counter the synthetic drug problem.
  • The second part presents a global thematic analysis of the key trends and emerging developments of the synthetic drugs market as well as the recent trends in the manufacture of synthetic drugs, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The third part provides the key findings of the synthetic drug situation in the different regions of the world.

Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment 2020 - Regional Overviews:


Central America, South America and the Caribbean North America

Central Asia and Transcaucasia  East and South-East Asa and Oceania  Near and the Middle East  South Asia  South-West Asia


Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice for Clinicians in the AOD Sector

Event Date

An introduction to Evidence-Based Practice for clinicians, allied health professionals and service providers working in the AOD sector

About this Event

Length: 1 hour

Workshop Goal: This module seeks to help you progress your level of knowledge in utilising evidence to facilitate evidence-based practice, and to improve patient/client outcomes. 

Description: The module discusses the concept of ‘evidence-based practice’, which is the process of ‘integrating the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and the patient's unique values and circumstances’. This may include identifying, searching, retrieving, and appraising information from a range of diverse resources, and applying this into practice.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this module, you will have an understanding of:

  • How to clearly define a research question or topic that you would like to address in your workplace
  • Accessing health science databases to review research literature
  • Critically appraising the literature
  • Using research literature to inform evidence-based practice

Introduction to Clinical Research for Clinicians Working in the AOD Sector

Event Date

Length: 1 hour

Workshop Goal: To give staff working in AOD clinical settings an understanding of the key concepts and principles of clinical research and the benefits of introducing research into the clinical setting. 

Description: An overview of the basic concepts of clinical research, focusing on the main areas of why and how clinical research is carried out, the importance of ethics in research, and an outline of the five main clinical study designs.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module, you will have an understanding of:

  • The basic concepts of clinical research e.g. what it is, how it differs from standard care and why it is undertaken
  • Five of the most commonly used study designs
  • Asking focussed questions / formulate a clinical question
  • Ethics in research and why informed consent is necessary

Date And Time

Tue, 9 February 2021

3:00 AM – 4:00 AM GMT

Introduction to Good Clinical Practice in Clinical Research for Clinicians Working in the AOD sector

Event Date

Length: 4 hours

Workshop Goal: To give participants involved in research and trials a thorough understanding of all aspects of Good Clinical Practice and how it applies to everyday trial management .

Description: The workshop contains five sessions of guidance, education, activities and interactive learning that cover all components of Good Clinical Practice relevant to staff working on research and clinical trials that involve humans . The course will be specifically focused on clinical research within the Alcohol and other Drug sector.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this workshop you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the interwoven laws, frameworks and guidelines which govern the set up and conduct of clinical research 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different individuals and organisations in clinical research 
  • Understand the regulatory applications required before clinical research can be started in Australia 
  • Identify a range of essential documents and the purpose of maintaining a trial master file 
  • Understand the process of receiving informed consent (and equivalent processes where appropriate) and the roles and responsibilities of those involved in this process 
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly and accurately complete case report forms and other relevant documentation and understand the process for data query resolution 
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the correct reporting requirements that ensure patient safety 
  • Know where to go for further advice and support and how to keep updated. 

Participants who complete the post-training quiz with a score of 80% or above will be awarded Transcelerate-accredited Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certification, valid for 3 years.

Date And Time

Tue, February 16, 2021

2:00 AM – 6:00 AM GMT

Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol

The guidelines provide health professionals, policy makers and the Australian community with evidence-based advice on the health effects of drinking alcohol.

The guidelines aim to help individuals make informed decisions about drinking alcohol.

The guidelines are also intended to form the evidence base for policy making and educational materials.

The guidelines can be accessed in a PDF documents here

NHMRC also uses an electronic approach for publishing guidelines. For these guidelines, the recommendations and evidence base are presented in the online platform MAGICapp.

State of the Nation

The third edition of NZ Drug Foundation annual report on how New Zealand is dealing with alcohol and other drugs was published in December 2020.

The aim of State of the Nation is to provide a backdrop against which we can assess the impact of any policy changes. 

The 2020 report is designed to provide a benchmark to assess whether recent reforms are delivering on their promises.

Rates of harmful alcohol use remain of concern in New Zealand, and cannabis use is rising - but tobacco use is going down. Methamphetamine use remained relatively steady across the population as a whole last year, though huge increases in border seizures in 2019 were cause for concern. It's also noteworthy that waste-water testing showed a substantial increase in the quantity of MDMA consumed in New Zealand during 2019.

WiRED International Health Module on Quitting Smoking

WiRED International brings free computer-based medical and health education to communities around the world. Educating a sufficient number of people about healthy practices and signs, symptoms, diagnoses and likely treatments of common illnesses can elevate the health of an entire community. WiRED believes that providing peer-reviewed, evidence-based educational training tools will enable community members to take responsibility for and contribute to their own health.

The organisation has developed a range of modules for anyone working in the healthcare field.

Here, you can find a programme designed to support individuals to quit smoking.

World Drug Report Survey 2020

UNODC has launched a new survey to collect feedback on the World Drug Report.

The objective of this survey is to maintain the relevance of the World Drug Report by understanding how it is used and the extent to which it fulfils the needs and expectations of its readers.

The deadline for submission is the 21st of September.

Australian National Alcohol Strategy 2019-2028

The Australian Government has released a new strategy to address alcohol-related harms in Australian communities. These harms include violence, disease, injuries, road deaths and an estimated 4,000 alcohol-attributable deaths per year1.

The new National Alcohol Strategy, which sits as a sub-strategy under the National Drug Strategy 2017-2026, is the result of years of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

The release of the new National Alcohol Strategy means that all levels of government are empowered to take coordinated action to reduce the harms from alcohol in Australia.

If you would like to read the National Alcohol Strategy, it can be found on the Australian Government's website.

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019


Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use can place a heavy burden on individuals, families and society. The health,
social and economic effects are diverse and substantial, and include disease and injury, mental health
conditions, road accidents, family and domestic violence, and other crime.

This report presents key results from the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. It looks at people’s
drug use throughout their lives and during the last 12 months, and examines how these patterns have
changed over time. It also asks people for their opinions on a range of initiatives designed to reduce the
harm caused by tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use, and for the first time provides perspectives on emerging
initiatives, such as the availability of pill and other drug testing for potential drug users.

Key Findings

  • fewer Australians are smoking tobacco daily, while the use of e-cigarettes is increasing
  • more Australians are giving up or reducing their alcohol intake, driven by health concerns 
  • rates of substance use are falling among younger generations (less likely to smoke, drink and use illicit drugs)
  • non-medical pharmaceutical use is down, driven by a fall in the use of pain-killers.

Trends and characteristics in MDMA deaths in Australia 2000-2018

Event Date

The seminar will provide information on deaths related to MDMA in Australia during a period when MDMA markets have undergone substantial changes, with increasing manufacture of high purity MDMA.

Among the 392 deaths identified, the individuals’ characteristics and the circumstances of death will be described.

Both deaths attributed to drug toxicity and those which occurred due to other causes in which MDMA was recorded as a contributory factor are considered. 


Dr Julia Lappin, Senior Lecturer
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and School of Psychiatry, UNSW 

Date and time

Thu 18th Jun 2020, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm AEST

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 period: May 2020

The aim of this paper is to analyse changes in alcohol consumption since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We show that the frequency of alcohol consumption during COVID-19 is slightly higher for males than it was 2-3 years previously, and substantially higher for females.

While Australians are more likely to say that their alcohol consumption has decreased than say that it has increased since the spread of COVID-19, self-reported increases in alcohol consumption were larger than in surveys prior to COVID-19.

There was a larger self-reported increase in alcohol consumption for females than males, with having a child caring role being a strong predictor of an increase in alcohol consumption for females. For males, on the other hand, it was a loss of job or a decline in hours worked which appears to be the strongest predictor of a (self-reported) increase in alcohol consumption.

For both sexes, but particularly for males, psychological distress in April 2020 was strongly associated with higher self-reported increases in alcohol consumption since the spread of COVID-19.

Children: Real and Lasting Casualties of Domestic, Familial and Intimate Partner Violence - The AOD Connection

The reporting on this social justice and welfare impacting catastrophe remains not only sporadic but, it is incomplete in scope and context particularly around alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues. Just one report stated that; Nearly three in 10 young people felt that alcohol and drugs was a problem for their family and peers. Heavy drinking and drug use has placed thousands of high school students at a disadvantage in life, but they’re not the ones with the problem.  

Previous reports clearly show substance use contributes to not only neglect but direct harms to children, but over recent years the identifying and quantifying of specific impacts of alcohol and other drugs on the harms and neglects on children have either been ignored, or collapsed into broader ‘mental health’ data. So why the drift toward a lack of clear delineation? At the very least drug use could mentioned as a comorbidity and not removed from the data set altogether. This paper asks questions around the concerns of this disturbing trend in reporting.

Motivational Interviewing Course: Assisting Patients in Making Sustainable Positive Lifestyle Changes

This free webinar-based training course on Motivational Interviewing (MI) is presented by Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry.

Igor Koutsenok ISSUP Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is an essential, client-centered, counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. We are absolutely thrilled to bring you this skills-building opportunity presented by a recognized expert in the field of MI.

The course consists of four sessions (originally held during June 2020).

Course Description

This is a training in evidence-based clinical methods of motivational interviewing (MI). After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationships in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.     

Course Objectives

The goal is to provide knowledge and practical skill training for various practitioners on effective ways to enhance motivation of patients with substance use disorders that require significant behavioral changes to initiate and sustain positive and healthy behavioral choices. Skill building, and experiential training will be emphasized throughout the course by exercises to develop a therapeutic alliance with patients, assess patient needs, level of engagement in treatment process, structure treatment sessions, select appropriate interventions, and assist patient in maintaining motivation for a sustainable behavioral change.

Participants will learn the basic and advanced skills in motivational interviewing and strategies for engaging patients in collaborative relationship in treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. The course will:

  1. Help participants to acquire a systemic perspective of motivational interviewing and other motivational enhancement strategies;
  2. Build necessary clinical skills and attitudes to implement new strategies in working with ambivalent patients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, every participant will be able to:

  1. Describe all the aspects of the spirit of MI
  2. Explain the differences between MI and other counselling strategies
  3. Demonstrate the ability to respond to clients with reflective listening statements
  4. Identify change talk within client speech
  5. Generate open questions designed to elicit change talk
  6. Generate MI-consistent responses to client resistant statements
  7. Differentiate commitment language from other forms of change talk
  8. Provide and empathetic summary statements collecting change talk

Session 1: 

Motivational Interviewing: Basic Understanding

After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Introduction: Motivation and behavioral change in addiction medicine
  • Review of the concepts of Ambivalence, Stages of change, the righting reflex, limits of persuasion.
  • Spirit of MI
  • Expressing empathy
  • Roadblocks to communication
  • Four Processes in MI

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar Recording 

Slide Deck

Session 2: 

Fundamental Skills in MI - OARS

This session will focus on Fundamental Skills in MI (OARS), providing practical exercises to help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Participants will learn strategies for engaging patients in a collaborative relationship in the treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.    

Learning outcomes:

  • Open and closed ended questions
  • Affirmations
  • Summaries
  • Rowing with OARS

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording

Session 3:

Fundamental Skills in MI Continued

This third session will continue to focus on MI fundamentals, with a focus on more advanced skills and the integration of MI with other strategies and treatment modalities. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes.       

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognition and responding to change talk and sustain talk
  • Forming reflections
  • Levels of reflections
  • Recognizing readiness
  • Initial and intermediate planning
  • Integration with other skills and strategies

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

Session 4: 

The fourth and final session continues to build on MI Fundamentals covered in Session 3, increasing your knowledge of advanced MI skills.

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 


About Professor Koutsenok

Dr. Igor Koutsenok is а Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Director of the Center for Addiction Research, Training and Application, Director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR International Addiction Technology Transfer Center-Ukraine, and a co-director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR South East Asia Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He is also a Vice-President of the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction.

In 1983 he graduated as a medical doctor from the National Medical University in Kiev, (Ukraine). In 1986, he completed his psychiatry residency training and received degree as psychiatrist from the Medical University in Sofia (Bulgaria). In 1993-1996 he received a degree in addiction psychiatry at the University of London, Department of Addictive Behavior and Psychological Medicine at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. In 1996, he was recruited by the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and since then he serves as faculty member of the Department. In 2013-2016 he served as Chief of Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office in Vienna.

Over the last 25 years Dr. Koutsenok led the design and implementation of multiple training and technical assistance programs for mental health and addiction treatment practitioners, primary health care and social work practitioners, criminal justice professionals in the United States and around the world. He is also directing the UCSD Summer Clinical Institute - the second longest running Summer Institute in the United States (over 40 years). Dr. Koutsenok is also a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

For many years, Dr. Koutsenok taught general and addiction psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology trainees, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers around the world. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications, one monograph, and contributed to 4 book. Dr. Koutsenok has been invited as a presenter and trainer to hundreds of conferences and workshops in the USA and more than 40 countries around the world. He is a proud father of three.

Webinar: Trauma and Substance Use

Event Date

This webinar will provide information about

  • The nature of trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder) and its effects
  • The link between trauma and the use of alcohol and other drugs (including methamphetamine)  
  • Approaches to managing and treating trauma symptoms

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 21st April (1 pm to 2 pm AEST) and be presented by Professor Katherine Mills from The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use located at the University of Sydney

WEBINAR: Cary Hopkins Eyles on Authentic Self-Care for Addiction Professionals

This webinar focuses on the issue of self-care for addiction professionals and was delivered by ICUDDR Deputy Director Cary Hopkins Eyles.

Many of us are drawn to work in the field of substance use disorders due to our history, family, and personal traits, such as compassion and empathy. While these can be great assets, they can also be detrimental to us personally.

In this webinar, Cary explains how to identify healthy and unhealthy traits, how we can care for ourselves, and what authentic self-care looks like.

Cary has worked in the field of substance use disorders for 18 years. She is passionate about helping professionals in this field to take care of themselves so they can thrive and help those in need. Cary has worked in direct care in non-profit in the U.S., has run Residential, Outpatient, and Criminal Justice treatment programs, and has trained and mentored other substance use professionals. She is now the Deputy Director for the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) and supports the development of addiction studies programs around the world. She is a global trainer in the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC).

Recorded on 13 March 2020

Cary Hopkins Eyles

6th Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference

Event Date

In the world of addiction, nobody faces the same journey.

Prevention, treatment and recovery is not one size fits all, and when it comes to physical, mental and behavioural addictions, breaking the stigma is essential.

At the Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference, you have access to the latest research, projects and strategies to help meet the diverse and complex needs of your clients.

Now in its sixth year, the event has gained significant recognition in the industry as a result of its all-encompassing conference program, highlighting a range of mental, physical and behavioural addictions.

Unite with fellow addiction, behavioural, and mental health professionals, further your knowledge and empower your clients on their recovery journey.

AADANT Drug and Alcohol Conference 2020

Event Date
Alice Springs

The Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT will hold their annual Northern Territory drug and alcohol conference April 1-2 in Alice Springs at the DoubleTree Hilton.

There will be two streams at the conference:

  • Provision of Mental Health Services in AOD Treatment
  • Non-residential Treatment Options

Registrations close Thursday 26th March 2020 COB.

A Review of Alcohol and Drug Education and Early Intervention Programs in Australian Government Schools

The Dalgarno Institute were proud to be part ANACAD commissioned consultancy on the effectiveness of AOD Education in Australian Government Schools. Review attached - The imperative of evidence-based demand reduction, 'all of school and community' education is not only vital, but effective when both Affective and Cognitive Education Domains are creatively and thoroughly used.
Dalgarno Institute

Alcohol, Tobacco & other Drugs in Australia


The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a significant cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. There is a wide range of data sources available that contribute to our understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. 

This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia. It includes key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations.

Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted.

This report is accompanied by online supplementary data tables and a series of factsheets for each drug type and population group.