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2019 NDARC Symposium: Featured speakers to share new directions in research

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3 September 2019
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Recent appointments to NDARC, Professor Hayden McRobbie, Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin and Professor Don Weatherburn will share new directions in drug and alcohol research at the 2019 NDARC Annual Research Symposium.

Professor Hayden McRobbie will summarise evidence of the effectiveness of vaporised nicotine products (VNPs), more commonly known as e-cigarettes, for smoking cessation and provide an overview of possible health risks.

Over the past decade VNPs have become increasingly popular among smokers, and in some countries are now the most commonly used smoking cessation aid.

“There is strengthening evidence that VNPs are an effective tool to help people stop smoking. While less harmful than smoking, there may be some health risk associated with long-term use,” Professor McRobbie said.

Professor Hayden McRobbie is a health behaviour change expert with a special interest in tobacco and obesity.

He is a Professor at NDARC and a Consultant in Lifestyle Medicine at Lakes District Health Board, New Zealand. He is also Fellow of The Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of Addiction and Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin will present on a program of research designed to address gaps in evidence regarding methamphetamine use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and support the development of effective responses.

The project is being conducted in partnership with 10 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and affiliates and has developed a web-based tool designed to increase help-seeking.

“The trial to evaluate the tool, scheduled to begin in late 2019, will provide valuable information on the feasibility and acceptability of this approach,” Associate Professor McKetin said.

Associate Professor McKetin leads a program of research into stimulant use epidemiology and interventions at NDARC.

Her current research involves the online delivery of psychological help for people who use stimulants, the trialling of new pharmacotherapy options for methamphetamine dependence, and the development of novel responses to methamphetamine use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Professor Don Weatherburn will discuss research into the deterrent effectiveness of sanctions imposed on persons convicted of using or possessing amphetamine type substances. 

The most commonly imposed sanctions are a fine, a supervised bond and an unsupervised bond.

“Our first aim is to examine the effect of correctional supervision on the risk of conviction for a further drug offence. Our second aim is to examine the effect of fine amount on the risk of conviction for a further drug offence,” Professor Weatherburn said.

Don Weatherburn is a Professor at NDARC and was formerly Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

He was awarded a Public Service Medal in January 1998, an Alumni Award for Community Service by the University of Sydney in 2000 and made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2006.

The 2019 NDARC Annual Research Symposium: Responding to clinical, community and family needs is being held on Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at UNSW Sydney.

Registration is now open – click here to register.

Click here for more information about the 2019 NDARC Annual Research Symposium including the full event program and speaker bios.