Many Australians are worried about increased household drinking during COVID-19

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A recent poll by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found that 20% of Australians have purchased more alcohol than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent poll by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found that 20% of Australians have purchased more alcohol than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 70% are drinking more than normal and 33% are now using alcohol daily.

With the current social restrictions contributing to increased stress and anxiety, it is a good time for health professionals to check in with their patients about their alcohol and drug use. There are a number of resources available to support services to assist their patients who may have issues related to alcohol and other drug use.

Health professional education/training
  • Alcohol and other drugs GP education program: RACGP is offering a FREE education program to help strengthen GP capacity to address alcohol and other drug use. Visit the RACGP website for details.
  • Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC): free courses to assist GPs and nurses in safely prescribing opioid pharmacotherapies. Visit otac.org.au for details.
  • Driving Safety with OTP online module: visit drivingsafety.com.au for details.
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia education package: find information on prescription medicine here.
  • Depot Buprenorphine: a new long acting formulation of an existing opioid pharmacotherapy, buprenorphine. Visit the NSW Health website for details.
  • Comorbidity guidelines online training: managing co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions. Click here for details.
  • Australian College of Nursing: a number of drug and alcohol training and CPD opportunities are available here.
  • Take home Naloxone pilot: Naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The Department of Health is investing $10 million to make naloxone free to people who may experience or witness opioid overdose. Naloxone is available in NSW through community and hospital based pharmacies, alcohol and drug treatment services and needle and syringe programs. Visit the NSW Health website or watch the RACGP webinar (58 minutes) for details.
  • The Network for Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA): a number of resources and eLearning are opportunities available here.
Clinical support
  • NSW Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS): a free 24/7 service for health professionals to seek advice on clinical diagnosis and management of patients with alcohol and other drug use. Phone DASAS on 1800 023 687 or visit the website.
  • HealthPathways: find localised information on the management of alcohol and other drug issues and referral pathways:
Information and resources for patients
  • Treatment services: most alcohol and other drug services are continuing to support the community through phone and video based sessions. Visit the COORDINARE website for details.
  • Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS): find information on alcohol and drug use for individuals, families or carers. Call 1800 250 015, 8:30am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • NSW Health's 'Your Room' website: get the facts about alcohol and drug use here.
  • Your Room - Naloxone: find Naloxone information for consumers here.

This list of resources is not exhaustive. Please explore the links and professional bodies for more information.