National GP Education Package for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

National GP Education Package for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

The Australian Government has announced an education package and training grants for GPs to improve support and increase resources available to GPs to treat drug and alcohol use. Funding has been provided to both Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remove Medicine (ACRRM) to administer the package.

RACGP AOD GP Education Program

The RACGP has developed it’s Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) GP Education Program to provide members with education to assist and increase capacity to address the AOD needs of their communities. Applications are now open via the RACGP website.

Training assists GPs to upskill in a range of areas, starting with having a conversation with a patient about their AOD use. It also includes current best practice treatment such as pharmacotherapy, withdrawal management and harm minimisation approaches.

The AOD GP Education Program has two standalone entry pathways:

  • Essential Skills Education is a 2-hour introductory online module accessible to members at any time.
  • Treatment Skills Training for eligible members consists of an online self-directed eLearning module and training via video conference with expert GP AOD educators. Completing both pathways takes approximately 6-8 hours. Upon completion participants will receive a one-off payment of $1,200.
  • Advanced Skills Training for eligible members Experienced GPs wanting to deepen their AOD treatment skills can develop their own 20hr learning program and receive support from an AOD expert mentor. Upon completion participants will receive a one-off payment of $2,500. Launches July 2020.

More information regarding training is available here.

AOD Connect: A project ECHO Community of Practice for RACGP members

Project ECHO offers RACGP members a dedicated weekly time to gather on Zoom to discuss their AOD patient cases. There is no prerequisite to join, all RACGP members currently treating or interested in treating AOD patients are welcome. Depending on the patient case, the 60 minute discussions are likely to focus on themes such as how to provide patient centred care to your AOD patients, understanding patient circumstances and how to unpack complex patient  presentations. 

Sessions will run every Thursday evening from 7.30pm - 8.30pm AEST. All 2020 session dates are available through gplearning (via RACGP account). 

For more information, visit the RACGP Website here

Phone: 1800 472 247

Project ECHO opportunity

Following the Treatment Skills Training, GPs are given an opportunity to join a Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) series. The group consists of six online 1 hr sessions, over 6 weeks, to discuss AOD practice examples and receive mentor support from AOD experts.

CESPHN are partnering with Dr Hester Wilson, Chair of the RACGP Addiction Medicine Network, to deliver ECHO groups in CESPHN. If you are interested in completing ECHO training, please express your interest to Megan Mattingly . ECHO groups will commence upon review of EOIs and numbers.

Additional resources-

  • Dr Hester Wilson’s, Chair of the RACGP Addiction Medicine Network RACGP blog about a range of AOD topics
  • Factsheet for GPs to respond to requests regarding drugs of dependence available here
  • RACGP have a range of AOD webinars available including guides to naloxone, addressing alcohol use in over 50s and managing patients with opioid dependence. The range of webinars can be found here


The ACRRM Drug and Alcohol Addiction Education (DAAE) 

The ACRRM Drug and Alcohol Addiction Education Program  aims to address community alcohol and drug addiction through a range of workshops, online courses and webinars. A series of Face-to-Face workshops will run in late 2020 and throughout 2021, and a webinar series with AOD subject matter experts in the second half of 2020.

Upon successful completion of training activities, eligible ACRRM members will be able to apply to claim an incentive grant as outlined below:

  • Online Learning Course – $1,300 (excl. GST)
  • Virtual Workshop Course or Face to Face Workshop - $2,700 (excl. GST)
  • Webinars - $200 (excl. GST)

The first of these learning activities, the Alcohol and Other Drugs – Driving Change in Communities online learning course, was launched in late March and members can sign up now

Other training and resources 


Treatment of opioid dependency with Depot Buprenorphine

NSW Health Clinical Guidelines for Depot Buprenorphine  - Interim guidelines for depot buprenorphine were developed to provide a framework for clinical decision making for clinicians and consumers in a range of service settings involved in the delivery of treatment of long acting depot buprenorphine products. 
Clinical guidelines for use of depot buprenorphine (Buvidal® and Sublocade®) in the treatment of opioid dependence
Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the NSW Health Guidelines: Treatment of Opioid Dependence

This webinar aims to explain the clinical guidance, evidence base, pharmacology, and risks associated with depot buprenorphine, and how to implement it as an Opioid Agonist Treatment for opioid dependency. The webinar is presented by Assoc Professor Nicholas Lintzeris, Clinical Director of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District on 16 June 2020