National GP Education Package for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

National GP Education Package for Drug and Alcohol Treatment 

The Australian Government has announced a no-cost 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 Remote 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 no-cost 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. Availble until Sep 2021

pdf RACGP Flyer  (1018 KB)

pdf (581 KB) More Information here.

The ACRRM Drug and Alcohol Addiction Education (DAAE)

The ACRRM Drug and Alcohol Addiction Education Program includes a suite of incentivised activities to strengthen the capacity of General Practitioners to address drug and alcohol addiction in their communities. These training activities include a virtual workshop, an online learning course and webinars with subject matter experts, supported by resources for General Practitioners to use in their practice.

Each activity attracts individual incentive payments for eligible ACRRM members, and can be done separately; however, it is strongly recommended that you to complete the full suite of activities.

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

Visit the ACRRM website for more information about the DAAE program and register for a training activity now

pdf ACRRM Flyer (521 KB)

Dr Hester Wilson on the National GP Education Package for Drug and Alcohol Treatment


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

RACGP AOD GP Education Program Access the Program pdf Flyer Here (332 KB)

Phone: 1800 472 247

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.
  • Motivational Interviewing: Facilitating behaviour change in the general practice setting. RACGP Article here
Other training and resources

Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)

The University of Sydney provides free courses to train health professionals on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health. The courses assist in the development of knowledge, skills, and practices to support the safe prescribing of opioid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid dependence. 

Medical and nurse practitioners can complete the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC), which forms part of the process to apply to recieve accreditation as an opioid pharmacotherapy prescriber.  

There are 4 courses that are available to complete. Two of these courses (the Fundamentals of Opioid Treatment and OTAC) are related to the accreditation process; the other two are standalone topics relevant to prescribing opioid treatment.

For anyone seeking to complete any of the 4 courses, visit to register for an account. For medical and nurse practitioners, there are 3 steps to complete apply for OTP accreditation in NSW:

Have an enquiry? You can send an email or visit the website 

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

Webinar - Introduction to depot buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependent patients

Long acting depot buprenorphine was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) on the 1st September 2019 as an s100 drug, making it free to people with an opioid dependency. This webinar explains the clinical guidance, evidence base, pharmacology, and risks associated with depot buprenorphine, and how to implement it as an Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) for opioid dependency.

Webinar - Prescribing depot buprenorphine in primary care
From 3 April 2020, Buvidal® - one of the two depot buprenorphine formulations available for the treatment of opioid dependency - will be able to be prescribed in the primary care setting.

This webinar will help GPs identify patients suitable for depot buprenorphine, implement depot buprenorphine as an OAT for opioid dependency, specifically in relation to prescribing, induction, dose alterations & reduction off the drug, incorporate treatment with depot buprenorphine into your practice and comply with regulatory requirements of prescribing and storing of depot buprenorphine.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)

In order to ensure that patients receive the necessary care, GPs may consider optimising MBS items to better support their patients with alcohol and other drugs of addiction.

For more information on common MBS items used for the treatment of drug and alcohol for patients, the following resource has been developed:

pdf AOD MBS Items (1005 KB)

Telephone and Video Consultations Manual 

The University of Adelaide has developed thie manual to support health professionals identify and respond to substance use.

Available here:  pdf Telephone and Video Consultations Manual (1.85 MB)