WA’s Alcohol & Other Drug Network taking off

WA’s first Project ECHO, the Alcohol & Other Drug Network – A Project ECHO Initiative, is off to a great start with general practitioners and other primary care practitioners from across the state taking up the one-of-a-kind opportunity to network, collaborate and raise awareness of the current alcohol and other drug (AOD) services across WA.

Conducted via Zoom each month, the sessions combine the knowledge and skills of those working in the AOD space and are aimed at building the confidence and capability of primary care practitioners to support people experiencing AOD issues.

The Network’s Steering Committee member and panellist, Andrew Pittway, said being involved with the Network as a lived experience consumer has been a great opportunity to represent the consumer voice and provide an insight into ‘the other side of the coin’.

“The Network has highlighted how we can use both clinical and personal support solutions to assist in AOD recovery strategies.”

The sessions involve a brief presentation followed by the opportunity to share experiences or ask questions of peers and subject matter experts on how to manage AOD issues within general practice settings.

As the Alcohol & Other Drug Network – A Project ECHO Initiative continues, facilitator Dr Simon Slota-Kan, along with the panellists, will continue to instil the ‘all teach, all learn’ model.

Find out more about the Alcohol & Other Drug Network- A Project ECHO Initiative or register now

Wrap up of session two: Starting a conversation with our patients

The second session, held in March, was led by addiction medicine specialist, Dr Wendy Lawrence who discussed how to talk about AOD with patients when it is not on their agenda.

Dr Lawrence was also joined by panellists:

– Dr Rupert Backhouse, general practitioner at Peel Youth Medical Service; and

– Dr Richard O’Regan, addiction medicine specialist at Royal Perth Hospital, and previously

– Director of Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services.

Guided by the facilitator, Dr Simon Slota-Kan, general practitioner at Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service in Newman, the session was led from the presentation into a de-identified real-life case study, presented by one of our participants. The case presentation enables participants to discuss the challenges of complex cases and ask questions about managing AOD in general practice.