Talking Point Seminars

Turning Point’s seminar series, Talking Point, is now available online.

Visit the Turning Point YouTube channel to view past Talking Point videos.

An archive of older videos is available at the previous Talking Point YouTube channel.

WEDNESDAY 27 July 2016

Child Aware Practice: Where does 'the village' end and 'child protection' begin?
Presented by Dr Deb Scott

WEDNESDAY 25 maY 2016

The Brain Disease Model of Addiction: is it supported by the evidence
and has it delivered on its promises?

Presented by Dr Adrian Carter

WEDNESDAY 27 April 2016

Drug and Alcohol Use by Men and Boys.
Presented by Professor Pirkis

 Friday 1 April 2016

"What gets counted gets done": Development and validation of a
system for routine monitoring of deaths after release from prison.

Presented by Professor Stuart Kinner, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

 wednesDAY 24 February 2016

The joy of data! – How data can help you to improve policy, planning and intervention.
Presented by Fiona Barker, Sharon Matthews and Belinda Lloyd

THURSDAY 30 JUly 2015

Wet and dry generations: what happens when a population turns around on drinking?
Presented by Professor Robin Room


A New Online Resource on Personal Experiences of Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Addiction in Australia
Presented by Dr Kiran Pienaar


Ready 2 Change - A structured telephope delivered intervention for cannabis, amphetamine and alcohol problems
Presented by Dr Kate Hall


Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Planning in Australia
Presented by Dr Lynda Berends


Relapse in Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling
Presented by Dr Jane Oakes


Predictors of treatment outcomes: Findings from the Patient Pathways study 
Presented by Dr Victoria Manning


Assertive linkage and social connectedness 
Presented by Associate Professor David Best

The paper will summarise a body of recent research looking at the association between social engagement and wellbeing in drinkers and drug users, and will discuss this in the context of the Social Identity Model of Identity Change. The presentation will also introduce a new method for mapping social networks (for clinical or research purposes) that has been piloted in adult and youth services in Victoria.

David Best is Head of Research and Workforce Development at Turning Point and Associate Professor of Addiction Studies at Monash University, and leads the Treatment and Systems research group. He has worked in research and policy in the AOD field for around 20 years.

WEDNESDAY 26 October 2013

The impact of cannabis use on cognitive functioning and brain structure: implications for understanding the neural basis of psychosis
Presented by Professor Murat Yücel
Director, Monash Clinical & Imaging Neuroscience, Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Australia.

Cannabis is arguably the most hotly debated drug of abuse. Its profound effects on the mind have been known for at least 5000 years and have polarised attitudes, with long-standing controversies surrounding the ‘recreational’ use of cannabis, its legalisation, and its therapeutic potential, as well as harm.

Professor Yücel will present data showing that long term and heavy cannabis use Is associated with significantly reduced brain volumes and white matter integrity in medial temporal and cerebellar regions, as well as, having memory impairment and being more likely to develop sub-threshold psychotic symptoms. Importantly, the associations between cannabis exposure, loss of brain volume/integrity, and severity of psychotic-like experiences are dose-dependent, suggesting that they are intricately linked.

He will also present the results of two recent studies - a meta-analysis and an empirical study, which examined the effects of cannabis use on cognitive functioning in psychotic patients. The findings showed that psychotic patients with an early onset and heavy use of cannabis are associated with superior cognitive functioning compared to psychotic patients without a significant cannabis use history. These findings are interpreted to suggest that heavy cannabis use during early adolescence can be a component cause psychotic disorders in some individuals, despite the fact that cognitive deficits associated with a neurodevelopmental vulnerability are not observed in this same group.

Their recent findings raise questions regarding the use of drugs during adolescence and have important implications for our understanding of the relationship between drug use, brain development and mental health, as well as prevention and early intervention approaches.

Professor Murat Yücel is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who has been working in the field of substance abuse and mental health for ~20 years. In this time, he has become an authority in the area of biological psychiatry and neurobiology of drug addiction and psychosis. His research has fundamentally influenced on thinking across two themes: (i) the neuro-psycho-pharmacological basis of the ‘compulsive/addictive’ behaviours seen across psychiatric and substance related disorders: (ii) understanding the links between heavy cannabis use, the brain and mental health - especially psychosis.

He has nearly 200 publications on these and related topics, which have been cited ~7,000 times, and helped obtain >$18 million project funding. He is actively involved in supervising and mentoring students, researchers and clinicians, and plays a consistent role in conveying science to the academic and public community in many forms including professional workshops, conference presentations, public lectures, and media.

Guest Presentation October 2013
Helping Problem Gamblers Change.  Self-directed brief treatments
Presented by Professor David Hodgins

A number of trials suggest that brief motivational treatment helps problem gamblers reduce their gambling and related problems.  Three practical applications are described:  use of a motivational models with callers to a problem gambling helpline, people who sign voluntary self-exclusion agreements with casinos, and people who seek self-management information on the web.    

David C. Hodgins, Ph.D., is a professor in the Program in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of Calgary. Dr. Hodgins is also the Head, Department of Psychology and a coordinator with the Alberta Gambling Research Institute. His research interests focus on various aspects of addictive behaviours including relapse and recovery from substance abuse and gambling disorders.


Presented by Dr Belinda Lloyd

Although suicide is a priority area for development of effective policy and treatment, there is currently a paucity of robust, timely data for monitoring suicidal behaviour at a population level. Over the last 12 months, an internationally unique ongoing monitoring system of acute overdose, self harm and mental health-related ambulance presentations has been developed. This system is invaluable in identifying emerging patterns in suicidal behaviour, including differences across subpopulations or geographic regions, or clustering within distinct time periods, and can inform prevention and treatment responses, as well as support evaluation of policy initiatives and intervention effectiveness. This presentation will give an overview of the project, and also findings for Victoria.

Dr Belinda Lloyd leads the Population Health Research Program at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre that conducts epidemiological projects involving alcohol and drug research focusing on prevention, risk behaviours, harms associated with alcohol and other drug use, and harm minimisation. Prior to her current position of senior research fellow and program leader, Belinda has worked in both government and academic settings in Queensland, where she has co-ordinated and supervised numerous research projects, involving large data collections, analysis and interpretation. As part of her employment in Queensland, Belinda developed a research program for a government unit, utilising data collected from routine statewide population monitoring, in order to better inform prevention, treatment and drug use trends. Belinda's PhD involved analysis of a large longitudinal birth cohort, and examined patterns of mental health and behaviour over the life course. Belinda is a regular presenter at national and international conferences on epidemiological research relating to alcohol and other drugs.


Professor Paul Dietze heads the Alcohol and other Drug Research Program at the Burnet Institute.  He is one of the leading researchers in the alcohol and other drug sector in Australia with an extensive history of significant and innovative research into the impact of alcohol and other drugs in the community. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Professor Dietze is currently supported by an ARC Future Fellowship and is an Honorary NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and VicHealth Public Health Research Fellow. He has been involved in work examining naloxone for the reversal of heroin overdose since 2000.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that has been used to reverse the effects of opioids for over 40 years. In line with developments overseas, naloxone has recently been made available to a wider group of people in Australia including peers of people who use opioids such as heroin. This presentation summarises the key issues around the wider distribution of naloxone and provides an update on naloxone programs operating in Australia.

Wednesday July 24th 2013

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre – 6 Years On.

Combining a multi-jurisdictional court with a range of support services and community initiatives, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) has played a significant role in local community crime prevention work, building community confidence and innovating justice delivery locally. The NJC was established in 2007 and is Australia’s only community justice centre. It is located in Collingwood, Melbourne, and serves the City of Yarra. The Centre is committed to resolving disputes, addressing the underlying causes of harmful behaviour, and tackling social disadvantage.
David Fanning has been the Magistrate at the NJC since its foundation will provide an overview of the Centre. He will reflect on some of the achievements of this community justice model, share innovations they have initiated, and explore the future of community justice with you.

Wednesday June 19th 2013

Understanding recent trends in alcohol consumption and harm in Australia.

Michael Livingston, is a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, and a research fellow in the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Turning Point. He completed his PhD, which examined the impact of liquor licensing deregulation in Victoria, in 2012. In this presentation, Michael will examine recent trends in alcohol-related indicators (both for Victoria and nationally). In particular, this presentation will explore changes in the distribution of drinking in Australia over the last decade and their implications for policy and practice.

Wednesday May 22nD 2013

Resilience based practice: integrating AOD and Mental health work with young people.

Andrew Bruun, Director: Research, Evaluation, Advocacy & Practice (REAP), YSAS.

The seminar focuses on how contemporary resilience research can inform  policy makers, service planners and practitioners in how to create the conditions that best enable young people and families to address a range of co-occurring mental health and AOD related problems.

Andrew Bruun is the Director of Research, Evaluation, Advocacy and Practice at the Youth Support and Advocacy Service and an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a practitioner, educator and researcher in the adolescent health field since the mid 1980s, with a special interest in developing practices that enable young people and families to gain increased control over alcohol and other drug (AOD) use where it has become problematic.

View the slides from the presentation below:

Tuesday May 14th 2013

This project provides detailed statewide and local information regarding non-fatal ambulance attendances where alcohol or other drugs were involved in the presentation, and is a valuable tool for exploration of acute alcohol and other drug related harms in the community, impact on emergency services, and harms in populations not routinely engaged with the specialist AOD sector.

This presentation provides an overview and new findings of this ongoing project which is undertaken by the Population Health Research team at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre in collaboration with Ambulance Victoria, and which is funded by the Victorian Department of Health.


Five years of research in nightclubs: implications for policy and practice
Associate Professor Peter G. Miller, Principal Research Fellow, Commissioning Editor Addiction School of Psychology, Deakin University.


Exploring alcohol and drug related harms across health settings: Linkages and journeys through ambulance, ED and hospital
Dr Belinda Lloyd, Senior Research Fellow, Monash University, Program Leader, Population Health Research, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Eastern Health.


Catalyst Non-Residential Alcohol Rehabilitation Program – from pilot to ‘permanent’
Venetia Brissenden, Manager, Therapeutic Services, Clinical Services, Uniting Care ReGen, and Shannon Bell, Team Leader Catalyst, Uniting Care ReGen.

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