This post has expired! It was posted more than 90 days ago.
<- Back

Breaking Point: Ice & Methamphetamine Conference

  • : Perth WA 6000


Ice and methamphetamine have become significant drugs of concern for nurses and other health professionals. These concerns are not just related to health issues but also extend to personal protection and other significant social and community impacts. Attend this conference to be informed about the evidence and the facts underpinning these drugs. It includes:

  • A personal story of recovery from an ice addiction
  • How ice changes the brain
  • Why methamphetamine can use induce depression, anxiety, and psychosis
  • De-escalation techniques to defuse violent behaviour
  • The impact of ice use during the perinatal period
  • Treatments for methamphetamine addiction
  • A guide to accessing services and much, much more…
Schedule Day One



Welcome and Introduction


Brenda Jones

Ice Use in Western Australia – What’s Different, What’s Changed, and What’s Ahead?

Why is ice seen as such an issue of concern in Western Australia? Why is the sale and use in this state the highest in Australia? Brenda Jones, having spent the majority of her working life on the front line as an Emergency Nurse and segueing into the field of addiction ten years ago, in this session will draw on her nursing career spanning over 25 years and discuss:

  • How big a problem is ice use in WA?
  • Has this always been the case?
  • How extensive is ice use compared to other drugs of addiction?
  • What are the emerging trends in substance use and abuse?
  • What’s next?


Geoff Ahern

Safety When Dealing With People On Ice – Defusing and De-escalating Techniques

Any person affected by illicit drugs may behave irrationally and could be a danger to themselves and others. All health professionals must be alert to the risks associated with these potential harms. This session discusses and demonstrates practical de-escalation techniques to defuse violent or aggressive behaviour and looks at:

  • What are the physical cues that suggest someone may be affected by crystal methamphetamine (ICE)?
  • How do you protect:
    • The person?
    • The public?
    • Yourself?
  • How do you de-escalate and defuse a situation?
  • How do you reduce the need for chemical and physical restraints: body language and personal safety?



Professor Daniel Fatovich

Ice in the Emergency Department

After the heroin peak of the late 1990s, methamphetamine has become the principal illicit drug requiring Emergency Department (ED) treatment. This session will describe what we see and do in ED, report some of our research, and highlight some issues of addiction and the social determinants of health. Includes:

  • Overview of recreational drugs in ED/focus on ice
  • What Emergency Departments see and treat
  • Emergency Department approach to management
  • Ice patient's’ perceptions of being sedated
  • Effects of ice, immediate & delayed, with a focus on the brain
  • What is the role of dopamine and other neurotransmitters?
  • The neurobiology of addictions
  • The social determinants of health


Dr Amanda Stafford

A Cure for Methamphetamine Addiction? - The Role of Baclofen

The potential use of Baclofen, a GABA B receptor agonist, in methamphetamine addiction is currently being explored in a small-scale clinical trial at the Royal Perth Hospital. This session explains why this medication has come to be seen as a potential treatment for methamphetamine addiction and explains the following:

  • What is Baclofen?
  • How has it evolved to treat alcoholism?
  • How might Baclofen work to treat methamphetamine addiction?
  • An update on a Perth-based trial investigating the potential effects of Baclofen in people addicted to methamphetamines



Angela O’Connor

Methamphetamines – A Practical Approach to Pregnancy, Birth, and Postnatal Care

A common concern shared by midwives, nurses, and other health care professionals working in the drug and alcohol field relates to methamphetamine use during pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period. This session will use a case study to practically explain:

  • What is known about the impact of ice and methamphetamine use during the perinatal period?
  • How can you provide effective and compassionate care to a mother and baby during the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal period when methamphetamine use is occurring?



Lorraine Finlay

The Law and Methamphetamine Use

Because ice and methamphetamine are illegal AND highly addictive substances associated with criminal origins there are many legal concerns. This session considers the following:

  • What the law surrounding methamphetamines?
  • Can a person be forced into treatment for their addiction and if so will such coercion work?
  • Situations where mandatory reporting apply
  • What happens when a nurse is found to be an occasional user of ice or methamphetamines?
  • Criminal law surrounding protection and prevention


Day Two



Wendy Meggison

Children Caught up in Chaos – When Domestic Violence is Present

The nature of drug use is renowned for leaving a trail of destruction amongst families and communities. Children caught up in this chaos may be exposed to neglect, aggressive outbursts, hostility, and even violence. Being well-informed about your professional obligations in these situations will assist in these children remaining safe. This session will consider:

  • How do you know a child is at risk?
  • What are the implications for children living in chaotic and violent families?
  • What can nurses, midwives, and other health professionals do?
  • What supports and services are available in Western Australia?



Behavioural Therapies for Methamphetamine Addiction

In conjunction with food, fluids, and safety, a range of treatments are available to assist a person with a methamphetamine addiction. Evidence suggests that the most effective treatments are behavioural therapies. This session will extend your knowledge by outlining and evaluating current approaches to treatment. It includes:

  • What are the different treatment types available for methamphetamine addiction?
  • Where are these treatments offered?
  • What are the various merits and indications for each of these treatments?



Geoff Ahern

The Art of Therapeutic Engagement

What if you knew that the person in front of you, an “ice addict”, had robbed a bank, was a sex offender, or even a serial killer. Would it matter? Would the care that you provide change? As much as we’d like to answer no to this question, the reality is that working with people who have a drug addiction often means working with challenging people. Viewing these people in a disdainful manner can result in rejection of the care offered. The impact of this may form a barrier separating the provision of care. This practical session will draw on personal and professional wisdom to discuss:

  • Is empathy something I have or can it be developed?
  • How to have communication, active listening, and body language that oozes non-judgemental care?
  • A balancing act – How to maintain professional boundaries whilst developing a therapeutic relationship?
  • What are the principles used in a therapeutic environment?


Geoff Ahern

Motivational Enhancement – Instilling a Desire for Change

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) may be an appropriate way to improve an individual’s motivation to change. A rapid stimulation of an internal need for change rather than a gradual stage-based approach to change can be tailored to people with an ice and methamphetamine addiction. This session explores how MET can encourage an individual to overcome a reluctance to change. It includes:

  • What is MET and how does it differ from other approaches?
  • Why might a rapid approach to change be more effective than a gradual, stage-based approach?
  • How is MET used in conjunction with or as a trigger for other treatments?
  • What motivational principles underpin MET?
  • Practical examples of how these principles could be used



Paul Dessauer

Harm Reduction and Healing

Harm reduction is a widely accepted and long standing principle, which acknowledges that preventing all people from taking drugs is not achievable. Instead, there is the potential to improve health outcomes for people taking drugs by assisting them to maintain health and prevent complications of “using”. This session will take you through a range of practical evidence-based strategies relating to harm reduction for those affected by ice and methamphetamine. It includes:

  • How does a rational, integrated approach to harm minimisation work to reduce death, disease, and social problems?
  • What is the role of needle and syringe programs and medically supervised injecting centres?
  • Is there any merit in encouraging users to smoke rather than inject?



Resources, Referrals, and Rehabilitation – A Guide to Services

Well-informed nurses and other health professionals are well-placed to assist families and vulnerable individuals in the community. Understanding the various services available and how to access these can assist greatly. This session looks at the services available in Western Australia to assist you when caring for a person who uses ice or methamphetamines. This session includes:

  • Useful websites for future reference,
  • An opportunity to ask questions
  • A list of resources including:
    • Withdrawal services
    • Residential and non-residential rehabilitation
    • Community based services e.g counselling, outreach, case management, and support groups
  • How to make referrals to services and where to find more information on this
  • Resources for families, friends, carers, teachers, and individuals
  • How to access rehabilitation services in particular states



Geoff Ahern

Self-Care When Working in Emotionally Taxing Environments

The intrinsic nature of working with people who are experiencing a drug addiction means that we are likely to be are exposed to a range of challenges. Feeling unsafe, witnessing violence, tragedy, and dealing with trauma are some examples. This emotionally taxing environment can result in tension with colleagues, family, and friends. This session will conclude the conference by creating an opportunity to discuss the following:

  • What are the professional and personal implications of working in challenging areas of nursing and healthcare?
  • How can you respond to stress with self-compassion?
  • How do you reach out when times are tough?


The Goal Need for Program

Ice is a growing concern for Australian nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is destructive for health, families and communities, and creates a raft of medical, psychological and social problems. Nurses and other health professionals are increasingly exposed to people who are affected by this drug, but often without really understanding the health issues involved. It is important that nurses and other health professionals have access to correct evidence-based information about these substances and the management of those affected by them.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to inform nurses and other health professionals about the illicit drugs ice and methamphetamine, including their effects on people, the community and how recovery can be achieved.

Your learning outcomes:

Use evidence-based knowledge about ice and methamphetamine so as to create a safe environment for all concerned

Understand the ramifications of ice and methamphetamine use in the community and how to implement methods of harm reduction in your setting

Know the principles of rehabilitation and recovery and apply evidence-based approaches to assist sustained abstinence

Refer people using ice and methamphetamine appropriately and align your healthcare with Statewide strategies


Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician who works with the Victorian Police on a specialised mental health emergency ...Read More

Brenda Jones

Brenda Jones

Brenda Jones (BHlthScN, Grad Dip (Addiction Studies) is a clinical nurse consultant at Fiona Stanley Hospital Emergency Department (E.D.) in ... Read More

Amanda Stafford

Amanda Stafford

Dr Amanda Stafford is an emergency specialist at Royal Perth Hospital. She is the clinical lead for the RPH Homeless ... Read More

Angela O'Connor

Angela O'Connor

Angela O’Connor is the clinical midwifery consultant midwifery manager of the Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol Service (WANDAS). Angela ... Read More

Daniel Fatovich

Daniel Fatovich

Professor Daniel Fatovich is a senior emergency physician at Royal Perth Hospital Emergency Department, one of the busiest Emergency Departments ... Read More

Lorraine Finlay

Lorraine Finlay

Lorraine Finlay started her legal career at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA), working as a State ... Read More

Wendy Meggison

Wendy Meggison

Wendy Meggison graduated in 2002 with first class honours in law and also obtained a Masters in Medical Law and ... Read More

Paul Dessauer

Paul Dessauer

Paul works for Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, (formerly WASUA), a not-for- profit NGO that provides peer-education, harm reduction, and ... Read More

To Be Determined

To Be Determined
Breaking Point: Ice & Methamphetamine Conference
Speciality Classification
Interest Areas
Provider Type
11 hours
Start Date
End Date
11 hours
Fee Details
$715.00 (two days)
Perth WA 6000
Holiday Inn Perth City Centre, 778-788 Hay Street
Posted By
Contact Phone
Log in into view this field.
Location Map
Google Map