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Diseases Caused by Alcohol Conference

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010


For Nurses & Other Health Professionals


The use of alcohol in Australia is often considered to be part of this country’s traditional identity. However, its use, even occasionally, is now associated with more diseases than ever before. No matter where a nurse works, it is likely he or she will be required to care for people who have diseases linked to alcohol. Attend this conference on how drinking damages the body and the positive impact that nurses can have in educating people about the facts. Topics include:

  • How does alcohol affect cells, tissues and the brain?
  • Is zero tolerance with alcohol during pregnancy the only option?
  • How is diabetes affected by alcohol?
  • How common is alcohol-related dementia and how does it manifest?
  • Tips for patient education about alcoholic liver disease
  • What is the connection between oestrogen, alcohol and breast cancer?
  • Mixing medicines with alcohol - what are the implications?

Don’t miss out! Book now!


 Print Schedule

Day One



Mike Smith

More than Just Cravings...Understanding Alcohol Use in Australia

How healthy is Australia's drinking habit? Do we really understand what constitutes 'normal, safe' amounts of alcohol? This introductory session looks at people's relationships with alcohol, including reasons why people drink. Also covers:

  • How much alcohol are Australians currently consuming?
  • Are Australian attitudes towards alcohol unhealthy?
  • How do people perceive their own levels of alcohol use?
  • Do we have a problem?


Professor Jillian Kril

Impact of Alcohol on Humans

Alcohol is used as a tenderiser of meat as well as a steriliser. It can fuel violence and disinhibition, but paradoxically it can also promote a state of relaxation. This complex substance remains widely used, yet its effects on the body are not fully understood. This session provides an overview of the effects of alcohol on human physiology. Includes:

  • Can alcohol alter structures at the cellular, tissue and genetic level?
  • What level of alcohol consumption is thought to cause disease?
  • How does alcohol cause disease?
  • Why does alcohol penetrate the blood-brain barrier?
  • What impact does it have on neurotransmitters?



Dr Courtney Breen

The Damage is Done - Effects of Alcohol on the Unborn Child

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is unfortunately prevalent in Australian society. There is no cure; therefore the emphasis must be on prevention. This session looks at this harmful consequence of inappropriate alcohol consumption. Includes:

  • Why is alcohol a teratogen of such concern?
  • At what level of consumption during pregnancy does alcohol become dangerous?
  • Does a reduction of consumption at any point during pregnancy offer any benefit?
  • Is there a genetic susceptibility?
  • What are the presenting symptoms in a newborn baby?


Gwen Higgins

Mixing Medicines with Alcohol - What Are the Risks?

Many medicines contain warnings about the dangers of consuming alcohol whilst taking certain prescribed medicines. Why are these needed and what happens if people ignore this advice? This session looks at some of the very real dangers of these harmful interactions. Includes:

  • Why does alcohol interact with certain medicines?
  • Why do some over the counter medicines contain alcohol and does this affect their safety?
  • Are women affected differently to men?
  • What dangerous interactions do nurses need to be aware of?



Carolien Koreneff

Diabetes and Alcohol Use: Can They Coexist?

Diabetes is now endemic in most Western societies. Many people remain undiagnosed. The risks associated with alcohol consumption pose particular threats to people with diabetes. There is a complex underlying pathophysiology which may have a high morbidity. Includes:

  • How does alcohol change the regulation of insulin?
  • Is there a safe level of alcohol consumption when taking a hypoglycaemic agent?
  • Does alcohol exacerbate other complications of diabetes, i.e. wound healing, PVD and foot care?



Dr Adrienne Withall

Why is Alcohol Linked to Dementia?

It has long been known that alcohol can profoundly affect a person’s cognitive function. More research is revealing the extent of this, particularly key parts of the brain that are affected. This session considers the concurring link between alcohol and dementia and includes:

  • Is alcohol toxic to the brain?
  • What is alcohol-related dementia?
  • How common are symptoms of alcohol-related dementia?
  • Are traditional medicines used to treat dementia effective?
  • Can alcohol-related dementia be reversed?


Jenny Haines

A Sobering Reality? Impact of Alcohol on the Cardiovascular System

It is well established that alcohol is a risk factor for a range of cardiovascular diseases. However, this can be very confusing as red wine is often promoted as being cardioprotective. This session looks at the evidence concerning the link between alcohol and cardiac disease. Includes:

  • Why is hypertension connected with alcoholism?
  • How does alcoholism cause stroke?
  • Can red wine be good for some people?
  • What is alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy?
  • What do the Heart Foundation Guidelines recommend, and why?


Day Two



Kate Teevan

Malnutrition Disorders and Alcohol: 'A Bad Taste in the Mouth'

Why is it that, despite alcohol being high in kilojoules, it can lead to malnutrition? Why does malnutrition exist alongside heavy drinking and what damage does this do to the body? The session considers a raft of consequences and includes:

  • From macro to micro - what nutritional deficiencies can be caused by alcohol?
  • How does alcohol cause these deficiencies?
  • When do certain nutrients need to be replaced e.g. thiamine replacement therapy?
  • Can digestive health be improved in people with chronic alcohol-related disease?


Clare Hughes

Alcohol as a Carcinogen: The Facts

Alcohol is now strongly associated with the development of certain cancers. Even low to moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with more than 10% of cancers in women. This includes cancers of the breast, liver, rectum and upper digestive tract combined. This session explains:

  • What causes alcohol to be a carcinogen?
  • Are there any particular alcoholic drinks that are implicated?
  • Is the risk higher in people who seldom drink but occasionally binge drink?
  • Does cessation offer any protection after a lifelong habit of alcohol consumption?



Elaine Arnold

Breast Cancer and its Relationship to Alcohol

Why is it that alcohol is now closely linked to the development of breast cancer? This session considers the relationship between this commonly consumed beverage and the development of breast malignancy. Includes:

  • Which type of breast cancer is associated with alcohol intake?
  • What is the connection between oestrogen, alcohol and breast cancer?
  • Once the person is diagnosed with breast cancer, should they abstain?
  • How does excessive previous alcohol use impact the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents?


Sue Mason

Patient Education in Liver Disease

Evidence suggests that providing patients with information relating to alcoholic liver disease is likely to result in better outcomes. This session will equip you with a comprehensive knowledge base for patients education by looking at how alcohol progressively destroys the liver and creates a cascade of systemic medical problems. Includes:

  • How does liver disease develop as a result of chronic alcohol intake?
  • What is fatty liver and is it a serious concern?
  • How does alcoholic hepatitis develop into liver cirrhosis?
  • Why does ascites occur?
  • What is the connection between cirrhosis and liver cancer?
  • What are the multi-system effects of liver damage?
  • Why is bleeding such a concern?



Professor Paul Haber

Breaking Down - Bone Health and Alcohol

The physical effect of alcohol extends right across the body. Its impact on the development and progression of diseases relating to the musculoskeletal system can have lifelong effects. How can knowing more now prevent complications in the future? This session looks at:

  • How does alcohol affect calcium and Vitamin D levels?
  • Is osteoporosis associated with excessive alcohol consumption?
  • Does this contribute to greater falls risks?
  • Can patient education and health promotion prevent these adverse effects?


Dr Anne Clark

Drunk in Love: Effects of Alcohol on Fertility

Despite the fact that alcohol is often used to facilitate social interaction and relaxation, it can have profound physiological impacts on sexual function. This session explores how alcohol affects male and female sexual function. Includes:

  • Does alcohol affect fertility?
  • Is the quality of sperm impacted by alcohol use?
  • Can heavy alcohol use disrupt menstruation?
  • Does alcohol affect a man's ability to have an erection?



Mike Smith

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, aka The Horrors, DTs or the Shakes

Understanding the effect that alcohol has on the body is enhanced by knowing exactly what happens to the whole person when removing alcohol takes place. The consequences of heavy alcohol consumption may have an effect on the central nervous system (CNS). This session looks at this potentially lethal condition of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS), also known as delirium tremens or the 'DTs'. Includes:

  • When does alcohol withdrawal syndrome occur?
  • How long does it last?
  • What causes people experiencing alcohol withdrawal to shake?
  • Is AWS a medical emergency?
  • What are the nursing interventions?
  • What is the prognosis?


Mike Smith

Now that I Know More...Challenging Conversations About Drinking

Nurses who are informed about the damaging effects drinking has on the body are in a prime position to prevent chronic illness and improve health outcomes. However, knowledge must be translated into effective patient education. This final session will help you to understand how to best communicate with someone about their unhealthy drinking habits. Includes:

  • How do I tell someone that they are drinking too much?
  • Tips for patient education - when, how and what do I say?
  • What language is useful when talking about alcohol?
  • Can actual or potential physical health damage help motivate people to change their behaviour?


The Goal Need for Program

Excessive alcohol consumption is a worrying global trend of particular concern in Australia where alcohol use is largely normalised and even glamorised. It is linked to a raft of serious, preventable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes - all of which are National Health Priority Areas. However, the dark side of disease caused by alcohol is seldom broadcast. Nurses are in a prime position to prevent alcohol-related diseases through education at various stages of the health continuum in order to divert chronic illness.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to provide evidence-based information about alcohol-related diseases so as to enhance nurses’ ability to prevent and better manage chronic illness.

Your learning outcomes:

Provide clear patient education relating to the systemic effects of alcohol on the human body through in-depth understanding of pathophysiology

Correctly assess a person with alcohol-related disease for complications including identification of early signs and symptoms

Translate evidence relating to the management of diseases exacerbated by alcohol into nursing practice to reduce costs and improve health outcomes

Apply preventive strategies including lifestyle education to divert potential chronic illness caused by alcohol


Courtney Breen

Courtney Breen

Dr Courtney Breen is a Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the UNSW. She has ... Read More

Gwen Higgins

Gwen Higgins

Gwen Higgins is an accredited pharmacist undertaking home medicines reviews for general practitioners in the inner western suburbs of Sydney. ... Read More

Sue Mason

Sue Mason

Sue Mason has been a registered nurse since 1989, working in the fields of gastroenterology surgery, and gastroenterology and hepatology. ... Read More

Paul Haber

Paul Haber

Professor Paul Haber is Medical Director, Drug and Alcohol Services at The University of Sydney's Addiction Medicine Department. Professor Haber's ... Read More

Anne Clark

Anne Clark

Dr. Anne Clark is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who sub specialised in fertility and reproductive medicine 28 years ago. She ...Read More

Mike  Smith

Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been a mental health nurse for 20 years and has Master's degrees in Public Health and Mental ... Read More

Jenny Haines

Jenny Haines

Jenny Haines originally qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1980. She has worked extensively at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ... Read More

Jillian Kril

Jillian Kril

Jillian Kril is Professor of Neuropathology and Associate Dean (Research) for the Sydney Medical School at The University of Sydney. ...Read More

Carolien Koreneff

Carolien Koreneff

Carolien Koreneff is a Credentialed Diabetes Educator (CDE) with 20 years experience, she did her RN and CDE training in ... Read More

Clare Hughes

Clare Hughes

Clare Hughes is the Nutrition Program Manager at the Cancer Council NSW. Clare leads a team of dietitians and nutritionists ... Read More

Elaine Arnold

Elaine Arnold

Elaine Arnold has been an Oncology Nurse for the past 30 years, working between community and hospital in areas of ... Read More

Adrienne Withall

Adrienne Withall

Dr Adrienne Withall is a Senrior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at University New South ... Read More

Kate Teevan

Kate Teevan

Kate Teevan is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist working both in private practice and at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, ...Read More

Diseases Caused by Alcohol Conference
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
11 hours 45 mins
Start Date
End Date
11 hours 45 mins
$671.00 (two days)
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Rydges Sydney Central (formerly Sebel Surry Hills), 28 Albion Street
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