For Professionals

From our rich epidemiological data, we know that comorbidity is so common in the general population that intervention needs to be available in everyday practice.

We are committed to generating knowledge that improves health outcomes in settings where at risk individuals present for treatment. We have developed resources for professionals working in fields that play a key role in the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. These resources will be useful for professionals from a range of backgrounds, from primary school teachers to experienced drug and alcohol workers and clinicians. 

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The Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit includes information and resources for community groups, families and friends of individuals using ice, parents, teachers and students, as well as professionals working across a range of settings (e.g. GPs and frontline alcohol and drug workers). The toolkit includes fact sheets, guidelines, and printable handouts covering information about the effects of ice, tips for how to stay safe, and information about where, when and how to get help or support. The toolkit was informed by input from over 400 community members from around Australia, and was developed in collaboration with researchers  at the Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), Curtin University. The toolkit is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the Australian Government’s National Ice Action Strategy.

To view the online toolkit visit:

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Shade is a 10 week program for reducing drinking and helping with depression. Shade uses cognitive behaviour therapy control their substance use, alcohol use and mood. Our research shows that SHADE can help you reduce your drinking and improve your mood.

For further information on the SHADE proram contact Dr Frances Kay-Lambkin

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Co-existing mental health and drug and alcohol problems occur frequently in primary care and clinical settings. Despite this, health professionals rarely receive training in how to detect, assess and formulate interventions for co-existing problems and few clinical guidelines exist. Published in 2007, this Handbook provides an exciting and highly useful addition to this area. Leading clinicians from the UK, the US and Australia provide practical descriptions of assessments and interventions for co-existing problems. These will enable professionals working with co-existing problems to understand best practice and ensure that people with co-existing problems receive optimal treatment. A range of overarching approaches are covered, including: working within a cognitive behavioural framework; provision of consultation-liaison services, training and supervision; individual, group and family interventions; and  working with rurally isolated populations.

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Climate Schools provides health education courses which aim to empower students to gain knowledge about their health and wellbeing. This knowledge will assist them in making positive and informed choices. The courses, known as modules, are based on realistic cartoon scenarios about teenagers and are designed to impart education about the use of alcohol and others drugs, the responsible consumption of alcohol, and ways to reduce alcohol and drug related harms.

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The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre completed one of the first studies to examine the efficacy of an integrated exposure-based therapy for co-occurring substance use disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study lead to the development the Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE) Program, a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy program designed for patients who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a co-occurring alcohol or drug use disorder. COPE represents an integration of two evidence-based treatments: Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy for PTSD and Relapse Prevention for substance use disorders.

COPE is an integrated treatment, meaning that both the PTSD and substance use disorder are addressed concurrently in therapy by the same clinician, and patients can experience substantial reductions in both PTSD symptoms and substance use severity. Patients use the COPE Patient Workbook while their clinician uses the Therapist Guide to deliver treatment. The Therapist Guide is designed for clinicians on the front-line in commuity-based settings, as well as academic, hospital, and private practice settings.

The Therapist Guide and Patient Workbook are now available. 

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Published in 2003, this mongraph provides a review of the evidence base and the discussion of the complex issues around comorbidity.

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Published in 2003, this treatment guide describes a four-session cognitive behavioural intervention for regular amohetamine users.

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This paper, by Prof Maree Teesson and other members of the CREMS, was commissioned by the NSW Mental Health Commission to inform the development of the Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW - "Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024".