Addiction 2015 Keynote – Stephen Ling

Posted on March 9, 2015 by addiction

The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference is pleased to announce Stephen Ling, Nurse Practitioner, Drug and Alcohol Consultation Liaison Service at John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Local Health District and Conjoint Teacher, University of Newcastle as a Keynote Speaker at this important event.

The conference will address the treatment and recovery of alcohol, other drugs and behavioural addictions and is hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH).

Presentation Title:  Holistic/Interagency Treatment of Addiction

Presentation Outline: The term “dual diagnosis” has now been used for several decades but remains a narrow description of the complexity of issues faced by our patients. Patients with substance use disorders experience a range of social and health problems including mental and physical health co-morbidities which can be attributed directly to their substance use or to which their substance use plays a substantial contributing role. Importantly it must be remembered that patients with substance use disorders are also at risk of developing the same problems faced by people even without substance use disorders. Even then, there are likely to be complex interactions between the patients’ substance use disorder and other health problems. In order to better care for the array of problems experienced by patients with substance use disorders clinicians must acknowledge  their own limitations in knowledge and resources and look to ensure other expertise and skills are brought to the care of these patients.  Only with multispecialty, multidisciplinary and multiagency approaches to health care are we likely to offer appropriate and efficacious treatment. Given the range of co-morbidities experienced by people with significant substance use disorders and the array of services required to meet these challenges, the health care system would benefit from formal processes of patient care that ensure multiple co-morbidities that impact on each other are addressed in a timely fashion.  Such processes are needed to achieve substantial changes in health outcomes for this patient population.

Stephen Link

Stephen Ling

Stephen Ling is a member of Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) and is an accredited drug and alcohol nurse. He has worked primarily for the Consultation Liaison Drug and Alcohol Service at John Hunter Hospital for the last 17 years, nine of those as an endorsed Nurse Practitioner. In that role he has been involved in the development of a drug and alcohol in pregnancy service and in a combined drug and alcohol and complex pain clinic in addition to running his own outpatient clinic.

He was the first endorsed Nurse Practitioner in Drug and Alcohol in Australia. Stephen holds a Conjoint Teaching position with the University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine. He has presented to both National and International forums and published on substance use, alcohol withdrawal, the role of nurses in the drug and alcohol field and on the role of the Nurse Practitioner. He has been involved in reviews of drug and alcohol related management guidelines for New South Wales Health. He is the nurse prescriber for a nurse-led opiate maintenance clinic at the Newcastle Opiate Treatment Service as an accredited opiate maintenance treatment prescriber one half day each week.

For further information please visit the conference website​.


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