Education & Events

A4PN Community of Practice events

A4PN’s Community of Practice events are multi-disciplinary educational events featuring presentations from expert speakers, including local Addiction Medicine Specialists.  These events are a fantastic opportunity for cross-sector networking and continuing professional development.


2020 Community of Practice events (repeating topics)

25 February 2020 – Bayside area (Register now! Limited places available)
5 May 2020 – Frankston
2 June 2020 – Doncaster


Event topic:  SafeScript: Tackling the Difficult Conversations

SafeScript presents an opportunity to reduce harms associated with high-risk medications, to promote quality use of medicines and to support patients with substance use disorders such as opioid dependence.  Join us to learn more about how to navigate the honest, and sometimes difficult, conversations which can make a significant difference to the lives and health outcomes of your patients.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify appropriate treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in the Primary Care Setting
  • Utilise evidence-based techniques to elicit behaviour change in patients identified through SafeScript
  • Apply strategies to have effective conversations with patients to address high-risk medication and/or substance use

 Topics and Speakers

  • Prescribing Suboxone to manage opioid dependence in primary care
    Dr Benny Monheit – Addiction Medicine Specialist at SouthCity Clinic, Alfred Health (Bayside session)
    Dr David Jacka – Addiction Medicine Specialist at Monash Drug and Alcohol Centre, Monash Health  (Frankston session)
  • Effective conversation strategies to address substance misuse
    Dr Ann Marie Diggins – GP and Area 4 Pharmacotherapy Network GP Mentor
  • SafeScript-related role-plays and case-based discussions
    Dr Ferghal Armstrong – GP and Addiction Medicine Registrar at Turning Point, Eastern Health

Bayside session details:

Date:                 25 February 2020
Time:                7–9pm event program, 6.30pm–7pm registration and light catering
Venue:              To be confirmed (Bayside area)
Cost:                  Free
Audience:        GPs, pharmacists, practice managers & nurses, Nurse Practitioners, allied health professionals, AOD workers
CPD points:    RACGP: 4 Category 2 points (Activity ID 171346). Pharmacists: Self record.


Please contact to find out more about upcoming events.


Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training for prescribers

MATOD prescriber training consists of two parts: Module 1 and Module 2.


Module 1 – A two-hour online training available at MATOD Module 1 – Safer Opioid Prescribing, also titled Safer Opioid Prescribing. This can be completed at any time.

With the implementation of SafeScript, Victorian prescribers can now more readily identify patients receiving opioids and other high-risk medicines in high doses or combinations that may cause harm.

MATOD Module 1 focuses on evidence-based practice and consultation approaches that help prevent, identify and manage problems arising from opioid prescribing.

This activity is an interactive two hour session presented by MATOD specialist GPs and is accredited for 4 Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points for the 2020-22 triennium..

Module 2 – blended format

Upon completing Module 1, prescribers can register for Module 2, which enables them to prescribe methadone or Suboxone to patients with opioid use disorder, as part of their treatment planning.

Module 2 is now delivered via a blended approach, consisting of Part A (2-hour online) and Part B (4-hour face-to-face) . On completion of Module 1, participants will undertake two hours of education online prior to attending the four hour face-to-face workshop.

Eligibility criteria to attend Module 2:

  • Completion of online Module 1
  • Treating patients in Victoria
  • Registered with AHPRA prior to registering for this session.

Module 2 – Part A (two hour online)

In this online education component, participants will learn about opioid use disorder and the pharmacology of buprenorphine and methadone.

Module 2 – Part B (four hour face-to-face)

This four-hour interactive session on case based discussions is presented by MATOD specialist GPs.

Learning outcomes:

1. Assess patients presenting with problematic opioid use.
2. Outline the criteria for the diagnosis of Opioid Use Disorder
3. Address the legislative requirements relating to prescribing of buprenorphine and methadone.
4. Implement opioid and methadone prescribing as part of a broader Opioid Use Disorder management plan.
5. Describe MATOD-related referral and support pathways.

2020 dates for Module 2 (Part B) training:

Saturday 22nd February – RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Sunday 22nd March – Sale (venue TBC)
Saturday 18th April – Ringwood (venue TBC)
Sunday 24th May – Geelong (venue TBC)
Saturday 20th June – Frankston (venue TBC)
Sunday 26th July – Ararat (venue TBC)
Sunday 15th August – RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne

Click here to register or contact RACGP Program Coordinator Kerrianne Singleton on or 8699 0468.



Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training for pharmacists:

PSA’s Victorian Opioid Pharmacotherapy Program

The aim of this training is to provide pharmacists and pharmacy support staff with the relevant knowledge, skills and tools required to identify those who would benefit from pharmacotherapy, engage in a discussion of the benefits of the program in a non-stigmatising manner and deliver a safe and consumer focused Opioid Replacement Therapy service in their pharmacy.

This is a Victorian State Government funded program and is FREE to all pharmacists and pharmacy staff in Victoria, regardless of membership with the PSA.

Click here to enroll or to find out more.



Project ECHO

The Victorian Opioid Management Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Hub is an initiative of the Victorian Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Networks.

This is a free learning and guided practice program on opioid management delivered via teleconferencing sessions.   The program sessions are a blend of didactic learning and case-based discussion.  They are delivered live every Wednesday morning at 7.30am-8.30am and are led by the expert addiction specialist team from St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Practitioners who present cases receive take-home recommendations for their patient and all participants receive knowledge they can apply in their practice. Sessions are run as friendly, open environments, with an ‘All-teach, All-learn’ philosophy.

The sessions are delivered entirely by video-conferencing technology. All you need to access a session is a web-enabled device with a camera and microphone (virtually all modern devices, including smart phones) and a broadband connection. Full support is available to get you connected.

This Project aims to bring specialist knowledge and support in opioid management to health professionals in Victoria.  The project has been driven by the three rural Pharmacotherapy Networks as a means of supporting generalist practitioners in rural areas, but is available to all Victorian prescribers and clinicians.

To register or to learn more, visit the ECHO page on the Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Network (PABN) website:


More information about the ECHO model is available here:

ECHO intro video (1min 30sec):

Queensland Health intro video (1min 20sec):

TEDx talk by the ECHO founder, Sanjeev Arora:

Queensland Health presentation by ECHO founder, Sanjeev Arora:




Meducate Opioid Stewardship online modules – free training for GPs and pharmacists

Prescription medicines kill more people than the road toll. This statistic reminds us of how opioid stewardship is now as relevant and as necessary as antibiotic stewardship.  This online training identifies three stages in patient care during which opioid prescribing can be an issue:

-Initiation of opioids in acute pain
-Initiation of opioids in chronic pain
-Management of patients already prescribed high dose opioids

Click here to access the Meducate Opioid Stewardship Modules.