Alcohol & drugs education & training

The Women's provides pregnancy care and counselling for pregnant women with drug and alcohol issues. 

Our Women's Alcohol and Drug Service (WADS) offers state wide professional education and training and secondary consultation. To complement the annual training calendar, tailored training programs can be arranged to meet your organisations specific needs. 

All sessions are conducted by the Women's Alcohol and Drug Service team; experienced practising health professionals with qualifications in midwifery, social work and psychology. They also hold postgraduate qualifications in drug and alcohol work and professional training. 

To allow us to design an appropriate session, please complete the training request form indicating which topics will best meet your needs. The training co-ordinator will contact you when this information is received.

Although our training courses are free, bookings are essential. As places are limited, if you can't attend please call to cancel your place and allow others to attend. Refreshments are not provided at face-to-face training sessions but there is a cafeteria available onsite. Transport options and parking


2020 training sessions

We are using ECHO to bring clinicians specialist knowledge and support in the management of women using drugs and alcohol during the perinatal period.

ECHO means Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. Project ECHO is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionises medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities.

About teleECHO sessions

Our teleECHO sessions are:

  • free to access
  • delivered during live video sessions, accessed easily via Zoom software
  • a blend of didactic and case-based learning
  • facilitated by our expert hub team and attended by participants from sites all over Victoria
  • multi-disciplinary in nature and underpinned by an ‘All Teach, All Learn’ philosophy.

Each session includes a short didactic presentation.  

Case presentations by participating clinicians are a cornerstone of the ECHO model. All participants are encouraged to present a case they are working with and would like to discuss with the Hub and other participants. Case studies can be at any time in the perinatal period but must be related to alcohol and drug use.  Case presentations do not need to be related to the didactic. The reasoning behind this is to encourage participants to present a current case where they would benefit from the expertise of other health professionals. Presentations are always followed by an open Q&A and discussion, with takeaway recommendations by our specialist team.

All ECHO sessions contribute to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Clinicians attending a session will be presented with a certificate for one hour of CPD and where a case is presented, two hours of CPD. This arrangement has been approved by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Certificates will be emailed to participants following the completion of the evaluation.

Any health practitioner with an interest in maternity services is welcome to attend and take an active part in any session. Participants can also submit de-identified patient cases using our standard case-presentation template, for the hub team to consider for presentation at a session.

Our specialist team

Our specialist team hub at the Women’s includes addiction medicine specialists, social workers, midwives, psychiatrists, and other allied health.

Upcoming teleECHO sessions

Effect of cannabis on the infant and beyond
Date: Tuesday 8 September, 2020
Time: 10am-11am
Presented by: Dr Anna Tottman, Consultant Neonatologist, The Royal Women’s Hospital
Opioid pharmacotherapy in pregnancy
Date: Tuesday 6 October, 2020
Time: 10am-11am
Presented by:  A/Prof Yvonne Bonomo, Addiction Medicine Physician, Director of Addiction Medicine, The Royal Women’s Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Perinatal depression
Date: Tuesday 20 October, 2020
Time: 10am-11am
Presented by: Dr Celeste Hoopman, Consultant psychiatrist, WADS
Long term effects of opioid exposure during pregnancy on the child and adult
Date: Tuesday10 November, 2020
Time: 2pm-3pm
Presented by: Dr Anna Tottman, Neonatologist, WADS
Early attachment and AOD
Date: Tuesday 24 November, 2020
Time: 10am-11am
Presented by: Dr Emily Brennan, Consultant Psychiatrist, The Royal Women’s Hospital
Motivational interviewing
Date: Tuesday 8 December, 2020
Time: 2pm-3pm
Presented by: Suzanne Hanrahan, Social Worker, WADS
Alcohol & drugs education & training


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