The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) advocates for strong and healthy communities. Supported by the latest evidence, we advocate for change in policy and practice within government, business and society. This includes government reform on policy, funding or regulation changes involving alcohol and other drugs.
Outlined here is the ADF’s position on some of today’s top issues around alcohol and other drugs.
Taxation of alcohol is a key way for government to impact the price of alcohol. And, the cost of alcohol is one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol-related harms.
Find out about Australia’s two disparate alcohol taxation systems and the arguments for reform, which have the potential to remove the inconsistency in alcohol taxation that produces certain low-cost, high alcohol content products.
The rapid uptake of vaping (e-cigarettes) and the time required to research its effects means that the market for vaping products is moving faster than the research can keep up.
Currently researchers, public health organisations, manufacturers and supporters of e-cigarettes all note that not vaping is the safest option. Vaping any substance carries some risk.
Learn more about vaping, different vaping devices, issues and risks and the need for further research to determine the full impact of its uses.
Updated position: April 2023
Position statement: Update_April23_Vaping_Position
Position statement: Vaping_Adf Position Paper
Products mimicking alcohol
Product(s) mimicking alcohol are ultra-low alcohol and no alcohol content products that feature the branding of established alcohol companies, and/or are designed to imitate the flavour, packaging, or overall appearance of alcohol products.
There is currently limited evidence available on the impact of these products. While, for some adults, the impact may be neutral or even positive, there are concerns around potential negative impacts on people under 18 that make taking preventative action now important to avoid these potential harms occurring.
Read about the potential risks and steps to avoid them in this Position Paper.
MDMA for clinical use is produced to a pharmaceutical standard. A regulated dose is administered for specific conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in a controlled and supportive setting by trained mental health professionals with specialised MDMA-assisted psychotherapy training. Find out about the latest research and considerations for use in Australia.
Medicinal cannabis products
Medicinal cannabis products are made, derived, or synthesised from the cannabis plant and used under medical supervision to treat a range of health
conditions. While there is understandable public interest in emerging cannabis medicines, some challenges remain in prescribing and accessing medicinal cannabis products in Australia.
Find out more about different medicinal cannabis products, how they work, the challenges and current Australian regulations and guidelines.
Medically assisted therapy for opioid dependence
Medically assisted therapy for opioid dependence saves lives.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports the use of opioid replacement therapy as an effective, evidence-based treatment for people with an opioid use disorder.
Determining whether opioid replacement therapy is the best treatment option is critical as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to effective treatment.
Find out more about this treatment option, how it works, its benefits and barriers.
Supervised injecting facilities
Supervised injecting facilities are dedicated spaces where illicit drugs can be used under the supervision of health care professionals. These services are a harm reduction response to individual and community concerns regarding public injecting, and the severe and chronic harms of drug use.
Find out more about the aims of safe injecting facilities, the different models of operation and their components.
Methamphetamine exposure and remediation in dwellings
Methamphetamine contamination can occur in a building where the drug has been produced and residue from manufacturing chemicals and the drug remains.
Find out why it is an issue and read about the recommendations and guidelines for testing and cleaning properties where a suspected or confirmed underground laboratory has been operating.
Position statement: Methamphetamine exposure and remediation in dwellings_ADF Position Paper
Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an overarching phrase used for a range of diagnoses related to alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The range and severity of FASD differs from case to case with the signs and symptoms developing in various degrees from birth to adulthood.
This paper explores the evidence linking FASD with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and prevention strategies, as well as challenges including diagnosis and stigma.
Alcohol advertising and sponsorship
The public health sector has significant concerns about alcohol marketing, especially its impact on youth. It contributes to young people’s attitudes towards drinking, starting drinking and drinking at harmful levels.
Australians are exposed to an extensive amount of alcohol advertising through a variety of avenues including sponsorships, and social and digital platforms.
The issues of alcohol advertising and alcohol sponsorships are heavily intertwined. They expose children and adults to imagery and product-associated placement that can make it hard for the consumer to recognise the difference between sponsorship and advertising.
Restrictions on alcohol marketing and promotion have been identified as an important intervention to reduce alcohol related harms.
The issues are explored in detail in this comprehensive 2-in-1 position paper.
People who have had direct experience with alcohol or other drugs are sometimes referred to as ‘people with lived experience’.
This paper explores the role of people with lived experience in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector, including in AOD treatment and schools.
Parents, carers and guardians can help children to avoid drug and alcohol use. They play an important role in developing a child’s positive social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being for later life.
As children are growing up, find out what actions can be taken to promote the parent-child relationship as a protective factor for alcohol and other drugs.
Community-led and community-based prevention
Communities can play an important role in addressing and contributing to effective responses to local alcohol and other drug issues.
Learn about the differences between community-led and community-based prevention models, factors for success, the pros and cons and evidence from both Australian and international case studies.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are databases that track prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs of potential extra-medical use and/or drugs with a high risk of dependence or overdose, such as opioid-based pain relief.
A number of PMDPs have been introduced internationally, including a real-time prescription monitoring program, known as SafeScript. This is also available in Victoria.
Learn more about the issue and various models for delivery in place around the world.
Drug Education in Schools
Contemporary and effective school-based drug education explores students’ values, attitudes, knowledge and skills with the aim of improving their capacity to make healthier decisions about using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Find out more about why it is important and what programs are effective, or ineffective, in Australia.
Minimum Unit Price
A minimum unit price (MUP), also known as a ‘floor price’, establishes a price per standard drink below which alcohol cannot be sold. The effectiveness of increasing alcohol prices in the community has been tested in some short-term policy initiatives in the Northern Territory and is a subject of current debate.
Drug Law reform / Decriminalisation
Decriminalisation is a policy under which drug supply remains illegal but the criminal penalties for drug possession and personal use are removed and/or replaced with civil penalties such as fines or diversion programs (referral to education or treatment programs).
Find out more abou
Pill testing (otherwise known as drug checking, drug testing or drug safety testing) is a harm reduction intervention that aims to engage people who possess, and intend to use drugs. It offers chemical analysis of the drug, together with information and education and, in some instances, peer counselling and individualised medical advice.
Find out more about what it is, how it works, the evidence base and the current situation in Australia.