The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team is readily available to help journalists with their media enquiries, with a range of spokespeople available to share their expertise on different alcohol and drug related issues. Delivering harm prevention programs nationally, the ADF also has access to a range of real lived experience and human stories.
For more information please contact our Media and Stakeholder Manager:
03 9611 6104 or 0430 948 380
The Federal Government and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) have today announced a further 40 Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) across Australia to help prevent harms from alcohol and other drugs, including crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’).
This brings the total number of LDATs around Australia to 80.
The Federal Government will provide each team with an initial $10,000 and will be supported by the ADF to develop and deliver community led action plans. Importantly, each of these projects focus on preventing drug use, and is tailored to the particular needs of individual communities.
The LDAT program is part of the Federal Government’s investment of $298 million over four years under the National Ice Action Strategy to help local communities prevent drug misuse. By 2020, there will be up to 220 LDATs across the nation, with a particular focus on remote, regional and at-risk communities.
The ADF’s Head of Program Delivery Allan Murphy congratulates the latest successful applicants.
“We acknowledge that every community is different and with government support the Alcohol and Drug Foundation assists Local Drug Action Teams to build on local strengths and knowledge to create a community-owned culture of alcohol and other drug harm prevention”, Allan said.
“By working on the ground, these community partnerships deliver evidence-informed social change activities that help prevent harm from alcohol and other drugs, including ‘ice’”, he said.
The LDAT program builds the capacity of communities and encourages local groups to look at opportunities within their region and start building or extend partnerships to work together to tackle alcohol and other drug issues facing their local areas.
The third round of LDAT applications will open in late 2017, with more opportunities to be part of the program in 2018 and 2019.
For more information about the LDAT program please visit www.adf.org.au/ldat or call the ADF’s Media and Stakeholder Manager Carmel Green on 0430 948 380.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is urging Victorian MPs to show leadership and compassion by voting in favour of piloting a medically supervised injecting centre (MSIC) in North Richmond.
A parliamentary committee report released today outlines compelling evidence in support of an MSIC in North Richmond, which had 34 preventable deaths around the area last year alone.
“Failure to support a pilot medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond would be bewildering given the indisputable evidence that it would save many lives, and the overwhelming expert support for a trial,” ADF CEO John Rogerson said.
An MSIC is urgently needed in North Richmond. Too many lives are being lost – the evidence is incontrovertible, overdose victims could still be alive today if they had access to a medically supervised injecting centre.
The MSIC in Sydney’s Kings Cross has been a huge success. Since opening in 2001, staff have successfully managed around 6,000 overdoses without any fatalities.
The parliamentary committee heard about the important role an MSIC in North Richmond would play in referring users to health and social services. Many users struggle with mental health issues and take drugs to deal with traumatic events like abuse, family problems or the loss of a loved one.
“A medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond would play a key role in providing support for people going through a really hard time, kick-starting their recovery journey,” Mr Rogerson said.
The parliamentary committee was also given evidence that an MSIC would improve the safety of Richmond. Crime has not increased in the Kings Cross area since the establishment of the MSIC there. A medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond would see fewer used syringes lying on the streets.
“The evidence shows that a medically supervised injecting centre would not just help people battling addictions, it would also improve the lives of local residents. It’s a win-win situation,” Mr Rogerson said.
“Failing to trial a medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond ignores the well-being of drug users, the concerns of residents and the advice of many health experts.”
“Enough is enough! Richmond’s drug problem has been going on for decades. Our politicians need to show leadership and get on with fixing the problem. We’re merely asking for a trial of a medically supervised injecting centre. Why not try something that we know saves lives?”
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has created an executive summary of evidence that was put to the Inquiry into the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is calling for greater public education about the dangers of prescription drug use.
The ABC’s Lateline program highlighted the issue in last night’s show, discussing the rising rates of prescription opioid addiction in Australia and the US.
“People are at risk of serious harm – and they don’t even know it,” said Julie Rae, the ADF’s National Program Manager – Knowledge and Information.
“We’re talking about your mums, dads, construction workers, healthy individuals. Average Australians are dying from these addictive medications. Most shockingly, the majority of overdoses are accidental, which means they could have been prevented.”
“Chronic pain, anxiety, stress, trauma and insomnia are all very serious conditions but are often treated long-term with addictive medicine like pain killers or relaxant-type medications.”
“Strong painkillers – like codeine, Oxycontin™ and Endone™ – help a lot of Australians manage intense pain after surgery or dental work. But they are also opioids, just like heroin, and they can be fatal.”
Ms Rae says that many Australians do not know that opioids are specifically designed to treat pain in the short-term only.
“The scary thing is, almost half of all prescriptions handed out in Australia are not for treating these conditions. People are using opioids for everything from the common headache to dealing with a bad day at work.”
“We need to get the message out that legal drugs can be harmful if overused.”
“GPs need better training in pain management, particularly for advising their patients of alternatives to medication, such as counselling and lifestyle changes, and all states and territories must implement the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs system to prevent prescription shopping.”
For more information download our Prevention Research report “Is there a pill for that?”
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has won the Prevention and Education Award at the 2017 Alcohol and other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards in Canberra tonight.
The prestigious Awards, which acknowledge the work of individuals and organisations within the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector, are supported by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and the Australian Government.
NDARC runs the Climate Schools programs, which are innovative, online, school-based courses designed to prevent alcohol, cannabis and psychostimulant use. The highly effective programs reduce the uptake and harmful use of AOD for up to three years following the interventions. They are now available in schools world-wide.
ADF CEO, John Rogerson, said: ‘These Awards recognise the commitment, hard work and passion of those in the AOD sector.’
‘A lot of work is done by many anonymous people within the AOD sector. It is very important we shine the spotlight on the significant contribution that organisations like NDARC make.’
‘We congratulate everyone who entered the Awards. Choosing a winner is always a difficult decision because of the high calibre of entrants and this year we received a record number of nominations.’
There were nine categories in the 2017 Alcohol and other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards:
Local leaders across Australia are being encouraged to create a community-owned approach to reduce the harm from alcohol and other drugs, including Ice, that is relevant to their local area.
The second round of the national Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) Program is now open for community groups to join the 40 partnerships already in place.
The LDAT program is an initiative under the Australian Government’s $298 million investment over four years under the National Ice Action Strategy.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) will provide resources to help deliver evidence-informed social change activities that strengthen protective factors to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs, including Ice.
Successful LDATs will receive a minimum of $10,000 to support the further development of their Community Action Plan (CAP) and/or on-the-ground prevention activities. A community action plan provides the basis for coordinated collaborative efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug related harm.
All LDATs with an approved CAP in place will be invited to apply for additional funding between $10,000 and $40,000 per annum to support the prevention activities and priorities identified in their plan.
‘Every community is different, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why the Australian Government established this program to empower grass roots organisations to tailor their work to their area’ said ADF Head of Program Delivery Allan Murphy.
‘Education and employment opportunities, social disadvantage and isolation are some of the factors that contribute to drug use, particularly in regional areas. This program supports community leaders from health, Councils, health and welfare, youth, police, Indigenous leaders and business to join together and with other organisations as one cohesive group’ he said.
More information about the LDAT program here
More Australians are dying from pharmaceutical overdoses than all illegal drugs combined
The number of people dying after using the most common form of opioid painkiller – codeine – has doubled in the past decade
Most overdoses are accidental – and often the result of misuse such as mixing alcohol with medications or mixing medications
Pharmaceutical overdoses are overtaking our national road toll
A growing number of Australians are dependent on addictive pharmaceutical medication but have no idea they are hooked or putting their lives at risk.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) has today released a hard-hitting campaign in a bid to save lives, as research reveals the majority of overdoses are accidental.
In a series of powerful videos, everyday Australians reveal how they nearly lost everything after battling dependency to addictive medications.
The ADF has also released its Prevention Research report “Is there a pill for that?” which reveals the shocking truth behind a nation dependent on quick fixes.
“People are at risk of serious harm – and they don’t even know it. The average Australian is dying from these addictive medications,” said ADF spokesperson Ilka Burnham-King.
“But the most shocking finding is how many overdoses were accidental – which means they could have been prevented,” said Ms Burnham-King.
“Chronic pain, anxiety, stress, trauma and insomnia are all very serious conditions but are often treated long-term with addictive medicine like painkillers or relaxant-type medications.
“Strong painkillers – like codeine, Oxycontin™ and Endone™ – help a lot of Australians manage intense pain after surgery or dental work. But they are also opioids, just like heroin, and they can be fatal.
“The scary thing is, almost half of all prescriptions handed out in Australia are not for treating these conditions. People are using opioids for everything from the common headache to dealing with a bad day at work.
“Many Australians do not know that opioids are specifically designed only for short-term use.
“The number of people dying after using the most common form of opioid – codeine – has doubled in the past decade. In fact, in Victoria more people die from a codeine overdose than heroin.
“Medications like Valium™ and Diazepam™ can be used to help people deal with short periods of very intense stress, anxiety, or trauma. But just like the painkillers, they are addictive, and don’t actually treat the root cause of the problem.
“It’s time Australia took action to change its’ pill-popping culture and that’s why we are launching our campaign today called, Are you taking a risk?”
Dr Hester Wilson: Medical practitioner and an expert in addictive medication
Soula Mantalvanos: Overcame her dependency to both pain and strong relaxant medication
Chris Phillips: Overcame his pain medication dependency after a serious accident
Anna McMahon: Mother who lost her son to a prescription overdose
Media enquiries: 0430 948 380