Alcohol and other drug (AOD) harms are entrenched in our community. They result both from individual lifestyle choices, and how we ‘organise’ our society. While we’re all ultimately responsible for our personal choices around tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical and illegal substance use, community prevention acknowledges that our behaviour is influenced by our social environment, and is therefore very powerful in reducing these harms.
In short, we are stronger and more effective in reducing AOD harms when we act together rather than acting alone.
Community members know their communities best and have a huge advantage in affecting change. Whether a community is defined by a geographical area, religion, cultural background, language or just shared interests, the people within a community are essential to preventing AOD harm. It’s easy to think this type of prevention is something only governments or researchers can influence and participate in, but prevention is far more democratic than that.
Many of the examples on this site are drawn from communities, led by communities, and informed by their members.
They highlight the difference that can be made when a community comes together to address a problem.
Research shows that creating connected communities is one of the keys to preventing alcohol and drug problems. In these communities people feel valued, supported and purposeful.
We’re stronger when we work together. Collaboration and learning from others is important. We want communities and individuals to feel supported to work for prevention in their local area. We want local leaders to have the skills and tools to create the change they want to see. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports those working to build strong communities by providing the evidence-based resources to drive effective change.