PRINT

Media

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:

Carmel Green
03 9611 6104 or 0430 948 380
adf.media@adf.org.au

Recent media releases

23 June 2017 - Prescription drug dangers

Australia’s most dangerous drugs are from the doctors, not the dealers

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 codeineOxycontin™ 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?”

Media release PDF

16 June 2017 - Prevention program wins national drug award

Prevention program wins national drug award

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:

  • The Prime Minister’s Award
  • National Honour Roll
  • Prevention and Education
  • Treatment and Support
  • Reduction of Harm
  • Research
  • Media Reporting
  • First Australians
  • Law Enforcement and Supply Reduction

Media release PDF

01 June 2017 - LDAT round 2 launch

Local community action to support national drug response

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

Media release PDF

20 February 2017 - Addictive pharmaceuticals

Research shows addictive pharmaceuticals Australia’s fastest growing drug problem

  • 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?

Key statistics

  • Deaths from overdose of pharmaceuticals have doubled in a decade, with Australians aged 40 to 49 at greatest risk
  • More Australians are dying from pharmaceutical overdoses than from all illicit drugs combined.
  • About 70 per cent of prescription deaths were accidental
  • In Victoria, 358 people died from pharmaceutical overdoses in 2015, compared to 227 from illegal drug overdoses and 257 in road accidents
  • The greatest increase in pharmaceutical misuse is among men in their 30s and women in their 40s
  • More than 200,000 Australians are misusing over-the-counter codeine. The majority are well educated, employed and not illegal drug users
  • Prescriptions for strong painkillers have increased from half a million in 1992 to 7.5 million in 2012

Talent available for interview:

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

Media release PDF

Helpful resources