Community groups across the region are joining forces under a Turnbull Government plan to tackle the scourge of ice, drugs and alcohol at a grass-roots level, delivering support to help those battling drug and alcohol addiction.
In the latest offensive, the next 40 Local Drug Action Teams (LDAT) have been announced to tackle the challenges being faced by their community caused by ice and other drugs.
The Colac Otway Schools and Community Together group (led by Colac Area Health) and the Geelong Drug Action Network (led by Barwon Child Youth and Family) will both receive an initial $10,000 in funding to deliver support services across our region. Both groups will be focussing on connecting their community and developing an action plan to prevent alcohol and drug harm.
Across Australia, more than 300 partnerships have been formed between local councils, service providers, schools, police, sporting groups and non-government organisations to bring these teams together to prevent and reduce the harms of drugs.
Over the next three years, 220 LDATs will be established across the country and supported by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation to develop locally focused and responsive action plans to reduce the impact of drugs, with a particular focus on the drug ice.
The Turnbull Government is providing $19.2m for the program which will support teams to delivering local health promotion, community-led education and mentoring programs, early intervention and prevention programs, and providing support for vulnerable people to minimise their risk of alcohol and other drug related harms.
This initiative is part of the Government’s $298m investment over four years to combat illicit drug and alcohol use through the National Ice Action Strategy.
We know a community response to an issue like drug and alcohol misuse is one of the best ways to effectively prevent and reduce the harms caused by drugs.
We must also continue to stop these drugs entering Australia and we have already made significant investments in policing our borders and our streets to combat the supply of ice.
The AFP has seized over 12 tonnes of methamphetamine since January 2013. This included a 903kg haul of ice which was discovered in April this year – Australian largest methamphetamine seizure.
The roll out of LDATs was a key action under the National Ice Action Strategy in response to the recommendations of the National Ice Taskforce, to increase community engagement and action to reduce the harms of drugs.
The first 40 LDAT’s rolled out in April this year and delivered local drug and alcohol forums for parents and students, mentoring and professional training for at-risk young people, school based reduction programs, and promoted the role of local sporting clubs.
Interested community groups can apply for the next application round, which opens in late 2017.
Information can be found on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website www.adf.org.au/ldat
22 September 2017