26 September 2023

Health pops new plan to halt alcohol harm

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ACT Health is continuing its work to minimise harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) with the release of a new four-year action plan.

Welcoming the ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan 2022-2026, the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the plan outlined priorities and whole-of-sector actions for the next four years.

“It builds on the successes of the ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan 2018-2021 and provides direction to further strengthen policies and services,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“The ideas and feedback from people with lived experience, advocates, service providers and families has been key in developing this plan,” she said.

“The plan recognises that all stakeholders must work collaboratively to ensure a coordinated approach to service planning and delivery.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the new Action Plan would see the establishment of a multidisciplinary service to support young people who had mental health needs co-occurring with trauma, disability and/or drug and alcohol use.

She said it also included a review of relevant legislation to ensure current arrangements contributed to minimising harm; work towards establishing a supervised injecting service; the establishment of a formal ACT ATOD peer worker network; and potential pathways to formal qualifications ATOD Peer Support Work.

“People who use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can be significantly disadvantaged,” the Minister said.

“This plan identifies certain population groups who are at higher risk of experiencing disproportionate harms associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs,” she said.

“The plan includes tailored initiatives that have been developed to support people with complex needs, people in contact with the criminal justice system and young people who are more susceptible to risky behaviour.”

ACT Health’s 30-page Action Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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