21 May 2024

Tasmanian Government releases drug strategy as blueprint to addressing harm

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Tasmanian Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Guy Barnett and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council CEO Dr Jackie Hallam. Photo: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council.

Tasmanian Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Guy Barnett has launched the State Government’s Tasmanian Drug Strategy 2024-2029.

The government says the strategy takes a health-focused, strengths-based approach to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use, and provides a framework that will encourage collaborative action and activities across agencies, organisations and the community.

Minister Barnett said the vision of the Tasmanian Drug Strategy was for a Tasmania that was inclusive and safe for all people, without stigma and discrimination.

“We recognise that some people are at greater risk of harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use and may need targeted supports to improve or maintain their health and wellbeing, and we want to ensure Tasmanians who need help can get it,” he said.

“The Tasmanian Drug Strategy is consistent with the harm minimisation approach of the National Drug Strategy 2017-2026 and will support actions under the three pillars of supply, demand and harm reduction.

“We acknowledge the important contribution of people with lived experience of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use in the development of the strategy.

“Their input has informed the actions we will take to ensure Tasmanians can access appropriate, timely, effective and quality services and supports.

“Key focus areas are prevention, intervention and treatment, and the evidence base in relation to alcohol, tobacco, vaping/e-cigarettes, pharmaceutical drugs, and illicit drugs.”

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Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council CEO Dr Jackie Hallam said the strategy was an important document that could provide leadership on how to address harms across Tasmania.

“As we move forward, there are abundant opportunities in the Tasmanian Drug Strategy to draw on the latest evidence and listen to those who are directly affected to fund the services that help Tasmanians who need support for alcohol or drug use,” she said.

Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the strategy will be undertaken by the Tasmanian Drug Strategy Advisory Group through the government’s Interagency Drug Policy Committee, which has representation across government and the community sector through the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council Tasmania.

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