The federal government and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) have announced a Local Drug Action Team for Redlands to help prevent harms from alcohol and other drugs, including crystal methamphetamine (ice).
This community partnership is one of 40 selected in the second round of the Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) program, bringing the total number of LDATs around Australia to 80. It is being led by The Cage Youth Foundation, working with a number of partner organisations, including Family Drug Support and Redland Bay Discount Drug Store.
The Cage Youth Foundation Founding Director Linda Grieve said having an LDAT in the Redlands would provide information and support that was relevant to the area and its providers.
“We as with other areas, do have alcohol and other drug misuse that does have an negative impact on many within our community. We have seen with our years of working within the local community that a LDAT will have a significant role in providing local support to families impacted by others misuse,” Ms Grieve said.
She said one of the first duties would be to assist with raising awareness and providing relevant information and forums to the local community.
“Gathering local research to create statistics about alcohol and drug abuse in the Redlands would be a first step on our LDAT working plan,” she said.
“It is still early days with the announcement just being made but we do have a working plan , which involves initial community engagement and community forums and the establishment of Redlands LDAT consortia consisting of other lead service providers. The team would comprise a range of local service providers and members of the community.”
The Redlands Local Drug Action Team will receive an initial $10,000 from the Federal Government and will be supported by the ADF to develop and deliver community led action plans.
The LDAT’s work will centre on engaging young people to provide appropriate education and build resilience. Through partnerships, this LDAT will be leading community consultation to develop an evidence-based primary prevention focussed project.
The group will provide support; information and education to those impacted by others drug use. The Local Drug Action Team will provide counselling and inclusion in support groups, whilst providing a safe and nurturing venue for people to seek support,” Federal member Andrew Laming said.
“By increasing community awareness of drug issues we hope to make the Redlands a better, safer place to live and the worst place for drug dealers.”
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Queensland State Manager, Nicole Little said the Redlands Local Drug Action Team would play a key role in preventing harms from alcohol and other drugs in the area.
“Through partnerships, LDATs plan and deliver on-the-ground prevention projects tailored to the needs of local communities,” she said.
“Developing and delivering local solutions is vital in addressing harms from alcohol and other drugs, including crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’),” she added.
The ADF congratulates all of the successful applicants in round two of the LDAT program. The program builds the capacity of communities and encourages local groups to look at opportunities within their region and start building or extend partnerships to better tackle alcohol and other drug issues facing their local areas.
Federal member Andrew Laming said the LDAT program was part of the Federal Government’s investment of $298 million over four years under the National Ice Action Strategy, to help local communities prevent drug misuse.
By 2020, there will be up to 220 LDATs across the nation, with a particular focus on remote, regional and at risk communities.
“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,” he said.
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 Local Drug Action teams 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,” said Andrew.
Interested community groups can apply for the next application round, which opens in late 2017. More on adf.org.au/ldat