29 Nov 2010
Submission by Professor John Toumbourou (Deakin University)
Introduction and Mission
I wish to commend the draft National Drug Strategy 2010–2015 as a well considered and valuable policy document. In what follows I make only minor comments.
P. 10 “Some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations have higher rates of, or are at higher risk of drug misuse”. I recommend altering this sentence as it is misleading. It should make clear that non-Australian birth and non-English language background are typically protective factors associated with lower alcohol and drug use in the Australian population.
P11. Successes of the National Drug Strategy. This section could make clearer that the many positive changes would have been unlikely to occur without coordinated strategic action. Many strategic policies were not initially popular and in some cases such as such as the reductions in tobacco use were opposed by vested interests.
The Pillars: Harm reduction
P 27. In my view the following sentence does not capture the current policy. “However, emerging health evidence highlights the importance of delaying introduction to alcohol as long as possible.” I recommend the sentence be modified as follows. “However, based on current health evidence Australian health guidelines advise against underage alcohol use and encourage delaying introduction as long as possible.”
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