National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 Roundtable Consultation Report
There was agreement within the roundtable discussions of the need for a set of actions to be directly aligned to the objectives and give greater specificity and clearer directions for the sub-strategies and the approaches to be undertaken within each jurisdiction. This was seen by many participants as leading to greater accountability on behalf of those responsible for implementation by reporting on outcomes achieved.
The roundtable participants felt that a focus on the social determinants of health and wellbeing at all levels of engagement across the spectrum of promotion, prevention and intervention would increase the effectiveness of the NDS. There were calls for the strategies to give consideration to a ‘whole of life’ perspective that supports the community context of alcohol and other drug use that is relevant at any stage of life. This was driven by the views of many participants that to effectively treat and support someone with a drug dependency that it was important to also give consideration to the wide range of economic, social and health issues that they are also likely to be facing. .
At each roundtable there was a detailed discussion about the need for sub strategies to the NDS (e.g. alcohol, tobacco and prescription medicines). Some participants felt the existence of sub strategies diluted the value of the NDS, where as others felt it was important that detailed activities are best captured in strategies that sit under the NDS. In general participants did seek that the NDS provide more specific guidance in relation to sub strategies for alcohol, tobacco, other licit drugs and illicit drugs.
In devising a suite of sub-strategies under the NDS, participants outlined a range of issues that needed to be addressed within each sub strategy. These include but are not limited to:
- access to services;
- community understanding of the potential drug related harms;
- evidence based practice;
- research (including monitoring drug trends); and