National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 Roundtable Consultation Report

6 Emerging Issues

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The roundtables participants were asked to consider and discuss the following questions:

All roundtable discussions raised the increasing misuse of prescription medicines as an issue of concern, particularly with respect to the increased incidence of poly-pharmacy, increasing client complexity (presenting with several co-existing conditions); and the low level of knowledge about pharmaceutical medicines use in Indigenous communities.

Participants identified that increasing numbers of people with alcohol and drug issues are presenting with a range of complex needs – including mental illness, hepatitis C, family relationship breakdown, domestic violence, homelessness and other health, social and economic issues, which is increasing demands for case co-ordination and management across the various sectors. This was consistent with a recurring theme related to improved service integration across the various sectors.

Participants noted that the internet presents both an opportunity and a challenge in relation to the NDS. It was noted that use of social networking sites is providing a means for acquiring equipment to establish “suburban laboratories”. It was also acknowledged that the internet provides an increasing source of information on drugs, which is leading to greater drug experimentation and is also providing increased access to both licit and illicit drugs.

In terms of opportunities, participants noted that the internet also provides a great opportunity for providing education and information to specific and sometimes hard to reach target groups (such as youth) and those working in the sector.

Other emerging issues and concerns were raised about the following: