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24/07/2017 10:20 AM53801319

The new National Drug Strategy 2017-2026 represents the agreement of both federal and state governments on the national drug policy priorities for the next ten years. It aims to build safe, healthy and resilient Australian communities through preventing and minimising the harms of licit and illicit drugs to individuals, families and communities.

The Strategy has identified seven priority areas of focus for the next ten years:

    • Enhancing access to treatment
    • Developing data and research, and measuring outcomes
    • Developing new and innovative responses to prevent uptake, delay first use and reduce alcohol and other drug problems
    • Increasing participatory process
    • Reducing adverse consequences
    • Restricting availability
    • Improving national coordination.

The Strategy was informed by public and stakeholder consultations and reaffirms Australia's long-standing commitment to the principle of harm minimisation and a balanced approach to drug policy that focuses on harm reduction, demand reduction and supply reduction - which is yielding positive results.

A number of sub-strategies sit underneath the National Drug Strategy, including the National Ice Action Strategy and the National Alcohol Strategy (currently in development), which contain more specific initiatives and deliverables for government.  

Access the National Drug Strategy 2017 – 2019 online by clicking here

24/07/2017Release of the new National Drug Strategy 2017 - 2026
16/06/2017 9:55 AM53801319

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey is conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing every three years. The latest survey was conducted in 2016, from July to November. The Survey collected information from almost 24,000 Australians aged 14 years and over about their use of, and opinions about: alcohol; tobacco; and illicit drugs.

The latest Survey has found improvements in the alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use of young people, but little to no change in the drug use of older adults, with their use of some drugs increasing since 2013.  

Key findings from the survey:

Alcohol use:

  • Compared to 2013, fewer people in Australia drank alcohol in quantities that exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines in 2016 (17.1%, down from 18.2% in 2013). But there was no change in the proportion exceeding the single occasion risk guideline.
  • Young adults were drinking less—a significantly lower proportion of 18–24 year olds consumed 5 or more standard drinks on a monthly basis (from 47% in 2013 to 42% in 2016).
  • Fewer 12–17 year olds were drinking alcohol and the proportion abstaining from alcohol significantly increased from 2013 to 2016 (from 72% to 82%).
  • However, more people in their 50s were consuming 11 or more standard drinks in one drinking occasion in 2016 than in 2013.

Illicit drug use:

  • Declines were seen in recent use of some illegal drugs in 2016 including meth/amphetamines (from 2.1% to 1.4%), hallucinogens (1.3% to 1.0%), and synthetic cannabinoids (1.2% to 0.3%).
  • Overall, the most common recently used drugs were cannabis (10%), misuse of pharmaceuticals (5%), cocaine (3%), and ecstasy (2%).
  • The report shows that younger age groups (under 40) are less likely to have recently used illicit drugs than in the past, while those over 40 are more likely – up from 14% in 2013 to 16% in 2016.
  • People's perceptions of meth/amphetamines changed considerably between 2013 and 2016. Australians now consider meth/amphetamines to be more of concern than any other drug (including alcohol) and a greater number thought of it as the drug that caused the most deaths in Australia. For the first time, meth/amphetamines was the drug most likely to be nominated as a drug problem.

Tobacco smoking:

  • 12.2% of people aged 14 or over were daily smokers in 2016. While smoking rates have been on a long-term downward trend, for the first time in over two decades, the daily smoking rate did not significantly decline over the most recent 3 year period (2013 to 2016).

A more detailed report into the Survey's findings will be released later in 2017.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

9/06/2017Latest findings from the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey
27/06/2017 3:41 PMproge

​9 September is FASD day – a good time to remind pregnant women and all the community that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). A child born with FASD may have a range of problems including physical defects and a life-long challenge with learning, behaviour, memory, language, communication and everyday living.

The disabilities associated with FASD are permanent and preventable.

Go to for Women Want to Know brochures, videos and e-learning courses which encourage health professionals to routinely discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women and to provide advice that is consistent with the NHMRC Guidelines.

For Aboriginal Stay Strong and Healthy FASD videos and resources for community and health professionals go to and

9/09/2016FASD Day - 9 September 2017
17/10/2016 2:18 PMAdministrator

NSW Health is launching the Stay strong and healthy it’s worth it! Project resources across NSW. The resources and videos are designed to raise awareness among Aboriginal women and their partners and families of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and FASD.
A Stay Strong and Healthy video and guide for health professionals are also available.
The Stay Strong and Healthy Project complements the national ‘Women Want to Know’ alcohol and pregnancy awareness campaign designed for Australian women and health professionals.

What is FASD?

FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is a term to describe a group of conditions caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

A baby born with FASD can have life-long problems with learning, growth, behaviour, memory, language, communication and everyday living. A baby born with FASD may also have birth defects and facial abnormalities.

No alcohol during pregnancy and while breast feeding is best for your baby.

When a pregnant woman drinks, alcohol moves through her body (‘circulates’) in the bloodstream, and also enters the baby’s bloodstream in the same concentration. The alcohol can affect the development of the baby’s brain. There is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy and there is no known safe amount of alcohol.

It is never too late to stop drinking during your pregnancy.

If you have been drinking, try to safely stop as soon as you can to increase your chances of having a healthy baby. It can be dangerous to stop drinking abruptly so talk to your doctor or midwife. They can help you to safely slow down or stop.

Talk to your GP, midwife or health worker about giving up alcohol during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

If you are not ready for a baby and are sexually active use a condom.

The videos and resources are available here.

11/04/2016NSW Health launches FASD resources
23/06/2017 9:35 AM53801319

​​​ The Get Healthy Service has recently launched an Alcohol Reduction program giving access to any resident in NSW free health coaching to reduce their alcohol intake.

If you are worried about your level of alcohol consumption then this program is for you. A health coach will assess your risk of drinking and provide you with the support and motivation you need to help you reach your alcohol reduction goal. Our coaches use the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), an internationally validated screening tool to screen for alcohol risk.

What’s Included?

You will receive 10 coaching sessions with your own personal health coach and an information book containing information about appropriate alcohol intake, an alcohol facts booklet and an alcohol journey book to help keep you motivated and record your progress.

NSW Get Healthy Service Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm

1300 806 258

Register online at

If you are a GP or Health Professional, find referral forms on

The Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service
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