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The draft ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan 2018–2021 (Action Plan) is now open for public consultation. The ACT Government is inviting any interested member of the community to provide feedback.

We invite your comment and feedback on the draft Action Plan by:

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The draft Action Plan has been developed by ACT Health with input from other ACT Government Directorates and from key external bodies that provide advocacy, support and services relevant to alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems.

The Action Plan summarises the ACT Government’s priority actions over the next three years.

We will use your views to:

After all feedback has been received, the Action Plan will be revised and considered by a group of key Government and community stakeholders and then finalised. A monitoring and evaluation framework will be developed to track and report progress.

Scope of Action Plan

The ACT’s Drug Strategy Action Plan is aligned to the National Drug Strategy 2017‑2026 (NDS) which all Australian State and Territory Governments have agreed to and helped shape. Consistent with the NDS, the Action Plan aims to build safe, healthy and resilient communities through preventing and minimising alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related health, social, cultural and economic harms among individuals, families and communities.[1]

Consistent with the NDS, the ACT Government will take a ‘harm minimisation’ approach. Harm minimisation has three ‘pillars’:

  1. Demand reduction – to prevent uptake and delay in first use, reduce harmful use and support people to recover.
  2. Supply reduction – to restrict availability and access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to prevent and reduce problems.
  3. Harm reduction – to encourage safer behaviours and reduce preventable risk factors.

In line with this approach, each State and Territory is responsible for coordinating priority local actions to deliver outcomes.

The Drug Strategy Action Plan is not intended to replicate the previous ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy 2010‑2014. It is focused on the ACT’s action plan for the next three years and is designed to be easily read and understood. The Action Plan aims to communicate government priorities both to the alcohol, tobacco and other drug sector and to the community more broadly.

To keep the Action Plan to a manageable length, extensive background data is not provided. However, the actions included in the plan draw on consultation between ACT government directorates and also with non-government key stakeholders in the alcohol, tobacco and other drug field.

The Action Plan includes information on government commitments, current activities that are in their early stages and future intentions. It does not attempt to capture all routinely delivered services and activities such as continuing provision of key treatment services.

While the NDS is a ten-year plan, the ACT’s Drug Strategy Action Plan will guide the actions of ACT Health and other government directorates on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs over the next three years. This will allow flexibility to adapt beyond this timeframe. ACT Health is busy planning for the next decade and beyond, guided by the draft ACT Health Territory‑wide Health Services Framework 2017-2027 and the ACT Health Quality Strategy 2018‑2028 to address challenges associated with an ageing and growing population.

An Advisory Group comprised of key stakeholders will be formed. This Group will play an important role in supporting collective action under the Action Plan and facilitate the generation of new approaches to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in our community. The Advisory Group will be co-chaired by ACT Health and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and include representatives from relevant community and consumer organisations. The Advisory Group will be established following the finalisation of the Action Plan.

In the broader context, there are several other important national pieces of work currently under development under the NDS which will be finalised during the life of the Drug Strategy Action Plan. These include the:

  • National Alcohol Strategy 2018‑2026
  • National Tobacco Strategy beyond 2018
  • National Treatment Framework for the drug and alcohol treatment system
  • National Quality Framework for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services.

The new ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan, and ensuing action plans will adapt to these developments. The Action Plan will be reviewed and revised again in 2020‑2021 to ensure it remains relevant.

ACT Health remains committed to investing in evidence‑based responses to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and has a track record for innovation in this area.


[1] National Drug Strategy 2017-2026, Commonwealth of Australia., Commonwealth of Australia., Commonwealth of Australia.