National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

National Drug Strategy 2010 - 2015 - Roundtable Consultation Synopsis Framework - Adelaide, 23 April 2010

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Synopsis of the Roundtable Consultation on the National Drug Strategy 2010 - 2015 in Adelaide on 23 April 2010


The Adelaide roundtable was attended by 23 participants. A list of participants and the organisations they represent can be found at Attachment A.


The participants of the roundtable felt strongly that the purpose of the National Drug Strategy (NDS) be made clear and that the objectives are clarified in the new strategy. It was significant to note that many of the participants did not understand that the NDS is not a service delivery strategy but its purpose is to inform activities across the jurisdictions. There was general agreement that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and perspectives should be better addressed in the next NDS. While participants in general supported the need for the existence of a Complementary Action Plan (CAP), they were of the view that there needed to be stronger links between the CAP and the NDS, so as to bring a focus to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander substance misuse issues.

Participants indicated a need for a contemporary NDS to recognise the changing dynamics of society for example, increasing levels of disaffection, intergenerational patterns of drug use and for a broader framework around the social determinants of health including community safety and lifestyle. Participants noted that the current emphasis appears to be on illicit drugs when alcohol and tobacco account for the larger economic impact. There were also calls from participants that consideration be given to a communications strategy to promote the NDS and better engage with the broader community.

Participants noted a number of emerging issues related to the increasing abuse of prescription medicines, the challenges faced by the police and clinicians in managing people with a number of complex conditions, the ageing community and workforce, the use of information technology as a source of information about and access to drugs (illicit and licit), and the increasing levels of disaffection in society, that present challenges to all sectors involved in the NDS.

The workforce emerged as a key issue for all participants especially those from non government organisations. There was consensus on the need for a sub-strategy to address the industrial, educational, training and service standards of the people involve in service delivery across the sectors.

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Policy Framework

The following statements were made by participants regarding the NDS and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Complementary Action Plan: The following points were raised by participants in reference to the next NDS:


The participants recognised the challenge presented by the need for relevance and balance in the NDS across many different sectors and its need to engage at the national, state and local government levels. The needs of the rural and remote (indigenous and non-indigenous) communities compound this complexity. Participants noted this may be assisted by reducing and clarifying the objectives and consequent strategies and priorities. It was also suggested that a population health approach that focuses on the three pillars may assist in re-shaping the strategy.

The participants would like the NDS to recognise the following issues:

Principles and Priorities

Participants noted that the NDS and sub strategies need to support planning for what happens on the ground by: Top of page

Emerging Issues and Increased Vulnerability

Misuse of prescription medicines was raised as an issue of concern at the round table discussion, 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 noted that medical practitioners are not currently well equipped to adequately manage a patient with several conditions including drug and alcohol issues, mental illness and Hepatitis C.

Participants noted several other new and emerging issues to be considered in developing the next NDS: Top of page

Workforce and Capacity Building

Participants raised many issues and concerns about the workforces across different sectors. Participants felt there is a need for a workforce sub-strategy to ensure the remuneration, infrastructure, education and training needs are adequately addressed.

There were a number of areas identified where the next NDS may give direction. These include: Top of page

Performance Measures

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Governance Arrangements

The roundtable participants had little understanding of the role, representation or terms of reference of the IGCD, MCDS or the other key bodies involved in the governance of the NDS. They were unable to comment on the effectiveness of engagement as they did were not informed or aware of existing structures. There was a view among participants that the next NDS must secure the involvement and commitment from the various sectors and the community.

Participants noted the following:

Attachment A - Participants - Roundtable Adelaide, 23 April 2010

1Alwin ChangAboriginal Health Council of SA
2Jan BurgessDepartment of Education and Children's ServicesPolicy & Program Officer
3Barry SargentDepartment of Racing, Gaming and LiquorDirector-General
4Mitch DobbieCOMPARI Midwest Community Drug Services TeamManager
5Jennifer RogersLocal Drug Action Groups
6Jillian PaullMission AustraliaState Director
7Leonie KarlssonMission AustraliaService Manager
8Mark SaundersNational Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
9Allan TrifonoffNational Centre for Education, Training and AddictionDeputy Director
10Anne RocheNational Centre for Education, Training and AddictionDirector
11Les EvansNgnowar-Aerwah Aboriginal CorporationChief Executive Officer
12Gilbert FreemanNgwala Willumbong Co-opCounsellor
13Wayne StarlingNSW Police
14Ashleigh LynchOATSIHAssistant Director
15Julie HanburyParent Drug Information ServiceA/Coordinator
16John FoxQueensland PoliceManager
17Fiona BruceSA Police
18Tim PfitznerSA PoliceAOD Policy Coordinator
19Andris BandersSouth Australia Network of Drug and Alcohol ServicesExecutive Director
20Craig HollowayTelkayaChair Telakaya
21Darryll GauntWA Police, Licencing Enforcement Division
22Wayne FlaggeWestern Australian Network of Alcohol and Other Drug AgenciesManager
Working Group Members / Representatives
23Keith EvansDrug and Alcohol Services SAExecutive Director
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