About the program

The Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) program supports community organisations to reduce harms from alcohol and other drugs (AOD) in their local area.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), funded by the Australian Government, works with LDATs helping them to build or extend local partnerships, and develop and deliver evidence-based activities where it matters the most - at the grassroots, community level.

The fact is, no community is the same and we know that locally-led responses are the most effective when it comes to addressing the challenges of alcohol and other drugs, including crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’).

There are over 230 active Local Drug Actions Teams having an impact around Australia.

The LDAT program emphasises the importance of building ‘protective factors’ in the community - working to prevent alcohol and drug issues forming in the first place.

How to join the program

When applications are open (during a designated, advertised intake period), potential LDATs can apply by completing an on-line form to tell us about the proposed make up of their local team, the issue they would like to tackle and what approach they believe will be most effective.

Applications will need to meet key selection criteria and are assessed by an External Expert Panel.

Successful LDATs:

  • focus on preventing alcohol and drug-related problems before they occur (note: treatment programs are not eligible)
  • are community-driven, with strong community consultation and engagement
  • demonstrate collaboration and partnerships with local community partners
  • are informed by evidence, responsive to local data and need.

Successful applicants receive initial funding and are supported by a member of the ADF team to develop and implement a tailored Community Action Plan to address alcohol and other drug issues in their community.

An LDAT is a group of organisations who form a partnership to address alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues in their local community.

LDATs must have a lead organisation for governance purposes as well as at least two community organisation partners. This can be any mix of schools, educational institutions, health workers, police, community organisations, businesses or local government who unite to drive a community-led response focussing on AOD prevention.

Connect with the community

Partnerships within an LDAT are imperative to the success of the activities and longevity of the LDAT.

Key elements for a successful LDAT include:

  • Strength of partnerships: Long term partners with extensive experience of working together.
  • Capacity: One partner is providing fully funded 'backbone' coordination resources for the activity.
  • Alignment: LDAT program activity goals are embedded in objectives of the major partner organisations.
  • Breadth: The LDAT activity is being delivered as part of a comprehensive AOD primary prevention program.
  • Engagement: Strong understanding of local needs, values and priorities through comprehensive community consultation and analysis.

Following the initial funding, LDATs are able to apply for a further grant to help them deliver their approved Community Action Plan (CAP) and implement evidence-based activities in their community.

A CAP is a plan that defines the scope of the activity and establishes clear evaluation measures to understand if the activity has had an impact.

A CAP defines the target audience and key issues a community aims to address, describes the actions to be undertaken and demonstrates how these connect to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harms.

The planning, delivery and evaluation of at least one CAP is a requirement for all LDATs.

In addition to funding received through the program, LDATs can further collaborate with more partners to support the delivery of their CAP through 'in-kind' support and other expertise.

Harnessing community action

Community-based action is powerful in preventing and minimising harm from alcohol and other drugs.

The LDAT program uses the strength of community partnerships, local knowledge and commitment to boost the factors that we know protect against community harms from AOD and, at the same time, reduce risk factors that have been shown to increase harms.

Protective and Risk Factors

Factors that protect against alcohol and other drug-related harms include:

  • social connection
  • education
  • safe and secure housing
  • a sense of belonging to a community.

Factors that increase the risk of alcohol and other drug-related harms include:

  • high availability of drugs
  • low levels of social cohesion
  • unstable housing
  • socioeconomic disadvantage.

Alcohol and other drugs are a community issue, not just an individual issue.

Community action to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harms is effective because:

  • the solutions and barriers for addressing alcohol and other drug-related harms are community-based
  • it creates change that is responsive to local needs
  • it increases community ownership and leads to more sustainable change.

Supporting resources

Over the past four years the LDAT program has developed a solid footprint of partnerships with communities across Australia, evolving and adapting to support over 230 LDATs with more than 1350 partner organisations nationally.

More than 350 Community Action Plans have been delivered, addressing locally identified AOD-related issues through evidence-based approaches. (See LDATs Across Australia map below.)

Priority populations for CAPs

  • 71.5% have focused on youth
  • 52% are being delivered in regional or remote areas of Australia
  • >25% have focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • 10% have focused on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities
  • 1.5% have focused on LGBTQI+.

Supporting resources

Applications are currently closed.

At this stage the timing of the next intake has not been set, however - don't miss out. Sign up to our newsletter for all the latest LDAT news <link>, including funding updates.

So, you’ve decided that the LDAT program is the right fit for your community, but intake is currently closed.

The good news is that you can still freely access our evidence-based resources here to help you build your local partnerships and address alcohol and other drug-related harms in your community.

Find more on Community Hub

We encourage you to use our ADF website and the Community Hub to support you in your work within your community and ensure you’re amongst the first to know when the next funding round opens or when new resources to support community AOD prevention efforts are released.

Supporting resources

LDATs Across Australia map

The Local Drug Action Team Program is funded by the Australian Government and is being implemented across Australia

Australian Fedral Government

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