Frequently asked questions

The Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) Program empowers community organisations to prevent and minimise harms from alcohol and other drugs. This happens through developing evidence-informed initiatives at a grassroots level.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) works with LDATs to ensure their work is regularly monitored, reviewed and committed to actively including the community.

The program recognises that no community is the same as the next and that locally-led responses are vital when it comes to preventing and minimising harms caused by alcohol and other drugs.

A Local Drug Action Team is a partnership including several community organisations, that are committed to working together to develop evidence informed initiatives to prevent harms from alcohol and other drugs in their local area.

Primary prevention is about creating healthy environments to prevent future drug harms.

The LDAT Program aims to address the causes of alcohol and other drug issues and protect people from developing a dependency in the first place. This involves helping to remove the risk factors and increase the protective factors that can lead to alcohol and drug-related harm.

Risk factors include social disconnectedness, lack of skills, lack of strong role models/mentoring and not feeling positive about the future. Protective factors include having a sense of connection and belonging, skill development and employment opportunities, early engagement into support services when required, and resilience in individuals and communities.

Find out more by watching our Primary Prevention Webinar.

Local Drug Action Teams deliver activities that have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on communities in preventing and delaying alcohol and other drug-related harms, for example peer support, mentoring, education in schools, supporting teenagers, community participation in liquor licensing matters, volunteering and building strong and connected communities.

The Australian Government’s National Ice Taskforce Report was very clear that one of the priority responses was to have a community led focus to address the issue of crystal methamphetamine or ‘ice’ in Australia. The report emphasised the importance of providing support to local communities to respond to ‘ice’ and develop solutions tailored to their local needs.

The ADF is Australia’s major alcohol and other drug (AOD) organisation committed to primary prevention. The LDAT program builds on this foundation, strengthening harm prevention by guiding LDATs through evidence-informed projects to reduce AOD harm.

LDATs must demonstrate a willingness to work in partnership. Although they vary in size, LDATs typically include at least three partner organisations.

The types of organisations that can be part of a LDAT include (but are not limited to); schools, local businesses, sport and recreational groups, local government, police, local health services, alcohol and other drug prevention services and youth services.

Local Drug Action Teams work on the ground in their communities, using local knowledge to implement evidence-informed harm prevention and minimisation projects that are tailored to the needs of their local area.

Once Local Drug Action Teams have selected the most appropriate activities to address local issues, teams develop a Community Action Plan to guide them through planning, development and delivery of their activities.

Activities delivered by LDATs create stronger and healthier communities by increasing protective factors such as:

- connection to community, school and local sport/recreational clubs;

- creating a sense of belonging;

- skills and employment opportunities;

- enabling early engagement into support services when required and

- building resilience in individuals and communities.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation provide project toolkits on many areas in which LDATs are taking action. This includes toolkits to deliver evidence-informed projects in relation to mentoring, providing peer support, around positive parenting, in relation to education in schools and on alcohol and pregnancy. New project toolkits (and associated webinars) are regularly being added to the suite of information now available to LDATs.

To learn more about the current series of downloadable toolkits, click through here.

All applications for LDATs are based on the quality of the submission against the assessment criteria. Additional consideration is provided for communities that demonstrate characteristics such as: high rates of unemployment; regional centres/remote communities; high levels of cultural and linguistic diversity; high population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; areas of high population growth; social disadvantage and high levels of alcohol and other drug harms.

Many LDATs are being led by, and working in partnership with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Many of these have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation as the lead partner.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been encouraged to apply to join the LDAT Program and inclusion of these communities has been a priority for the ADF.

The ADF is committed to the ongoing development of our cultural competency and to continue to develop our understanding of what this means for the way that we engage with and work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We know that alcohol and other drugs (AOD) can impact any community. This is why the ADF has invited communities from right across Australia to apply to join the LDAT Program.

The LDAT Program is about primary prevention and the minimisation of AOD harm. It recognises that no two communities are the same and that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to preventing and reducing alcohol and other drug harms.

As part of the application process, community partnerships must demonstrate a need for an LDAT in their community. The LDAT Program is a fantastic opportunity for community partnerships to use local knowledge and build evidence-informed initiatives that respond to the particular AOD harm-reduction needs of their local area.

There are currently more than 230 LDATs around Australia, including some in every state and territory.

Find out where they are on the map

Yes. CDATs and LDAGs are encouraged to work with other organisations and groups in their communities to build partnerships and form an LDAT.

Yes. The focus of LDATs is primary prevention and/or harm reduction in the community. Participation in LDATs by health services and health providers in communities is encouraged (including PHNs).

The purpose and values of your team (including all partnering organisations) needs to be consistent with the LDAT focus on preventing alcohol and other drug harms in local communities.

Organisations that are reliant on funding from the liquor, tobacco, gambling and pharmaceutical industry are examples of those whose mission may not be aligned with those of the LDAT program and will be considered on a case by case basis – for further information contact the ADF.

Yes. We encourage LDATs to extend their community reach and develop new partnerships to support their Community Action Plans. If there is already an LDAT in your community and you would like to find out more about what they are doing and how your organisation can become involved, please contact us and we can connect you.

Applications have been assessed by an external independent panel that included expert representatives with a wide range of expertise including Aboriginal Health, alcohol and other drugs and population health.

The applications are assessed on strength of partnerships, demonstrated local need, proposed community involvement and capacity to deliver quality activities.

Application outcomes are notified in writing via email to the lead contact person for the application.

If your application was unsuccessful we do encourage you and your partner organisations to continue what you started, and drive activities and initiatives in your local community to prevent and minimise alcohol and other drug-related harms.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has a variety of resources and evidence-informed information that can assist you to make a positive difference in your community.

You have access to the Local Drug Action Team resources and we want to see communities all around the country rallying to tackle alcohol and other drug issues. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation hope you and your partner organisations continue to work together. If you would like more support, please contact the ADF.

A Community Action Plan (CAP) provides a framework or ‘road map’ for implementing change in the community to prevent alcohol and other drug harms. CAPs describe what the community wants to accomplish as part of a LDAT, what steps are required during a specified timeline and what resources (people, money and materials) are needed to be successful.

A CAP highlights the key issues a community aims to solve (local needs), demonstrates the range of initiatives to be undertaken and how these link together to prevent alcohol and other drug-related harms.

The ADF works closely with LDATs to ensure activities outlined in CAPs are evidence-based.

A Community Action Plan highlights the key issues a community aims to solve (local needs), demonstrates the range of strategies to be undertaken and how these link together to prevent alcohol and other drug related harm.

Each successful LDAT will receive an initial $10,000 to develop and finalise a Community Action Plan and then to implement approved projects.

Additional grant funding is available to help LDATs deliver projects within their Community Action Plans. LDATs typically apply for grants of between $10,000 and $15,000 to support their projects. LDAT funding is intended to complement existing funding and in-kind support from local partners.

LDATs can use the funding to develop a Community Action Plan and start activities outlined in their approved Community Action Plan.

The funding can support a number of elements, such as:

- conducting community consultation and/or further community engagement;

- partnership development to ensure projects can effectively be planned and delivered to the intended audience/s;

- enhancing the leadership capability and profile of your team;

- developing evaluation methodologies to strengthen your ability to measure progress; or

- activities in your approved Community Action Plan.

Yes. We encourage groups to seek other funding sources. Groups which are completely reliant on funding from the LDAT Program to sustain their operation are ineligible.

This additional funding cannot come from liquor, gambling, tobacco or pharmaceutical industries.

Yes. LDATs are supported by ADF staff and should notify their relationship manager immediately to request an extension. The ADF will consider progress against their Community Action Plan.

All capital purchases over $500 must be clearly detailed in the budget template at the time of application. If there is concern over any items, clarification will be requested. If there is a strong case in your Community Action Plan to support purchase of an item that would be considered staffing or capital expenditure, then you may be granted approval to use funding toward this. However, the decision is at the discretion of the ADF.

The LDAT program is part of the Australian Government’s investment of $298 million over four years under the National Ice Action Strategy to help local communities reduce and prevent alcohol and other drug-related. The strategy highlights the importance of supporting communities to deliver local initiatives to respond to alcohol and other drug issues.

The LDAT Program identifies several key priorities, with crystal methamphetamine being one of them. It is important the projects proposed by LDATs are in response to local issues and we know substance use does not occur in isolation in communities. LDAT applicants should focus their Community Action Plans on the issues causing the most harm in their region (and this may include ‘ice’).

It is recognised that the underlying causes of substance use are very similar regardless of the actual drug. The LDAT Program aims to strengthen protective factors to prevent and minimise the risk of alcohol and other drug-related harm, no matter which drug is of concern.

No community is the same as the next, which is why LDATs work to address the needs of their own communities.

Stigma is unfortunately common with respect to a number of the social determinants of health, such as gender, age, socio-economic status and ethnicity. LDATs are encouraged to think about how they can address stigma as part of their mentoring program. Connecting young people to mentors as role models may have a positive effect on their confidence by contributing to protective factors. These may include building resilience, a sense of belonging to a community, and a warm relationship with an adult outside of the family.

Methods to ensure confidentiality of participation could also be considered to prevent stigmatisation of community members if it was identified to be a significant barrier to participation or likely adverse outcome.

Teams are recommended to investigate existing programs, and the Planning section of the toolkit provides links to existing mentoring programs in Australia that you can contact for more information. If the programs do not have a remote or regional focus, it may be possible to adapt existing programs to suit your local context – see the Planning section of the toolkit for tips on adapting programs. It may require more work to get the program running, make matches, and establish the relationships, but you could consider how telephone or internet technologies could form part of your strategy.

There is no single answer for this. Each diverse community will have their own social, religious and cultural beliefs with respect to alcohol and other drugs. It’s important to engage with members of the specific community to determine what their strengths and key concerns are. You can then work collaboratively to develop an activity that will be engaging and relevant for that community. Consider language needs and requirements for working with an interpreter or bi-cultural officer. Stigma can also be a potential barrier for participation and inclusion in programs.

There can be a risk that the peer support leaders aren’t matched well with a fellow young person. It is recommended that LDATs consider processes for how to manage this in the planning stages and implement a way to deal with these situations when they arise. Existing peer support programs would have experience with this.

You can find information on existing programs in the ‘Planning’ section of the Peer Support toolkit.

The best-practice guidelines for drug education in schools recommend avoiding presentations by people with experience of dependency as part of school alcohol and drug education. One-off talks and fear-based tactics are not effective, and there are additional concerns that lived experience presentations risk inadvertently glamorising AOD use. Even when a presenter emphasises the risks and dangers of AOD, risk-taking behaviours can be appealing to some young people who want to do something ‘dangerous’. Additionally, while a presenter might emphasise the negatives of their AOD use, they themselves survived it and are now given a ‘hero status’ as a respected presenter.

Best-practice is evidence-based drug education being delivered by teachers in the classroom as part of a broader health education curriculum. Australian schools have access to well evaluated drug education programs, links to which can be found on the Positive Choices website.

The Alcohol and Pregnancy toolkit is a good starting place for understanding the background of the issue, developing your activities, and linking in with existing initiatives and organisations. Consulting with the community will be another important step in determining what the issues are in your local context and where your efforts should be directed. The planning section of the Alcohol and Pregnancy Toolkit also provides links to other resources, like the FASD Hub

There are some medical organisations that are interested in developing diagnosis processes, however this is outside of the scope of this area of work. This is a medical question, so it is best directed to an organisation such as FASD Hub

There is no one answer to this question. It depends on the parent, their child, and the nature of their relationship. It’s okay to be a parent to your child and not their friend, so don’t feel as if you have to tell them. If you do decide to tell them consider how that might change the dynamic of future conversations and any messages from you about not wanting them to drink alcohol or use other drugs.

But it’s not “wrong” to tell your child the truth about past use. You just want to be confident that you won’t encourage your child to put themselves at risk.

LDATs are required to consider insurance requirements that will be specific to their state or territory, and the nature of their activity, in the planning stages. The Lead Organisation is responsible for determining the insurance that might be required. The ADF is not able to provide legal advice in this area and will not be able to cover insurance costs for LDATs as part of the program.

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