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Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) policy timeline

2017

National drug strategy 2017–2026

The National drug strategy 2017-2026 provides a national guiding framework, which seeks to identify priorities to build safe, healthy and resilient Australian communities through preventing and minimising alcohol, tobacco and other drug related health, social and economic harms among individuals, families and communities. This long-term framework recognises Australia’s long-standing and ongoing commitment to the underpinning principle of harm minimisation and a balanced approach between health and law enforcement.

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2015

National ice action strategy: 2015

The National ice action strategy: 2015, identifies regional and remote communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a vulnerable population that is being increasingly exposed to problems of ice use. The National ice action strategy forms a key part of a revised National drug strategy 2016–2025 which is currently being finalised.

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National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' drug strategy 2014-2019

This sub strategy of the National drug strategy identifies four priority areas; build capacity of AOD workforce, increase access to culturally appropriate programs, strengthen partnerships and establish meaningful performance measures.

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National alcohol and other drug workforce development strategy 2015–2018

This sub strategy of the National drug strategy aims to increase the capacity of all alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers and specifically prevent and respond to AOD harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in a culturally safe and sensitive manner.

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2014

Responding to the impact of Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Australia: a Commonwealth action plan

This plan identifies a range of specific actions to reduce the impact of Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) across Australia including, supporting a whole of government approach, prevention of FASD at a population level, supporting families and children affected by FASD and supporting the workforce to respond to FASD.

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Fourth national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections strategy 2014-2017

This strategy is one of a suite of five strategies within a national framework for coordinated action that includes addressing the disproportionate burden of blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

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2013

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan 2013–2023

This plan is a long‐term, evidence‐based policy framework that forms part of the overarching Council of Australian Governments’ approach to Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage. It has an increased focus on: prevention and early intervention programs including reducing tobacco and alcohol and other drug use to lessen risk of chronic conditions.

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National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy

The overarching objective of this strategy is to reduce the cause, prevalence and impact of suicide on individuals, their families and communities. A central component of this is to implement effective activities that reduce the presence and impact of risk factors that contribute to suicide outcomes in the short, medium and long term and across the lifespan.

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National tobacco strategy 2012-2018

This strategy identifies priority areas for action that include; building on existing programs and partnerships to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, continuing mass media campaigns targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and robust evaluation to inform future campaign strategies.

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National pharmaceutical drug misuse framework for action 2012-2015

This framework sits within the context of the National drug strategy, and identifies national priorities for action to minimise harms to individuals, families and communities from pharmaceutical drug misuse.

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2011

National drug strategy 2010-2015

This national strategy provides a framework for action on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs which aims to minimise the harms to individuals and communities from alcohol, tobacco and other drug misuse. It encompasses the three pillars of demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction.

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National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce strategic framework 2011-2015

This framework nominates an aspirational target of 2.6% of the Australian health workforce being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander by 2015 to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are strongly represented across all health disciplines. The framework endorses the revised National community services training package 2008 with competencies covering work in alcohol and other drugs and mental health.

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2009

The National Indigenous law and justice framework 2009-2015

This framework was developed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys‐General (SCAG) as a national approach to addressing the serious and complex issues that mark the interaction between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the justice systems in Australia. Key principles include; increasing safety and reducing offending within Indigenous communities by addressing alcohol and substance abuse.

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Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol (2009)

The 2009 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol seek to estimate the overall risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime and reduce the level of risk to one death for every 100 people. The guidelines outline four recommendations that cover; daily drinking, drinking on a single occasion, young people and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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2007

Petrol sniffing strategy

This strategy expands and continues the objectives of the Eight point plan to address volatile substance use. It supports the roll out of Low aromatic fuel (LAF), services for young people and provides a shared framework for managing the response to volatile substance use.

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2006

National cannabis strategy 2006-2009

This strategy was the first cannabis strategy developed within the context of the National drug strategy. It considers the health, psychological, legal and public health issues associated with cannabis use.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples complementary action plan 2003-2009 (CAP)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples complementary action plan 2003-2009 (CAP) was a comprehensive policy guideline that accompanied the National drug strategy framework 2004-2009. In 2006, the Ministerial Council on Drug (MCDS) Strategy approved the extension of the previous National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples complementary action plan from 2003-2006 to 2003-2009 to bring it into line with the National drug strategy: 2004-2009.

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National alcohol strategy 2006-2011

The National alcohol strategy 2006-2011 is a plan to support a reduction in alcohol-related harm in Australia. The strategy seeks to reflect the National drug strategy: 2004–2009 and build on the previous alcohol strategy. It also supports the key result areas of the National drug strategy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples complementary action plan 2003–2006, which was endorsed by the MCDS in August 2003.

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Eight point plan (Chapter 3, pages 19-47)

The Eight point plan expanded the scheme for subsidised Low aromatic fuel (LAF) to include Central Desert regions and became the basis of the Petrol sniffing strategy (PSS). It included eight points:

  1. consistent legislation
  2. appropriate levels of policing
  3. further roll out of low aromatic fuel
  4. alternative activities for young people
  5. treatment and respite facilities
  6. communication and education strategies
  7. strengthening and supporting communities
  8. evaluation.
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2005

Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program

The Comgas scheme was expanded and unleaded low aromatic fuel (LAF) was subsidised and made available to Indigenous communities, roadhouses, petrol stations and other relevant fuel outlets on a regional basis. This was the beginning of what was later known as the Petrol sniffing strategy (PSS).

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National tobacco strategy, 2004-2009

The objectives of this national strategy were: to prevent uptake of smoking; to encourage and assist as many smokers as possible to quit; to eliminate harmful exposure to tobacco smoke and to reduce harms associated tobacco for all social groups.

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2004

The national drug strategy: Australia’s integrated framework 2004-2009

This strategy provided a framework for a coordinated, integrated approach to drug issues in the Australian community. It continued the approach of harm minimisation – which has been the basis of Australia’s drug strategy since 1985 and established the principles of supply reduction, demand reduction, and harm reduction. Priorities identified include implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples complementary action plan 2003–2006. The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) was established.

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2003

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples complementary action plan 2003-2006

During the development of the National drug strategic framework 1998-99 to 2002-03 it was recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ needs were not specifically addressed. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Reference Group was established to negotiate the development of an action plan. The plan provides a national direction for reducing harm associated with use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

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Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area complementary action plan 2003-2006

This companion to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples complementary action plan 2003-2006 addressed drug issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area. The action plan is structured around six key result areas: enhanced capacity; whole of government effort; substantially improved access; holistic approaches; workforce initiatives and increased ownership.

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1998

National drug strategic framework 1998–1999 to 2002–2003 building partnerships

This national strategy aimed to provide a framework for preventing the uptake of harmful drug use and reducing the harmful effects of licit and illicit drugs in Australian society. The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) was established.

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1993

National drug strategic plan 1993-97

This national strategy evolved from the work of the National campaign against drug abuse and aimed to provide a coordinated approach to minimising the harmful effects of drugs and drug use in Australian society.

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1985

National campaign against drug abuse

A comprehensive approach to national drug policy was established to respond to the harms from drug use. The Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy and the National Research Centres were established. The campaign promoted the principles of harm minimisation and focused on: education; treatment and rehabilitation; research and information; and fostering partnerships in law enforcement.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute