Australia21/YoungA21 and the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation (ALDAF) are excited to announce that we have been successful in forming a Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) to expand our Smarter about Drugs project in Victoria.

The LDAT Program, administered by the Australian Drug Foundation and funded by the Commonwealth Government, “empowers community organisations to prevent and minimise harms from alcohol and other drugs” at a grassroots level.

Our LDAT’s vision is to reduce potential drug-related harm among secondary students, with a focus on primary prevention. Being engaged in school or community environments, and developing positive relationships with peers, families and teachers, are considered important factors that can reduce the likelihood that young people will experience harm from alcohol and other drugs.

Our LDAT will aim to support schools to increase these opportunities, through critical drug education and youth engagement in drug policy development. We will achieve this vision by supporting schools to:

  • provide a safe space for students to explore alcohol and other drug issues in their classrooms
  • foster students’ leadership skills and empower them to contribute to drug policy conversations at both the local and national level
  • increase community awareness around the importance of critical drug education and youth engagement in drug policy development.

The funding received through the LDAT program will see the Smarter about Drugs project expanded into additional secondary schools in Victoria, and will enable us to engage more extensively with local school communities, including staff, students, parents, local councils and health and wellbeing organisations. By bringing these stakeholders together, we will champion local strategies towards critical drug education, and support community conversations around drug policy that centre the views of young people.

Female student standing up to speak with female classmates sitting around herIn addition, the funding received through the LDAT program will enable us to commission an independent evaluation, to ensure that the Smarter about Drugs project is effective and evidence-based. The findings from this evaluation will not only strengthen the Smarter about Drugs project itself, but contribute to the evidence base around drug education in Australia more generally.

We welcome the opportunity to be a part of the LDAT program, and are excited for what the year will bring.

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