A heavy focus on community engagement with regards to alcohol and other drug harm

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9 August 2019 | Herald

A core group joined last month to discuss Barossa Local Drug Action Team's (LDAT) work with a heavy focus on community engagement with regards to alcohol and other drug (AOD) harm.

Barossa LDAT's Simon Taylor addressed the meeting recapping how the group put their toe into the water to host public information booths, which he described during the meeting at Lyndoch council branch as "not hugely successful".

On July 23 he was joined by professionals, including Sammy D Foundation's Tiff Downing, Flinders Uni research consultant Elena Rudnik and Nuriootpa High School flexible learning's Sarah AfsinPour.

"Our strategy was to then utilise the Regional Youth Bus as a mobile AOD information centre and have information tables at public community events to provide information and to obtain data on the level of AOD knowledge, use and support needs in our community," Mr Taylor said.

Booths were staffed by Barossa LDAT and LDAT partners - Family Drug Support and PsychMed. "People appeared hesitant to directly approach a 'Drug Information' booth at public events," Mr Taylor said. However, he shared a good outcome was the demonstration of the the bus as a mobile, general community information booth with a meeting/assessment/interview room.

The Barossa LDAT agreed to trial information evenings with specifically targeted community groups.

As a result an Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) 'Harm Reduction in Country Sport Clubs' Community Action Plan (CAP) was established targeting all clubs in the Barossa, Light and Gawler football and netball associations.

Awareness presentations were held across nine Thursday evenings prior to each club's bye weekends. In addition, an APD presentation was provided to the junior players by SAPOL and the Barossa LDAT, and a methamphetamine and other drug presentation informed senior players.

Over 1250 players, officials and parents attended with a similar number of Community Drug Use survey forms completed with results to be released at a later date.

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