Preventing and minimising the harms caused by alcohol and other drugs is a community issue. The evidence tells us that engaging the local community in the design and implementation of prevention programs has the potential to improve individual and collective health and well-being.
Developing a ‘whole of community’ approach means there is collaboration between local stakeholders to understand local alcohol and other drug issues. This ensures communities can implement evidence-informed activities.
Community-led programs strengthen the ability of the community to identify, prevent and respond to local alcohol and other drug issues. Programs that are community-led focus on gathering knowledge and resources as well as collaborating with local agencies and sectors. They also promote a sense of ownership and can increase engagement and participation.
Community approaches can be effective when they:
- understand local needs
- utilise data based on local risk factors
- implement evidence-based prevention practices
- monitor and evaluate program quality.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports the formation of evidence-based community prevention work through the Local Drug Action Team program.
Local Drug Action Teams (LDAT)
LDAT is a nationwide program that collaborates with community groups to prevent and minimise the harms caused by alcohol and other drugs. There are currently 244 LDATs operating across Australia.
LDATs engage community stakeholders, conduct community consultation, gather available data, and implement activities followed by evaluation.
The LDAT Program provides multiple resources available to the public on best practice for primary prevention strategies.