Planning - AOD and Young Adults
We encourage Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to link with existing alcohol and other drug-related harm prevention programs that have been shown to work.
Select an evidence-based activity
A limited number of existing programs are listed below. You may find other programs through local health services, peak bodies and by drawing on local knowledge and networks. There may be a number of existing programs already in place in workplaces and higher education institutions that you can support and build on.
Existing programs in Australia relating to Alcohol, Other Drugs and Young Adults include:
- student-driven programs in educational environments in partnership with student unions, student collectives, leading to student-driven health promotion
- many Australian universities, which now have free counselling available to their students1
- organisations such as Headspace – which provide information
- beyondBlue also have a youth arm – see youthbeyondblue.com
- student-driven peer-to-peer outreach programs, for example see UWA student experiences.
Existing programs may have an alcohol and other drug focus, or possibly a different overall focus such as health promotion. Be mindful to look outside the alcohol and other drug sector, as programs that target young adults may be working towards other health and social outcomes.
Due to the limited number of quality programs available and the need for tailored approaches, many LDATs will work with community organisations to develop and deliver a targeted activity/ies for their community.
Set your objectives
Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan activity is an important part of the planning process.
Some example objectives for activities aimed at reducing alcohol and other drug use among young people are provided below. Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point:
- increasing awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Centres (NHMRC) Guidelines amongst (insert number) young adults in (insert name) community
- increase capacity amongst volunteers/ mentors by (xx)
- deliver comprehensive training to all new volunteers/mentors to increase their capacity and confidence to perform their assigned roles
- increase (xx) universities/ workplaces participation in (xx) actions (e.g. local promotional campaigns, information stalls, local media) to increase awareness around the impacts and effects of alcohol and other drugs on young adults
- deliver (insert number) activities that promote participation and social connection amongst (insert number) of young adults in workplace/ university or community environments
- link (insert number) universities, workplaces and/or community organisations to existing education programs, expert guest speakers, accurate information, upskilling activities, or social networking opportunities, to enable the delivery of activities for (insert number) young adults
- (insert name) to facilitate collaboration between (insert name of community organisation) and (insert name of workplace and/or university) to promote accurate information, build supportive and inclusive healthcare systems, create supportive cultures, or create stronger community referral networks for young adults.
For more information on how to formulate SMART objectives see Set Your Objectives
Working with community partners
Strong partnerships between Local Drug Action Teams, workplaces and higher education institutions are essential to increase awareness around harm minimisation methods, while also working to change the cultural acceptance of substance use in workplaces and on campuses within this age group.
LDATs can work with a variety of partners both within workplaces and campuses, as well as external organisations and services in the broader community when delivering their activities.
Partners can support your action in different ways, including providing resources and venues for activities, hosting and promoting activities, and providing opportunities for volunteering and social engagement, and through financial support, among others.
Your specific approach to working with young people in higher education and the workplace may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.
Partners may include:
- workplace based health promotion groups/associations
- student/employee representative councils/unions
- prominent mental health organisations (e.g. Headspace, beyondblue)
- primary health services (e.g. general practitioners, pharmacists and dentists)
- community health centres and neighbourhood houses
- social services (e.g. welfare or housing services)
- local social venues (e.g. music venues)
- psychological and mental wellbeing services (e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists, councillors, etc.).
Determine resources required
All alcohol and other drug activities need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required for community organisations to deliver activities relating to reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs among young people. Local Drug Action Teams may be able to provide some of these resources but may also need to partner with others to access additional support.
This is not an exhaustive list and your LDAT should be mindful that the resources required will be influenced by the activities being taken by your team.
- Basic administrative tools incl. access to stationery and office supplies, printers, phones, and a workspace for administrative duties.
- Venue/s for meetings. In-kind use of meeting rooms from a partner organisation e.g. library space, or local council rooms may be possible. It is not appropriate for meetings to be held in people’s homes or private venues.
- Funds to provide catering at events and meetings. This might include basic refreshments available before and/or after the event (e.g. tea, coffee, biscuits).
- Knowledge and resources, as well as possible funds to deliver training of staff.
- Allocating time to liaise with community organisations (e.g. attend meetings, provide advice etc.).
- Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate).
- Funds for additional activities (e.g. delivering an awareness campaign or running a networking event).
Consider measures of success
While you are planning your activity, it is important to consider measures of success for your activity. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your activity linking your success measures to your objectives.
- Blee, FL, Reavley, NJ, Jorm, AF & McCann, TV, 2015, ‘Student Driven Mental Health Promotion in an Australian University Setting’ Mental health & Prevention, Vol 3, pp 26–33