The key steps involved in taking action on pharmaceutical drugs are provided below as a useful starting point for developing your Community Action Plan activity and informing your approach.
Engage the community to ensure the approach your LDAT takes is what local people want and need – and that it will be supported by, and beneficial for the community. This will also help you identify what already exists within the community that can be strengthened and built on. This includes:
A critical role of an LDAT is to engage with the community to put the harms from pharmaceutical drugs on the public agenda, motivate the community to take action, and provide guidance on strategies to prevent the harms.
Tips for engaging the community:
Provide information on the risks of pharmaceutical drugs by:
There are several reasons Australians might not have good information about pharmaceutical drugs. These include:
LDATs can be a resource for community members and organisations by providing them with evidence and data on the risks of pharmaceutical drugs and educating about alternatives.
LDATs can provide advice and support to help community organisations to determine a course of action for delivering pharmaceutical drug activities. These activities could focus on; providing information and pathways to alternative and complementary therapies for people to access pharmaceutical drugs through pharmacies; ensuring people being prescribed pharmaceutical drugs receive accurate information about risks, potentially through GPs offices and hospitals; and raising awareness about the risks of poly-drug use and the increased potential for overdose when depressant drugs are mixed.
Link community organisations to quality programs by:
A key role of an LDAT is to link community organisations to quality information, activities, and experts. These may include:
LDATs should not deliver activities unless the organisations in their team have the appropriate expertise. In the circumstances that they don’t have the required expertise, the primary role of LDATs should be to support ‘suitably qualified’ community organisations to deliver quality activities.
Support community organisations with communication by:
Communication around pharmaceutical drugs is important, and if done poorly, may lead to people being misinformed or even put off using pharmaceutical drugs for legitimate purposes. Communicating the purpose and benefits of activities is also important and can have a significant impact on attendance and community involvement.
Your group can support community organisations with communication around pharmaceutical drugs and promoting activities. This may include helping groups to develop promotional materials, promoting activities and providing a sounding board on how to frame and communicate different messages or activities.
Key considerations when communicating pharmaceutical activities:
Promote collaboration between community organisations to:
LDATs have a key role in facilitating productive partnerships in the community. Collaboration between community organisations may focus on:
Measure and report on the success of your pharmaceutical drug activity. This can be done by: