Planning

We encourage Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to link in with, or build on, established programs.

Select an existing evidence-based activity

Be prepared to look outside the alcohol and other drug sector for possible approaches and partnerships, such as with pain clinics, pain management or mindfulness professionals, and nutritionists or healthy lifestyle specialists.

A limited number of activities are listed below. You may also find other activities through local health services, peak bodies and by drawing on local knowledge and networks you have access to.

Existing programs are being run in Australia by:

  • Australian Pain Management Association[1].
    The Australian Pain Management Association is a charity for people suffering chronic pain. They provide information about understanding pain, how to manage pain, and the role of medication.[2] They also have other resources including a help line, membership options, and Pain Support Groups. Pain Support Groups facilitate meetings within communities to provide support and materials to encourage people to successfully manage their pain.[3]
  • Pain Management Network[4]
    The Pain Management Network provides information to help people gain a better understanding of pain management. This online resource, provided by the New South Wales (NSW) Government, in partnership with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, provides content tailored to young people and Aboriginal Australians.[5]
    It also provides a range of sessions designed to be viewed over several days or weeks. There are videos on how to manage pain, which emphasis how medication is only part of the process of management.[6]
  • ScriptWise[7]
    ScriptWise is an Australian not-for-profit that aims to prevent the misuse of prescription medication through awareness raising and education. It has several online fact sheets, including one on prescription opioids that outlines side effects and treatment options.[8] ScriptWise also provides a Community Toolkit for individuals or groups wanting to host an event to raise awareness about the harms of prescription medication.[9]
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Set your objectives

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan activity is an important part of the planning process.

Refer to Set your objectives to assist in this process.

Some example objectives for action on Pharmaceutical Drugs and Your Community are provided below. You can develop your own objectives by engaging with your community to determine needs, although you may find these a useful starting point:

  • Work with (xx number) local healthcare service providers/psychological and mental wellbeing services to identify at least two target populations in need of education on pharmaceutical drug risks, and alternative/complementary treatment therapies over the next (xx number) months.
  • Increase awareness of the risks of long-term opioid painkiller use amongst (xx number) of patients about to undergo surgery in (xx name) community over (xx number) months.
  • Increase (xx number) community organisations’ participation in (xx number) actions (awareness raising campaigns, information stalls, local media engagement) to increase awareness of alternative and complementary therapies to pharmaceutical drugs within (xx number) months.
  • Engage with (xx number) of sporting clubs to promote the importance of having a drug policy that includes pharmaceutical drugs over (xx number) months.
  • Deliver (xx number) activities over (xx number) months to educate (xx number) parents about role modelling positive behaviours in relation to medication with their children in (insert name of town, suburb, or region).
  • Establish (xx number) new partnerships with healthcare service providers/psychological and mental wellbeing services in the community in the next (xx number) months to engage (xx target audience).
  • Engage (xx number) of pharmacies to promote the importance of following professional advice and follow-ups with GPs over (xx number) months.

Working with community partners

Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing pharmaceutical drug harms in the community. LDATs can work with a variety of different community partners to take effective action on pharmaceutical drugs. Your specific approach to tackling pharmaceutical drugs will influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations your group partners with. Conversely, the type of activity you undertake may be based on who you can partner with and the expertise they bring.

LDAT partners can support Pharmaceutical Drugs and Your Community activities in many ways, including delivering and promoting activities, recruiting individuals, providing expert facilitators, financial support, and much more.

Partners may include:

  • Local media outlets
  • Primary health services (e.g. general practitioners, pharmacists, dentists)
  • Health services and hospitals
  • Service providers or organisations for older Australians
  • Psychological and mental wellbeing services (e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists, councillors, etc.)
  • Sporting clubs
  • Local employers and workplaces
  • Community health centres and neighbourhood houses
  • Pain clinics
  • Nutrition and healthy living organisations.

Determine resources required

All alcohol and other drug activities need to be adequately resourced. Below is a list of the types of resources community organisations may need to take action on pharmaceutical drugs. This is not an exhaustive list, and LDATs should be mindful that the resources required will be influenced by the Community Action Plan activity being undertaken by your group.

Resources:

  • Basic administrative tools including 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, library, or local council 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. Basic refreshments available before and/or after the event are often sufficient (e.g. tea, coffee, water, biscuits).
  • Knowledge and resources, as well as possible funds to deliver training to 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 (see Measuring success).