COAG Mental Health - Alerting the Community to Links between Illicit Drugs and Mental Illness

A new national information campaign will alert the community to the risks illicit drug use can pose to mental health, including mood swings, panic attacks, delusions and exacerbation of psychotic illness.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Drug use can lead to the exacerbation of psychotic illness and symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood swings, panic attacks, delusions and hallucinations. Drug use by adolescents can cause long-term effects on the brain’s cognitive development and thus can result in the development of mental disorders.
  • The measure will give people a better understanding of the connections between drug abuse and the development of mental illness, as well as the importance of seeking help early.

Who will benefit?

  • People with mental illness and their families will benefit from improved outcomes that result from the early detection and treatment of the illness.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure forms part of the Government’s contribution to the COAG Mental Health package, as announced on 5 April 2006.
  • The Government is investing $21.6 million for a public awareness communication campaign over a four-year period alerting the community to the links between illicit drug use and mental health.

What have we done in the past?

  • The Commonwealth has committed over $1 billion to the National Illicit Drug Strategy since 1997.
  • The Commonwealth allocated $31 million over two phases of the National Drugs Campaign.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • The national public awareness campaign alerting the community to the links between illicit drug use and mental health will run over four years concluding in 2010.

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