Formative research was conducted to inform the development of each phase of the National Drugs Campaign (2001, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010). Conducted with people aged 12 –25 using qualitative and quantitative research, these projects have explored youth attitudes towards and behaviour in relation to illicit drugs. They examined positive and negative perceptions of drug use, key drivers and barriers to trial and identified effective channels with which to communicate with young people in relation to drugs.
The research results indicate how young Australians clearly differentiate between the image and perceived effects of specific illicit drugs, and the 'types' of people who use these different drugs. This finding confirms earlier research about the importance of targeting communication about particular drugs, rather than simply grouping all drugs together. This research also identified different segments of young people, defined by clusters of particular attitudes to drug use and their lives, which have been critical to the formulation of the campaign strategy.
Concept testing research has been undertaken for the new creative advertising elements developed for the campaign. This has been designed to assess the reaction, understanding, and potential impact of the advertising concepts, and to ensure these messages are credible and appropriate for the target audiences. Subsequent marketing and communications activities have been developed and refined in line with research findings.
Evaluation research tracks target audience attitudes, knowledge and behaviour in relation to the key campaign messages on the use of ecstasy, marijuana, and methamphetamine and other illicit drugs.
Specifically, the research assesses the:
Benchmark research obtains measures of pre-campaign knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Post-campaign evaluation research assesses the effectiveness of the campaign by monitoring changes in these measures.
The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was commissioned by the Department of Health and Ageing and undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). More than 26,000 people aged 12 years or older participated in the survey, in which they were asked about their knowledge of and attitudes towards drugs, their drug consumption histories and related behaviours.
The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report is available at: National Drug Strategy Household Survey report
This research is a review of current epidemiological and academic evidence surrounding illicit drugs in Australia, compiled on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. The report is sectioned by each illicit drug used in Australia, and includes a chapter on methamphetamines.
A full copy of this report is available at: Drug Use in Australia: Epidemiology, Use Patterns and Associated Harm, 2nd edition
In September 2007 the Department of Health and Ageing commissioned Blue Moon Research and Planning to undertake qualitative research to assist in the development of targeted interventions, resources and support by identifying patterns of use and harms associated with methamphetamine use among specific groups in Australia. In particular, the research sought to explore the different target audiences’ patterns of use, including social contexts for use and drug use practices, the motivations for use and knowledge of risks and harms associated with use including the perceived severity of risks.
A full copy of the Methamphetamine report