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Over $140 million to address alcohol and drug harm

The Australian Government is investing over $140 million to prevent and reduce the harms from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Morrison Government is investing over $140 million to prevent and reduce the harms from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

This investment continues the Government’s support for frontline services for Australians battling alcohol and drug issues, along with targeted research to inform our policies and activities.

$131.5 million will be distributed to Primary Health Networks under the National Ice Action Strategy in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years. This will allow Primary Health Networks to commission new and existing drug and alcohol treatment services based on local need.

The Government is also progressing work to prevent and reduce harmful drinking, with the new National Alcohol Strategy 2019–2028 now agreed by all states and territories.

The Government will also commission a report to estimate the social costs of alcohol to Australian society for the first time in 15 years.

The Strategy sets out four national priority areas:

  • Improving community safety by introducing safer drinking environments, reducing injury and violence, and improving treatment.
  • Improving management of the availability, price and promotion of alcohol.
  • Ensuring people have access to treatment, information and support services.
  • Improving awareness of how alcohol-related harm impacts the Australian community.

The Strategy reiterates Australia’s commitment to the World Health Organization Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013–2020, which includes a voluntary target to reduce harmful alcohol consumption by at least 10 percent.

The Report acknowledges that Australia’s levels of alcohol taxation is already in the top third of countries within the OECD.

The Morrison Government considers Australia’s current alcohol taxation setting are appropriate and has no plans to make any changes.

As noted in the Strategy other pricing mechanisms such as a Minimum Unit Price on alcohol are a matter for the States and Territories.

The Government is committed to funding quality research to inform its policies. Funding provided for research activities includes:

  • More than $7.3 million over three years to extend key national alcohol and other drug surveys and data collections by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
  • More than $1.5 million for the National Surveillance System for Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse and Overdose Project, Alcohol and Drug Foundation Drug Information Directory and the Drug and Alcohol Review.
  • $561,000 to support Cancer Council Victoria to update and maintain the Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues publication.

Substance misuse continues to impact individuals, families, friends and communities.

Our continued investment will help provide access to much-needed support for people in need of specialised assistance.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

For 24/7 counselling visit the Counselling Online website.

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