Alcohol and Other Drugs: An Overview of the Policy and Response Systems

To make sense of workforce development (WFD) issues and initiatives, it is essential to have an understanding of the policy and response systems in place in Australia.  

The National Drug Strategy

The National Drug Strategy-Australia's Integrated Framework 2004 - 2009 provides the broad policy context for addressing alcohol and drug-related issues in Australia. The Strategy includes a number of partner strategies which address specific issues in further detail:

The National Drug Strategy provides a framework for a coordinated approach to alcohol and other drug issues in Australia. The focus on coordination has been a feature of Australian drug policy since the launch of the initial drug strategy, the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse in 1985. 

Advisory Structures

The National Drug Strategy relies on a balanced and coordinated approach by the health and law enforcement sectors. This is facilitated through the National Drug Strategy governance and advisory structures, the:

Additional advisory structures are the:

National Expert Advisory Panel, and the three national drug research centres:

National Drug Strategy Mission

The mission of the current National Drug Strategy is ‘to improve health, social and economic outcomes by preventing the uptake of harmful drug use and reducing the harmful effects of licit and illicit drugs in Australian society'.

The National Drug Strategy is currently being re-developed and it is anticipated that a new national strategy will be released later in 2010.

Other National Strategic Documents

Other national strategic documents which influence the alcohol and other drugs field include:

Other Resources

For further information regarding the National Drug Strategy, partner strategies and related information see:

For further information regarding the history of drug policy in Australia see:

For information regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drug policy and service provision in Australian states and territories see:

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory


South Australia



Western Australia