Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum
9 February 2018
Draft National Alcohol Strategy 2018-2026
AHISA supports the draft Strategy, including the additional strategic principles and baseline indicators to measure reductions in alcohol-related harm and risks.
In particular, AHISA supports the establishment of a new Alcohol Reference Group within the National Drug Strategy governance framework. In its submission AHISA noted that schools are a key delivery point for education to meet the objective of Priority 4 of the Strategy – promoting healthier communities – and for targeting adolescents as an at-risk population.
The health and wellbeing of their students is a key concern for schools, with alcohol and drug education integral to wellbeing and pastoral care programs. Schools are also well placed to educate and support parents in their role in helping to address risk behaviours in their children.
A key recommendation in response to the draft Strategy was therefore that the National Drug Strategy Committee considers appointing to the Alcohol Reference Group a nominee of the four national principals’ associations, both to provide a schools’ perspective to the Reference Group’s deliberations and to create a conduit for the ready dissemination of information through a wide national network of school leaders.
Driving this recommendation was a concern that recent trends identified in young people’s use and abuse of alcohol may lead to complacency about the need for sustained effort in drug and alcohol education, especially as digital technologies and social media open new avenues for advertising by alcohol producers and providers.
AHISA would welcome further research on whether advertising literacy can help weaken the influence of advertising content on children and young people and what tools would be most effective in helping students to acquire advertising literacy. Further, AHISA suggests there is a place for the Australian Government to support the development of such tools and make resources for schools and students accessible through the Government’s PositiveChoices website.
Click here to download a full version of AHISA’s submission.