Federal Government urged to save essential alcohol and drug services

The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA) is urging the Federal Government to reverse its decision to defund the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA).

The NAAA has expressed its strong support for the continuation of ADCA, which is led by former Liberal MP Dr Mal Washer, especially the role it plays as a national voice of the country’s alcohol and drug treatment agencies and the important services it provides to communities throughout Australia.

Professor Mike Daube, Co-Chair of the NAAA and Chair of the WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA), said, “We urge the government to reconsider a decision which will leave a huge hole in the capacity of the sector to address harmful alcohol and drug use across Australia”.

“The decision to terminate ADCA’s funding was made without any discussion or consultation. Ending the nation’s peak alcohol and drug services organisation after 46 years would be damaging for alcohol and drug services and the community. We are writing to Health Minister Peter Dutton and Assistant Minister Senator Fiona Nash urging them to reverse their decision.

A decision to refund ADCA would send out encouraging signals that the government is willing to listen to this important sector”, Professor Daube said.

Todd Harper, Co-Chair of the NAAA and CEO of the Cancer Council Victoria said, “ADCA provides essential resources and support for health professionals who assist people with alcohol and drug problems, such as the National Drug Sector Information Service and the National Inhalants Information Service. Cutting ADCA’s funding will leave alcohol and drug agencies and their workers stranded and without a voice to speak on their behalf at the national level.

“We call on the government to reverse its decision on ADCA’s funding and show its support for organisations and professionals that are working hard to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drug use in the Australian community, Mr Harper said.