Strengthening prevention and early intervention reduces vulnerability and demand, and delivers a high return on investment.
Evidence demonstrates that preventing the uptake of substance use and delaying the age of initiation or first-use protects against alcohol-and-other-drug-related-harm across the life course. The earlier a person starts using alcohol or other drugs, the greater the risk of harm and of poor individual, social and system outcomes.
Prioritising prevention and early intervention will reduce the impact on people and communities and reduce demand for acute and specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services.
Awareness of harm
Raising alcohol and other drug literacy can build positive individual, family, community and service attitudes, increase awareness of harm, and support people to seek help earlier.
Family-based and carer-based prevention approaches can be effective in reducing harm. Many parents and carers find it difficult to build their own knowledge and skills, and locate credible and age-appropriate information and resources to help initiate and guide effective conversations about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Prevention responses can be categorised as primary, secondary or tertiary, with each targeting different groups.