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2000 NSW sport clubs take on the Good Sports cause

29 July 2014

Two-thousand NSW sporting clubs have pledged to tackle binge drinking in sport.

The Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program is working with communities to make sports clubs safe and healthy by managing alcohol more responsibly.

Nikki Woolley, Good Sports NSW State Manager, said alcohol is a leading cause of preventable illness and death in Australia.

“Breaking the link between alcohol and sport has never been more important,” she said.

“When we brought Good Sports to NSW eight years ago, asking a sporting club to reconsider how they promote and manage alcohol around the grounds was a tough ask. The fact that we now have 2000 clubs committed to the Good Sports program just shows how far our clubs have come.”

Good Sports clubs are safer because they provide Responsible Service of Alcohol training for all bar staff, smoke-free club rooms, and plan for how members will get home safely if they drink at the club.

Parkes Touch Association is the 2000th club to register with the program in NSW.

Sue McGrath, Parkes Touch Association Board Member, said that community sports clubs are moving away from the binge drinking culture of years ago.

“At Parkes Touch, we can already see the benefits of being part of this program. It has refocused our committee on the best things in our sport and is giving us the positive framework to encourage inclusion of all members of our community,” Sue said.

Good Sports is Australia’s largest preventive health program for the community sporting sector. With more than 6500 clubs involved nationally, around 30 per cent of Good Sports clubs in NSW.

Transport for NSW is the major supporter of Good Sports in NSW, helping Good Sports reduce the incidence of drink-driving and encourage safe driving among young drivers. Drink driving is a factor in around one in every five crashes in NSW where someone loses their life.

For more information about Good Sports visit or find us on

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1 in 10 workers absent or affected by drugs at work

28 July 2014

A new poll has revealed how many Victorian employees take sick days or are affected by drugs at work.

The poll conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation found:

  • 10% of Victorian employees had either taken a day off and/or gone to work feeling the effects of their drug use.

In a large sample of Victorian workers, drugs were identified as illegal drugs, synthetic drugs and un-prescribed pharmaceutical medications.

The Australian Drug Foundation’s Head of Workplace Services, Phillip Collins, said weekend drug use can have a major impact on workplace productivity, performance, absenteeism and office health and safety.

“Feeling the after effects of weekend drug use can be just as problematic as being intoxicated on the job. Headaches, blurred vision, irritability, difficulty concentrating and extreme tiredness can all create organisational problems.

“Drugs and alcohol cost Australian businesses $6 billion a year in lost productivity and absenteeism alone. Then there’s the serious health and safety risks in the workplace, particularly where employees operate machinery or drive vehicles.”

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, with the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey finding that more than 20 per cent of 18-29 year olds had used cannabis in the last 12 months.

Mr Collins said that many workplaces are now looking to drug testing as a solution to ensure workers aren’t under the influence of drugs while at work - but he warns that employers should be wary.

“Drug testing isn’t the only solution, and simply will not work when delivered in isolation. All businesses need a formal workplace policy in conjunction with education, training and support programs.”

The Australian Drug Foundation’s poll surveyed 1000 Victorian employees and was funded by the Myra Stoicesco Charitable Fund.

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Less young people drinking but more drug prevention work to be done

17 July 2014

Young people are waiting longer before they try drinking and drugs, showing prevention efforts are working, but have a long way to go yet.

Key findings from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey released this morning show that the age at which 14-24 year olds are having their first drink is being delayed, rising from 14.4 years to 15.7 years of age over the last decade and a half.

CEO John Rogerson said news that more young people are waiting longer, and more are abstaining from alcohol is great news for the Australian community.

"We know that the younger a person drinks alcohol, the more likely they are to binge drink and have a problem with alcohol later in life," Mr Rogerson said. "That's why we recommend that no one under the age of 18 consume alcohol."

"The proportion of young people aged 12-17 years old who are choosing not to drink has risen from 64% to 72% in just three years - showing trends are heading the right direction."

"We need to maintain our prevention efforts – including increasing community awareness of alcohol harms and boosting measures such as legislation to give parents more control of their child's access to alcohol. We encourage those jurisdictions which are yet to introduce secondary supply legislation - WA, SA and ACT - to do so immediately to help protect young Australians.

"We're also pleased to see overall a significant reduction over the last three years in the amount of Australians of all ages drinking at risky levels."

"These results, while they are encouraging, shouldn't be viewed or portrayed as 'job done'. Australia is still very much in the grip of a dangerous love affair with booze. Alcohol cost us more than $15 billion a year, causes more harm to the community than illicit drugs and is an unacceptable burden on our health care system, our emergency services and on our society."

Mr Rogerson said trends of illicit use of drugs held no real surprises.

"The increasing non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is of great concern to us, with this survey showing nearly 5% of the community have misused them in the last 12 months.

"Alarmingly, we know more people are dying from pharmaceuticals than are dying on roads every year. While people may think they are safe because they come from a pharmacist, they are certainly may be very dangerous if used not as prescribed or if not prescribed for you.

"The use of meth/amphetamines overall has remained stable, although the use of speed is down and the use of ice (crystal methamphetamine) is up. Of concern to us is the increase in daily or weekly use of methamphetamines, particularly ice.

"We look forward to analysing the data in more detail in coming days and when the full report is released later in the year."

The key findings of the 2013 National Drugs Strategy Household Survey are available online at

For information and resources about drug effects and help available visit

Media enquiries: Jennifer Willis 0430 948 380 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


About the Australian Drug Foundation: Celebrating more than 50 years of service to the community, the Australian Drug Foundation is one of Australia's leading bodies committed to preventing alcohol and other drug problems in communities around the nation. The Foundation reaches millions of Australians in local communities through sporting clubs, workplaces, health care settings and schools, offering educational information, drug and alcohol prevention programs and advocating for strong and healthy communities.

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Cannabis diversions - new survey

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is conducting a study looking at the effectiveness of Australian police drug diversion for cannabis use/possession offenders.

If you live in Australia, are aged 17+ and have been detected by police for a cannabis use/possession offence in the last 3-9 months then we encourae you to take part.

For more information and to take part:

The survey is anonymous and will take only 15-20 minutes. You will be eligible to win a $200 music voucher as compensation for your time.

If you would like more information contact Marian at UNSW: (02) 8936 1215 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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New Executive appointed to lead brand & development strategy

14 July 2014

A strategic partnerships specialist with a passion for creative solutions and social justice has joined one of Australia's leading alcohol and other drug prevention not-for-profits.

The Australian Drug Foundation is pleased to welcome Robin Penty, Head of Development, Marketing and Communications to its Executive Management Team.


Robin has worked in the not-for-profit, arts, education and tertiary sectors for more than two decades, with a focus on social inclusion, regional participation and entrepreneurship.

Before joining the Australian Drug Foundation, Robin held the position of National Manager, Strategic Partnerships at The Smith Family.

While working at the Arts Centre Melbourne as Head of Participation and Public Programs, Robin oversaw the most significant restructure and expansion of an arts participation team in Australia. Robin's team was recognised for leadership four times by the Victorian state government, and her work in partnerships has garnered national awards from Australian Business & the Arts Foundation, Australian Writer's Guild and the Australia Council for the Arts.

CEO John Rogerson said he is looking forward to Robin's creativity and analytical contribution to the future of the Australian Drug Foundation and helping to change Australia's drinking culture.

"Robin brings with her a wide breadth of experience and skills," John said. "I'm looking forward to working with Robin as she leads some exciting big projects around development of our brand, future partnerships and strategic direction."

Contact: Jennifer Willis 0430 948 380 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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