Drug & Alcohol

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Alliance (DAPA)

The East Gippsland Drug & Alcohol Prevention Alliance (DAPA) is a coalition of 20 local organisations including East Gippsland Shire Council, Vic Police, local health organisations, Government departments and a range of non government agencies.

DAPA has a primary prevention approach to preventing the harms caused to our community by alcohol and drugs with a particular focus on our young people. It is a Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) which receives some assistance from the Alcohol & Drug Foundation (ADF) of Australia.

DAPA has refined it's prevention focus to a number of areas, including prioritising the prevention of first use of alcohol by young people. Accordingly, has implemented a range of programs to increase protective factors, decrease risk factors and prevent first use of alcohol.

Youth and teen mental health first aid focus on better equipping young people to identify and respond to their own mental health issues and strengthen the knowledge of parents and others who work with young people. These programs are designed to put downward pressure on the risk factor of depressive symptomatology.

'SMART generation' is a program that aims to reduce youth alcohol consumption rates by monitoring alcohol sales in local outlets and utilising social media messaging.

In 2018, the East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership (EGPCP) and the East Gippsland Shire Council connected the work of DAPA to the East Gippsland Communities That Care (CTC) initiative, resulting in a single, coordinated network for the primary prevention of drug and alcohol use in East Gippsland. DAPA has since formally become the community board of the East Gippsland CTC initiative, has developed a set of shared measures against areas of change we seek and continues to build a community programs profile that address the risk and protective factors that we seek to change.

Preventing the first use of crystal methamphetamine

A background paper was written by the EGPCP in 2015 to outline the issue of ice use in our region. The document contains localised information on a number of topics including the following:

  • What is methamphetamine?
  • History of ice use.
  • Why do people choose ice?
  • Risk and protective factors.
  • How available is ice in East Gippsland?
  • Healthcare and hospital presentation data.
  • What is prevention?
  • How can first time drug use be prevented?
  • Local prevention work in East Gippsland.

As a result, the East Gippsland Ice Prevention Working Group was formed. This group brings together professionals from various backgrounds including prevention, drug and alcohol response, mental health, police, youth and children’s services, sporting organisations, Aboriginal health and wellbeing services and community leaders. If you would like to learn more about the activity of the East Gippsland Ice Prevention Working Group, please contact EGPCP.