What our Panel said about drug and alcohol issues... December 2018

This month, COORDINARE asked people in South Eastern NSW how they feel about drug and alcohol issues. 

More than 61% of our Panel have been concerned about their drinking or that of someone they care about. However, only 24% of people sought help for this issue.

Of those who did seek help for alcohol issues, the most common services/sources to seek help from were: 

  • a doctor (70%)
  • drug and alcohol service (50%)
  • family or friends (20%).

Of those who did not seek help, almost three-quarters of people (71%) didn’t want help. Some other key reasons people chose not to seek help included:

  • “not aware they have a problem and resent it being suggested”
  • “recognised the problem developing and made changes”
  • “denial”
  • “doubt the ‘help’ would be of value”
  • “not aware they needed help”.

When asked about drug use (illegal and/or prescription), 36% of our survey respondents said it is a serious issue in the community.

For 69% of people, ice (meth) was listed as the drug of most concern. Several people mentioned alcohol as a key concern, as well as prescription drugs such as anxiety medication.

Drug alcohol survey

Above: We asked our Consumer Health Panel about the most concerning drugs being misused in the community.

When we asked the Panel what might help to reduce drug and alcohol misuse in the community, there were many ideas.

The most popular suggestions are summarised below:

  • several people felt early education and raising awareness of the dangers are crucial, as well as more funding for peer workers and community groups
  • some people thought more police involvement at a community level, harsher penalties and drug legislation were the answer
  • other ideas included more employment opportunities and better access to local rehabilitation services.

85% of survey respondents feel there is a need for more drug and alcohol services in their local area.

One person said that “services are lagging behind the growth in drug use.”

Another person commented that we have “too much acceptance of alcohol while the use of 'other drugs' is demonised.”

Security was also raised as an issue, with one person suggesting that “there needs to be some level of added security surrounding new and existing [drug and alcohol] facilities to protect clients and staff.”

Fortunately, more than three-quarters of survey respondents (77%) have not been affected by changes to the availability of over-the-counter codeine.

Of those who were affected, 67% of people were able to access alternatives through their doctor.

Thank you to all of our Consumer Health Panel participants for sharing your views on drug and alcohol issues in South Eastern NSW communities.

For more information, go to:

Alcohol and Other Drugs Information Service (ADIS) - A confidential and anonymous information, advice and referral service. ADIS provides information about drugs (including methadone), safer injecting advice, parent advice and detoxification.

Refer via phone:

  • (02) 9361‑8000 or
  • if rural location, toll free 1800‑422‑599.

Family Drug Support Australia (FDS) - Information, help and referral service. 

Refer via phone:

  • (02) 4782‑9222 or
  • 1300‑368‑186.

For more details, see Family Drug Support Australia.

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Please note: COORDINARE is not a clinical health service and cannot advise individuals about their health care. Always seek the advice of your General Practitioner (GP) or other qualified health provider regarding any questions or concerns you may have about a particular medical condition.