Reducing Harm from Alcohol and Other Drugs

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation. We are considering community feedback prior to the updated Policy being presented to Council for endorsement later in 2024.

Council plays an important role in reducing the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs in our community.

Within our City, and indeed Greater Melbourne, the vast majority of people who use alcohol and other drugs do not become dependent or develop serious problems. However, the misuse of alcohol and other drugs is widely recognised in Australia as a major health problem, and one that has wider social and economic costs. Having policies and strategies in place at all levels of government ensures a clear and unified direction in helping manage the usage of alcohol and other drugs.

Council has a strong history of taking action on the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, and having policies and strategies to support this. In 1998, a strategic response was adopted by Council in relation to increasing levels of drug usage and dealing in Footscray, most notably of heroin.

By adopting a harm minimisation model, previous policies have recognised the complex issue of drug misuse along with the disproportionate and negative affect it can have on not only marginalised communities, but the community more broadly.

Our updated draft Policy

Council recognises the important role it plays as a leader, partner, advocate, decision-maker, researcher and information provider in addressing and helping reduce the harms of alcohol and other drugs, despite being limited in its ability to implement significant change.

Our previous Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy 2017-2021 has expired, and we are now seeking community input on a new draft Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy 2023-2028 to continue to support our community in this space.

You can view the draft Policy in the document library.

Draft principles

The draft Policy commits Council to the principles of advocacy, partnerships and research, with the aim of reducing harm from alcohol and other drugs.