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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Research priority:

Enhancing primary prevention and early intervention

This multidisciplinary research area explores factors that prevent the early and problematic use of alcohol and other drugs, particularly during childhood and adolescence. The area includes a focus on early intervention programs for high risk children, families and communities. Research and evaluation on social determinants of drug use includes work on the impact of alcohol during pregnancy, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, early learning and care programs, parental support, school-based drug education, and the social and economic impact of community-embedded university education on those marginalised through AOD, mental health issues or homelessness.

This area draws upon diverse theoretical and methodological approaches and incorporates understandings from many disciplines anthropology, sociology, education, psychology and the creative arts to explore successful models of leadership and development. The research builds on international work exploring the social and economic benefits of prevention and early intervention, particularly among marginalised populations, in terms of more equal health outcomes, reduced hazardous and harmful drug use, safer children and more cohesive communities.