Media releases

New initiatives to tackle alcohol misuse

01 Jun 2010

Tasmania's share of Australia's $15 billion problem with alcohol is to be tackled today when the State Government announces two new programs from the Australian Drug Foundation.

"Launching these initiatives demonstrates the Tasmanian Government's commitment to addressing the tough issues head-on and we look forward to supporting them on this journey," says John Rogerson CEO Australian Drug Foundation.

Representatives from Australia's major sporting codes, government agencies, local councils, and nongovernment community service providers will be at Bellerive Oval at 9:30 am today when the Government releases its overarching policy on alcohol - the Tasmanian Alcohol Action Framework 2010-2015 Rising Above the Influence. It will also launch;

  • the Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports program to help promote responsible use of alcohol in sporting clubs and
  • The Build Your Game program, which is a joint initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation, beyondblue: the national depression initiative and the Tasmanian Government. The program aims to encourage and support sporting clubs to identify and help their members deal with depression/anxiety and related drug and alcohol use.

There is growing evidence of a link between risky drinking and sports clubs around Australia. Australian Drug Foundation research has found one in five men aged 18 to 30 consumed ten or more drinks in a night at their local sporting club, revealing a clear need to expand the Good Sports program to all Australian states, including Tasmania.

"Sports clubs are the hub of most Australian communities and provide a better way to change the way people think about drinking," says Mr Rogerson.

"We have the capacity to reach an extraordinary number of people through the Good Sports clubs - potentially 25 per cent of the Australian population through organised sport in community sporting clubs*. This includes families, young men, kids, female athletes and mums - you name it. We can talk to communities about alcohol and mental illness in a way that is unique thanks to our national connections to local communities through sporting clubs," says Mr Rogerson.

CEO of beyondblue Leonie Young says: "We are very pleased to be working with the Australian Drug Foundation, the Tasmanian Government and Councils to get important information about drinking and depression to people across the state. Often, people drink to try to make themselves feel better, but we know that drinking makes depression and anxiety worse. The Build Your Game program will help to get the message out to all Tasmanian communities."

The Good Sports and the Build Your Game programs are supported by The Tasmanian Government , beyondblue, The Hobart, Clarence and Derwent Valley Councils.

For media enquiries please contact Nick Tolhurst on 0400 145 100. Australian Drug Foundation spokespeople available: John Rogerson, Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Watts, National Community Development Manager Nick Tolhurst, Mental Health Programs Manager

Australian Drug Foundation

Celebrating 50 years of service to the community, the Australian Drug Foundation is Australia's leading body committed to preventing alcohol and other drug problems in communities around the nation. The Foundation currently reaches more than 600,000 Australians through community sporting clubs and also works with a wide range of Australians in governments, workplaces, health care settings and schools, offering educational information and campaigning for healthy and strong communities.

Good Sports

Good Sports is a nationwide program of the Australian Drug Foundation that helps sporting clubs become safer, healthier and more family friendly through the responsible management of alcohol. With more than 3,000 clubs participating nationwide, the Good Sports program is free to join and easy to sign up to. Visit www.goodsports.com.au .

Build Your Game

Build Your Game is an initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation and supported in Victoria and New South Wales by beyondblue: the national depression initiative, which works to raise awareness about depression, anxiety and related alcohol and drug problems.

* ABS Statistics - Sports and Recreation: A statistical overview Australia 2009.

Media professionals wanting further information, a comment or an interview should contact the media team.