Addressing and preventing the causes of alcohol and other drug problems will be the prime focus of a community action plan being developed for the Clarence Valley. The Clarence Valley Council and local community service providers have partnered to form a Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) named Clarence Youth Alliance, which has received funding to protect young people from developing drug and alcohol problems. The council’s community services coordinator, Dan Griffin, said the alliance would seek further funding once the plan was finalised so approved projects could be delivered across the Clarence. The LDAT program, which is run by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, supports community organisations to work in partnership to develop and deliver programs that prevent or minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs. Local drug action teams work together and with the community to identify the issues they want to tackle and develop and implement a plan for action. The LDAT program is funded by the Australian Government and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and is being implemented across Australia. By 2020, there will be 220 communities actively involved. Service provider partner On Track Community Programs (OTCP) works with Clarence Valley families, the community and other services to provide access to the opportunities and benefits that many people take for granted – stable accommodation, access to health care, education and employment, social and recreational activities and, most importantly, a sense of hope and belonging. OTCP also specialises in providing support to Aboriginal families, people requiring mental health recovery support, disability support and support to women experiencing or escaping domestic or family violence. On Track Community Programs community support manager, Nicole Secomb, said the Clarence Youth Alliance program would provide options for young people dealing with stress in their everyday lives to connect with community and recreational activities rather than turn to drugs and alcohol. About The Alcohol and Drug Foundation: Celebrating almost 60 years of service to the community, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation is one of Australia’s leading bodies committed to preventing alcohol and other drug harms in communities around the nation. The foundation reaches millions of Australians in local communities through sporting clubs, workplaces, healthcare settings and schools, offering educational information, drug and alcohol prevention programs and advocating for strong and healthy communities. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation provides practical resources to help local drug action teams deliver evidence-informed projects and activities. Recently The Alcohol and Drug Foundation announced a further 92 LDATs have joined the LDAT program, including the Clarence Valley. This means there are now 172 LDATs working across Australia to reduce and prevent alcohol and other drug harms. For more information about the LDAT program visit www.adf.org.au/ldat or call the ADF’s media team on 0430 948 380.