$3.5m to continue the battle against youth alcohol and drug problems

19 Sep 2019

youth and alcohol drug problemsUniversity of Queensland research aimed at reducing substance abuse among young people has been boosted with $3.5 million in Federal Government funding.

UQ’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Director Professor Jason Connor said the grant reflected the ongoing support from the government to improve the future of young people at risk of alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related harm.

“The funding will be used across several major projects, including one that is based on decades of nationally representative data to identify current and emerging trends in youth substance use,” Professor Connor said.

“We are looking at innovative treatment models that can be used for these emerging drugs of concern.” Professor Connor said the team was also working on a project to investigate the growing problem of polydrug use, where young people use a range of different drugs at the same time.

“We are looking at what effect this has and how we can provide more knowledge to young people about the risks associated with polydrug use.”

The funding will build on work by Lives Lived Well Chair of Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health Professor Leanne Hides to deliver early interventions to at-risk young people in South East Queensland’s Safe Night Out Precincts.

“We’re also hoping to develop more effective residential treatment models for those with severe alcohol or drug dependence,” Professor Hides said.

UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said the team’s contribution to drug and alcohol research had provided international health benefits.

“Many of the Centre’s researchers have made a significant impact on alcohol and drug policies, legislation and treatment models in Australia and internationally,” Professor Abernethy said.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Research grant complements $2.3 million in federal government funding awarded in 2017 to UQ’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Research grant is co-led by Professor Jason Connor and Professor Leanne Hides.

Media: Professor Jason Connor, jason.connor@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 5150; Professor Leanne Hides, l.hides@uq.edu.au, +61 406 185 750; Kirsten O’Leary, UQ Communications, k.oleary@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 7436.