NDRI - SWSLHD Drug Health Services collaboration

August 2018

Professor Suzanne Fraser
Dr Adrian Farrugia
Ms Renae Fomiatti

Project description: 

NDRI has been commissioned by South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Drug Health Services (DHS) to conduct four research projects.

In a new initiative aimed at developing a strong collaborative relationship, South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Drug Health Services (DHS) has commissioned NDRI’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) research program to conduct four research projects.

The first project is a scoping study designed to identify and pursue large-scale opportunities for research collaboration, the second will examine the various kinds of stigma experienced by DHS clients, the third will explore the phenomenology of heavy alcohol consumption in South West Sydney, and the fourth will look at DHS’s nascent assertive youth outreach initiative.

Together these projects constitute a novel program of collaboration that will combine cutting edge conceptual tools and analytical processes with thoroughly grounded empirical research leading to practical applied outcomes.

At a recent consultation workshop led by SSAC program leader Professor Suzanne Fraser and UNSW-based colleague Professor Carla Treloar, DHS staff were invited to share their thoughts on South West Sydney alcohol and other drug research priority topics, and ideas for effective collaborative processes.

Consultation with and direct involvement by consumers and the broader South West Sydney community will also be central to the research process, and the team are currently thinking through the most effective means of establishing and maintaining these activities.

The new relationship being developed between SSAC and SWSLHD Drug Health Services adds a new dimension to the SSAC program which, while it has always sought and benefited from stakeholder involvement in its projects, has not previously collaborated so closely with non-academic partners.

As Professor Fraser notes, “The opportunities this relationship offers for implementing research findings based on SSAC’s trademark conceptually driven research are very exciting – possibly even unprecedented in the Australian alcohol and other drug context.”