Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Practices in Australian Drug Policy
"Commitment to evidence
"An important aspect of Australia’s approach to drug use has been the commitment to a comprehensive evidence base. Under the National Drug Strategy 2010–2015 there is a continued commitment to evidence-based and evidence-informed practice. Evidence-based practice means using approaches which have proven to be effective. For example, the continuing provision of detoxification, pharmacological therapies including opioid substitution therapies and cognitive behavioural therapies for alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment is based on an extensive body of evidence in Australia and internationally.
"Evidence-informed practice involves integrating existing evidence with professional expertise to develop optimal approaches, including new or innovative approaches in a given situation. The National Drug Strategy 2010–2015 includes a commitment to innovation and trialling new approaches. For example, the introduction of the Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative (IDDI) supported police-based diversion in early intervention and prevention programs before there was comprehensive evidence supporting this approach. The success of IDDI was a catalyst for its expansion into court-based diversion and treatment at correctional centres. IDDI demonstrates that where there is little evidence, leadership is needed to support innovation. Allowing room for the development of such creative approaches to be developed in the future will require new evidence to be collected so that the impact and quality of new interventions is well-understood."
Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. The National Drug Strategy 2010–2015: A framework for action on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, p. 21.