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Public libraries and Community Drug Action Teams (CDATS)

Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) are groups of volunteers who work together to minimise and prevent the harmful use of alcohol and other drugs in their neighbourhoods.

What is a CDAT?
CDAT stall in a public library

CDAT stall in Kempsey Library

Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) are informal groups of community members, Local Health Districts, and representatives from other government and non-government agencies who volunteer to work together on alcohol and other drugs issues affecting their local community. There are more than 70 CDATs across NSW.

NSW Health has supported the CDAT Program since its creation in 1999.

Commencing January 2021, an Odyssey House NSW-led consortium will manage the CDAT Program. Karralika Programs, Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Service and The Buttery are also members of the consortium. The program was previously managed by the Alcohol & Drug Foundation from 2013 to December 2020. In March 2021, a new CDAT website will be launched by the consortium.

What does a CDAT do?

Each team works to reduce the local impact of alcohol and other drug problems by identifying gaps in services and working with organisations and other community groups on local projects.
Common types of CDAT activities include:

  • identifying drug and alcohol-related problems in the local community
  • creation of leaflets listing local drug and alcohol services
  • drug information and education sessions - community forums and information expos
  • organising drug and alcohol-free events for young people
  • encouraging service/community partnerships (example: a local retailers’ voluntary code of conduct restricting the sale of solvents)
  • working with organisations and other community members to meet community needs.

CDATs are supported by a regional Senior Community Development Officer, whose role is to provide practical support to CDATs, assist in identifying resources and build relationships between CDATs.

How CDATs and libraries can work together:

  • co-location of information stalls
  • exchanging of information (adding libraries to CDAT distribution lists)
  • promotion of CDAT initiatives through the library
  • working in partnerships to create forums at the library
  • CDATs may have brochures and resources to distribute through libraries (eg pocket cards with lists of local services and emergency numbers)
  • host CDAT meetings at the library.

Drug Info encourages public libraries to work with local CDATs to improve community awareness of drug and alcohol issues. Please let us know about any collaborations, meetings or joint projects.