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Nature undertook research to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the drug and alcohol landscape in Australia had changed over the past 4 years.

This research formed a wave of a long-term longitudinal study conducted by the Federal Government to inform policy and communications. Specifically, the research needed to deliver guidance as to specific drugs to prioritise within public information campaigns over forthcoming years.

The Approach

Research was undertaken with parents of children aged 12 to 17 years, and with Australians aged 12 to 24 years, with the younger cohort recruited through their parents. An online survey investigated awareness, usage and perceptions of drugs and alcohol, and included an attitudinal segmentation.

The Result

The research provided a comprehensive analysis of how the landscape had changed over the past 4 years, including new understanding of parents’ views on the topic, which allowed a valuable counterpoint with which to interpret the attitudes and behaviours of young Australians. The research detailed implications for future communication campaigns: which drugs to focus on, which audiences to target and how, and recommended messaging and tonality to most reflectively communicate to these audiences.