The Horizons Project: An empirical analysis of alcohol and drug treatment funding, purchasing and workforce mechanisms

Project Supporters:

NHMRC Project Grant (GNT1128100)

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Project Members
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Associate Professor Timothy Dobbins
Associate Professor
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Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Ph 02 9385 0189
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Research Fellow
Ph +61 2 9385 6407
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Research Officer
Ph +61 2 9385 0449
Project Main Description

Alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment is key for improving health and reducing the social impact of AOD use. However, the treatment itself is not the only variable that impacts on whether health outcomes are improved. The way in which treatment is funded, purchased, and staffed is likewise important. While these variables are important determinants of treatment outcomes, no Australian research to date has examined how the funding, purchasing, and staffing of treatment impacts on client treatment outcomes.

The key structural features associated with treatment outcomes are:

  1. Funding arrangements
  2. Purchasing mechanisms
  3. Provider type
  4. Workforce characteristics

This is the first Australian research to focus on these structural features and examine how the funding, purchasing, and staffing of treatment impacts on client treatment outcomes. This project, named Horizons, has been funded by the NHMRC (2017 to 2019).

The research team is committed to making this a capacity building project for the AOD sector. In addition to an Advisory Group, we are working closely with the range of key stakeholders in the sector: state/territory and federal funders, and the government and non-government treatment providers. Engagement with stakeholders will be sought across the research process through advice and consultation on research questions, data gathering, commentary and feedback on emerging findings, and the production of (user-friendly) materials summarising the results.

The project is supported by an Advisory Group, which includes the following members:

  • Mr Sam Biondo - CEO, Victorian Alcohol And other Drug Association (VAADA)
  • Ms Helene Delany - Manager, Alcohol and other Drug Policy, ACT Health
  • A/Prof Adrian Dunlop - Addiction Medicine Specialist, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Dr Moira Hewitt - Head, Tobacco Alcohol and Other Drugs Unit. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Ms Rebecca Lang - CEO, Queensland Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (QNADA)
  • Prof Ann Roche - Director, National Centre Education and Training on Addictions (NCETA)
  • Mr Ross Broad, A/Director, Drug Policy and Reform, Community Based Health Policy & Programs Branch, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Helen Taylor, A/Director, Alcohol and Other Drugs Strategy, Planning & Partnerships Unit, Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Branch, Department of Health
  • Chris Killick-Moran, Director, Research and International Policy, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Branch, Population Health and Sport Division, Department of Health

International advisors:

  • Dr Kerstin Stenius - Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, National Inst for Health & Welfare, Finland
  • A/Prof Jessica Storbjork - Stockholm University, Sweden
Project Supporters

NHMRC Project Grant (GNT1128100)

Project Collaborators: External

Dr Michael Livingston
La Trobe University

Dr Lynda Berends
Trace Research

Professor Harvey Whiteford
The University of Queensland

Date Commenced

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