Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) is a statewide health service that offers a range of prevention, treatment and education services for all South Australians.

Mission and role

DASSA is responsible to the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and is part of the Department for Health and Ageing.

DASSA addresses alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug issues with its strategic intention being the prevention and management of drug problems across South Australia. To achieve this, DASSA:

  • advises on a whole-of-government approach to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the misuse of licit drugs
  • advises on policy relating to tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
  • provides or brokers a range of prevention, intervention and treatment programs across the State with a particular focus on high risk groups and behaviours
  • advises on evidence-based practice
  • participates in research.

DASSA provides leadership to the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2011-16 (PDF 7MB) and South Australia's Strategic Plan targets:

  • Target 80: Smoking - Reduce the smoking rate to 10% of the population and halve the smoking rate of Aboriginal South Australians by 2018 (baseline: 2008)
  • Target 81: Alcohol consumption - Reduce the proportion of South Australians who drink at risky levels by 30% by 2020 (baseline: 2007)

DASSA's mission is:

To develop and deliver best practice in: preventing the uptake of harmful drug use; reducing the harmful effects of licit and illicit drugs; and offering pathways out of harmful drug use.

This mission reflects the goal of the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2011-16 (PDF 7MB):

To enhance the lives of South Australians by reducing the harms of alcohol and other drug misuse.

Guiding principles

The principle of harm minimisation is recognised as fundamental to the success of the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 and the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2011-2016 (PDF 7MB) and is the overarching principle that guides DASSA’s work. It encompasses a range of strategies designed to minimise the harms arising from drugs including:

  • demand reduction strategies designed to prevent the uptake of harmful drug use and to reduce drug use
  • harm reduction strategies designed to reduce the harms associated with drug use for individuals and communities
  • supply reduction strategies designed to disrupt the production and supply of illicit drugs.


DASSA's priorities and strategies are informed by:


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