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 information services for people with alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues.

DASSA's role

DASSA is responsible to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and reports to the Department for Health and Wellbeing for policy and planning advice to the Minister and the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

DASSA's strategic intention is the prevention and management of alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related issues 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, and provides expert advice and support to SA's role in national policy development
  • provides or brokers a range of prevention, intervention and treatment programs across the State with a particular focus on vulnerable, marginalised and high risk groups and behaviours
  • advises on evidence-based practice, and
  • participates in research.

DASSA in partnership with South Australia Police, leads the implementation of the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2017-2021 (PDF 460KB). DASSA also has responsibility for administering the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Regulation Act 1997 and works in partnership with a range of government agencies to help implement the South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2023-2027 (PDF 842KB).

DASSA's priorities and strategies are informed by:

Harm minimisation

DASSA's work is based on the principle of harm minimisation. Harm minimisation has been the nationally agreed approach to alcohol and other drug problems since 1985. It involves a coordinated, whole of government approach to addressing the 'three pillars' of demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction.

  • 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.

Legislative framework

DASSA operates under the legislative framework provided by the following Acts of Parliament related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, which are committed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing: