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 a division of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) and reports to the Chief Executive Officer of SALHN. Accordingly, SALHN oversees the governance of DASSA's corporate functions and clinical service delivery. 

DASSA sits within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, the Hon Chris Picton MP.

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 works closely in partnership with Preventive Health SA

DASSA's priorities and strategies are informed by the:

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.