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Efficacy of support services and treatment options for police and emergency services



Ms Katherine Mann, Queensland Police Service


This study complements the limited body of knowledge available in Australia on the impact of alcohol and licit-substance abuse in police and emergency services as well as available treatment and support services.

The study researched and documented models of treatment and rehabilitation services for police and other emergency services personnel with an identified alcohol or licit drug problem. The project reviewed the provision of support services for this group, looking particularly at critical incident debriefing, and the issue of self-medication. The researcher extended the project to examine the Australian Defence Forces response to alcohol and drug use. Several overseas jurisdictions were also examined.

Another focus of the report was on the impact of stress (organisational and operational) and the interplay between stress and alcohol and other licit drug misuse. Many police and emergency services have yet to adequately deal with this. The debate on managing critical incidents highlights the need for organisations to review their existing policy and practice in this area.

This study took an in-depth look at some of the critical problems of workplace stress and substance misuse. It extended previous research by examining the needs of other emergency services personnel and presented several case studies.


This study identifies the infrastructure needed to implement policy; including training and high-quality treatment services for police and emergency services personnel.

Related reports

Mann, K (2003) Substance use in a police workplace: emerging issues and contemporary responses. Brisbane, Qld: Queensland Police Service.

Recent research papers

FARE continues to fund and undertake research that contributes to the knowledge-base about alcohol harms and strategies to reduce them.

This research is used to inform our approach to evidence-based alcohol policy development, ensuring that the solutions we are advocating for are informed by research. FARE’s research is also often quoted by governments, other not-for-profit organisations and researchers in public discussions about alcohol, demonstrating that FARE is seen as a leading source of information.

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