The authors' three 'speculative' explanations amounted to an early evaluation of the 'three-pronged' strategy of the NCADA. The first was that the publicity and educational messages associated with the NCADA had heightened awareness of the dangers of drug use.
Makkai and McAllister's 'speculative' explanations suggested that the NCADA was an efficacious strategy.
By contrast, the harm reduction component of the NCADA (later subsumed by the National Drug Strategy) has been a notable success.
What emerged at the time was called the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NCADA), now referred to as the National Drug Strategy (NDS).
From the NCADA's earliest days, theories, guidelines, evidence and structures were often put aside in preference for political pragmatism, decency and ignorance.
Key figures such as Professor Ian Webster (president of ADCA) and Professor Margaret Hamilton (executive member of ANCD) were central to the development of the NCADA and continue to carry those values into the drug policy arena today.
In 1985, renamed the Australian Foundation on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the foundation played an important part in the formation of the workshops preceding the special ministers' conference that initiated the NCADA. During the 1980s, as federal money became available, and states and territories invested more heavily in alcohol and drugs, the state-based foundations expanded.
As suggested earlier, the policy community approach was central to the original series of workshops preceding the special ministers' conference in 1985, the structures of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia, and the organizing principles underlying the advisory structures of the NCADA and NDS.
Methadone played a prominent part in the principles outlined by NCADA with regards to treatment.
However most would agree that NCADA and the emphasis on the use of methadone is a policy success (Ward, et al, 1992; McDonald, et al, 1988).