NACCHO Aboriginal #Mentalhealth #SuicidePrevention and #RUOKday : If you ask #RUOK ? What do you do if someone says ‘no’? Plus Sponsorships for 10 #Indigenous young people to take participate #chatsafe campaign

R U OK Day today encouraging all of us to check in with others to see if they’re OK.

But what if someone says “no”? What should you say or do? Should you tell someone else?

What resources can you point to, and what help is available?

Read NACCHO Aboriginal Health articles over the past 6 Years

Mental Health 189 posts 

Suicide Prevention 124 Posts

Here is a guide 

Stop and listen, with curiosity and compassion

We underestimate the power of simply listening to someone else when they’re going through a rough time. You don’t need to be an expert with ten years of study in psychology to be a good listener. Here are some tips:

Listen actively. Pay attention, be present and allow the person time to speak.

Be curious. Ask about the person’s experience using open questions such as

what’s been going on lately?

you don’t seem your usual self, how are you doing/feeling?

Validate their concerns. See the situation from the person’s perspective and try not to dismiss their problems or feelings as unimportant or stupid. You can say things like

I can see you’re going through a tough time

it’s understandable to feel that way given everything you’ve been going through.

There are more examples of good phrases to use here.

Don’t try to fix the problem right now

Often our first instinct is wanting to fix the person’s problems. It hurts to see others in pain, and we can feel awkward or helpless not knowing how to help. But you don’t have to have all of the answers.

Instead of jumping into “fix it” mode right away, accept the conversation may be uncomfortable and allow the person to speak about their difficulties and experiences.

Sometimes it’s not the actual suggestion or practical help that’s most useful but giving the person a chance to talk openly about their struggles. Also, the more we understand the person’s experience, the more likely we are to be able to offer the right type of help.

Encourage them to seek help.

Ask:

how can I help?

is there something I can do for you right now?

Sometimes it’s about keeping them company (making plans to do a pleasant activity together), providing practical support (help minding their kids to give them time out), or linking them in with other health professionals.

Check whether they need urgent help

It’s possible this person is suffering more than you realise: they may be contemplating suicide or self-harm. Asking about suicidal thoughts does not worsen those thoughts, but instead can help ease distress.

It’s OK to ask them if they’re thinking about suicide, but try not to be judgemental (“you’re not thinking of doing anything stupid, are you?”). Listen to their responses without judgement, and let them know you care and you’d like to help.

Read more: How to ask someone you’re worried about if they’re thinking of suicide

There are resources and programs to help you learn how to support suicidal loved ones, and crisis support lines to call:

  • Contact the Social and Emotional team at your nearest ACCHO
  • Lifeline (24-hour crisis telephone counselling) 13 11 14
  • Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467
  • Mental health crisis lines

If it is an emergency, or the person is at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, call 000.

Encourage them to seek professional help

We’re fortunate to be living in Australia, with access to high quality mental health care, resources and support services. But it can be overwhelming to know what and where to seek help. You can help by pointing the person in the right direction.

The first place to seek help is the general practitioner (GP). The GP can discuss treatment options (psychological support and/or medication), provide referrals to a mental health professional or arrange access to local support groups. You can help by encouraging your friend to make an appointment with their GP.

There are great evidence-based online courses and self-help programseducational resources and free self-help workbooks that can be accessed at any time.

There are also online tools to check emotional health. These tools help indicate if a person’s stress, anxiety and depression levels are healthy or elevated.

What if they don’t want help?

People with mental health difficulties sometimes take years between first noticing the problem and seeking professional help. Research shows approximately one in three people experiencing mental health problems accesses treatment.

So even if they don’t want help now, your conversation may have started them thinking about getting help. You can try understanding what’s stopping them from seeking help and see if there’s anything you can do to help connect them to a professional. You don’t need to push this, but simply inviting the person to keep the options in mind and offering your ongoing support can be useful in the long run.

Follow up. If appropriate, organise a time to check in with the person again to see how they’re doing after your conversation. You can also let the person know you’re around and they are always welcome to have a chat with you. Knowing someone is there for you can itself be a great source of emotional support.

Read more: Five types of food to increase your psychological well-being

The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences bursary

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who would like to share their expertise, advice, and ideas and contribute to the development of a suicide prevention social media campaign!

About the #chatsafe campaign

We would like to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to co-design a suicide prevention social media campaign specifically for the Aboriginal community. The campaign will focus on educating and empowering young people to support themselves and other young people within their online social networks. Rather than speaking on behalf of Aboriginal communities, we wish to draw on the expertise, cultural identities, and strengths of the community to inform campaign materials.

The co-design workshop will involve a yarning circle, where young people will be given the opportunity to share their experiences and express their needs. The yarning circle will be facilitated by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person. The workshop will also involve working together, in groups, to generate ideas for a social media campaign (e.g., digital storytelling, drawing, etc.).

The workshop will be hosted in Perth, as a part of the The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences. The workshop will be conducted in the morning and breakfast will be provided. Young people will be reimbursed $30.00 per hour for their time.

Opportunity for financial support

Oyrgen would like to sponsor 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to take part in our co-design workshop and The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences, hosted from 20 to 23 November, in Perth, by providing a bursary.

SEE CONFERENCE WEBSITE

Eligibility

To be eligible for Orygen’s bursary funding, the applicant must be an Aboriginal and Torres Islander young person, aged between 18 and 25 years. We encourage young people from all geographic regions, across Australia, to apply.

Submitting your application

If you would like to be a part of the co-design workshop, please email your application to Jo at

The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences bursary

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who would like to share their expertise, advice, and ideas and contribute to the development of a suicide prevention social media campaign!

About the #chatsafe campaign

We would like to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to co-design a suicide prevention social media campaign specifically for the Aboriginal community. The campaign will focus on educating and empowering young people to support themselves and other young people within their online social networks. Rather than speaking on behalf of Aboriginal communities, we wish to draw on the expertise, cultural identities, and strengths of the community to inform campaign materials.

The co-design workshop will involve a yarning circle, where young people will be given the opportunity to share their experiences and express their needs. The yarning circle will be facilitated by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person. The workshop will also involve working together, in groups, to generate ideas for a social media campaign (e.g., digital storytelling, drawing, etc.). The workshop will be hosted in Perth, as a part of the The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences. The workshop will be conducted in the morning and breakfast will be provided. Young people will be reimbursed $30.00 per hour for their time.

Opportunity for financial support

Oyrgen would like to sponsor 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to take part in our co-design workshop and The 2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conferences, hosted from 20 to 23 November, in Perth, by providing a bursary.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Orygen’s bursary funding, the applicant must be an Aboriginal and Torres Islander young person, aged between 18 and 25 years. We encourage young people from all geographic regions, across Australia, to apply.

Submitting your application

If you would like to be a part of the co-design workshop, please email your application to Jo at jo.robinson@orygen.org.au. Submissions can be made on, or before Sunday, 30 September, 2018.

Selection process

In the first week of October, a panel consisting of Oyrgen staff, a Culture is Life representative, Professor Pat Dudgeon from the conference organising committee, Summer May Finlay (a Yorta Yorta woman), and young people will review all written applications and select 10 successful applicants. The selection panel will endeavour to select a diverse range of young people. The 10 successful applicants will be notified by email by mid-October. The success applicants will have until 31 October, 2018 to accept the bursary offered.

Requirements

The successful recipients of the bursaries are required to attend a half-day co-design workshop. Recipients will also be asked to complete and submit a ‘Wellness Plan’, ‘Bank Details Form’, and ‘Consent Form’ prior to participation in the w

. Submissions can be made on, or before Sunday, 30 September, 2018.

Selection process

In the first week of October, a panel consisting of Oyrgen staff, a Culture is Life representative, Professor Pat Dudgeon from the conference organising committee, Summer May Finlay (a Yorta Yorta woman), and young people will review all written applications and select 10 successful applicants. The selection panel will endeavour to select a diverse range of young people. The 10 successful applicants will be notified by email by mid-October. The success applicants will have until 31 October, 2018 to accept the bursary offered.

Requirements

The successful recipients of the bursaries are required to attend a half-day co-design workshop. Recipients will also be asked to complete and submit a ‘Wellness Plan’, ‘Bank Details Form’, and ‘Consent Form’ prior to participation in the w

Anyone seeking support and information about mental health can contact beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36. For information about suicide and crisis support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health #Nutrition #Obesity : @IndigenousPHAA The #AFL ladder of sponsorships such as soft drinks @CocaColaAU and junk food @McDonalds_AU endangers the health of our children

 “Aboriginal and Non- Aboriginal kids are being inundated with the advertising of alcohol, junk food and gambling through AFL sponsorship deals according to a new study.

With obesity and excessive drinking remaining a significant problem in our communities, it’s time for the AFL ladder of unhealthy sponsorship (see below) to end,

Children under the age of eight are particularly vulnerable to advertising because they lack the maturity and mental skills to evaluate the messages. Therefore, in the case of the AFL, they begin to associate unhealthy products with their favourite sport and players

We need to ask ourselves why Australia’s most popular winter sport is serving as a major advertising platform for soft drink, beer, wine, burgers and meat pies. It’s sending the wrong message to Australians that somehow these unhealthy foods and drinks are linked to the healthy activity of sport,”

Says the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA).

Read all NACCHO Aboriginal Health Nutrition / Obestity articles over 6 years HERE 

In the study published this week in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Australian researchers looked at the prevalence of sponsorship by alcohol, junk food and gambling companies on AFL club websites and on AFL player uniforms.

The findings were used to make an ‘AFL Sponsorship Ladder’, a ranking of AFL clubs in terms of their level of unhealthy sponsorships, with those at the top of the ladder having the highest level of unhealthy sponsors.

The study clearly demonstrated that Australia’s most popular spectator sport is saturated with unhealthy advertising.

Download PDF Copy of report NACCHO Unhealthy sponsors of sport

Ainslie Sartori, one of the authors involved in the research confirmed, “After reviewing the sponsorship deals of AFL clubs, we found that 88% of clubs are sponsored by unhealthy food and beverage companies. A third of AFL clubs are also involved in business partnerships with gambling companies.”

Recommendation 

Sponsorship offers companies an avenue to expose children and young people to their brand, encouraging a connection with that brand.

The AFL could reinforce healthy lifestyle choices by shifting the focus away from the visual presence of unhealthy sponsorship, while taking steps to ensure that clubs remain commercially viable.

Policy makers are encouraged to consider innovative health promotion strategies and work
with sporting clubs and codes to ensure healthy messages are prominent

 

The study noted that children are often the targets of AFL advertising. This is despite World Health Organization recommendations that children’s settings should be free of unhealthy food promotions and branding (including through sport) due to the known risk it poses to their diet and chances of developing obesity.

PHAA CEO Terry Slevin commented, “When Australian kids see their sports heroes wearing a uniform plastered with certain brands, they inevitably start to associate these brands with the player they look up to and with the positive and healthy experience of the sport.”

He added, “The AFL is in a unique position to positively influence the health of Australian kids through banning sponsorship by alcohol, junk food and gambling companies. It could instead reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle for them.”

“Australian health policy makers need to consider innovative health promotion strategies and work together with sport clubs and codes to ensure that unhealthy advertising is not a feature. We successfully removed tobacco advertising from sport and we can do it with junk food and gambling too,” Mr Slevin said.

The recently released Sport 2030 plan rightly identifies sport as a positive vehicle to promote good health. But elite “corporate sport” plays a role of bypassing restrictions aimed at reducing exposure of children to unhealthy product marketing.

“The evidence is clear – it’s time for Australia to phase out all unhealthy sponsorship of sport,” Mr Slevin conclude

NACCHO Aboriginal Health NEWS : @AIHW report : The consumption of #alcohol, #tobacco and other #drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in our communities

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in our comminities

There are a wide range of data sources available that contribute to our understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

This web report from AIHW is intended to be a general reference for contemporary data on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia.

SEE Full Report 

This report consolidates the most recently available information regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, meth/amphetamines and other stimulants, the non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs, illicit opioids (heroin) and new (and emerging) psychoactive substances (NPS).

Key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment are identified and detailed data are presented for vulnerable populations.

These population groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, homeless people, older people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ), people in contact with the criminal justice system, people with mental health conditions, young people and people who inject drugs

Key findings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 

  • There has been significant declines in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoking and consume alcohol that exceeds lifetime risk guidelines (consuming more than two standard drinks per day on average).
  • The prevalence of smoking by Indigenous people has declined from 55% in 1994 to 45% in 2014–15.
  • The proportion of Indigenous people that consume alcohol as levels that exceed lifetime risk guidelines has reduced from 19% in 2008 to 15% in 2014–15.
  • In 2011, tobacco use accounted for 12% of the burden of disease for Indigenous Australians. This accounts for 23.3% of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
  • In 2016, more than 1 in 4 (27%) Indigenous Australians used an illicit drug in the last 12 months. This was 1.8 times higher than for non-Indigenous Australians (15.3%).
  • The most commonly used illicit drug by Indigenous Australians is cannabis (16.7%), followed by the non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs (11.0%).
  • Of clients of alcohol and other drug, treatment services, 15% were Indigenous Australians aged 10 and over, which is an overrepresentation relative to their population size.

Currently there are almost 800,000 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people (see Box ATSI1) living in Australia, accounting for 2.8% of the Australian population [1]. There are substantial differences in measures of health and welfare between Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.

Box ATSI1: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The terms ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’ is preferred in Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publications when referring to the separate Indigenous peoples of Australia. However, the term ‘Indigenous’ Australians is used interchangeably with ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ in order to assist readability.

The Australian Burden of Disease Study identified that Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people experience a burden of disease that is 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians [2]. The gap in the disease burden is due to a range of factors including disconnection to culture, traditions and country, social exclusion, discrimination and isolation, trauma, poverty, and lack of adequate access to services [3]. Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs are key risk factors contributing to the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians [2].

Box ATSI2. Data sources examining tobacco, alcohol and other drug use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

There are a number of data sources that provide information about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) [4] and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS) [5] collected by the ABS are designed to obtain a representative sample of Indigenous Australians. In relation specifically to tobacco smoking, the ABS has consolidated data from six large, national, multistage random household surveys to identify trends between 1994 and 2014–15 [6].

The AIHW’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) uses a self-completion questionnaire to capture information about drug and alcohol use among the general Australian population; however it is not specifically designed to obtain reliable national estimates for Indigenous people. In 2016, 2.4% of the NDSHS (unweighted) sample aged 12 and over (or 568 respondents) identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. The estimates produced by the NDSHS should be interpreted with caution due to the low sample size [7].

There are also other data sources that provide information relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • Australia’s Burden of Disease study analyses the impact of nearly 200 diseases and injuries in terms of living with illness (non-fatal burden) and premature death (fatal burden). In 2015, a report was released that provides estimates of burden of disease between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians [8].
  • The National Perinatal Data Collection covers each birth in Australia and includes information on Indigenous mothers and their babies [6].
  • The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Dataset (AODTS-NMDS) contains information on treatment provided to clients by publicly funded alcohol and other drug services including Indigenous clients [9].
  • The Online Services Report (OSR) contains information on the majority of Australian Government-funded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander substance use services [6].

Tobacco smoking

While tobacco smoking is declining in Australia, it remains disproportionately high among Indigenous Australians. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown:

  • In 1994, the Indigenous Australian survey data showed that 55% of Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over were smokers; 20 years later, in 2014–15, this had declined to 45% (Table S3.4).
  • Over a similar 20-year period, the National Health Survey (NHS) the proportion of non-Indigenous smokers aged 18 and over declined, from 24% in 1995 to 16% in 2014–15 (Table S3.5).
  • There appears to have been no change to the gap in smoking prevalence between the Indigenous Australian adult population and the non-Indigenous Australian adult population from 1994 to 2014–15. Even though the Indigenous Australian smoking rates are declining, the non-Indigenous rate is declining at a similar rate, therefore the gap remained constant [6] (Figure ATSI1).

Most of the decline in smoking occurred in non-remote areas. Over the 20-year period, the proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over in non-remote areas who were smokers declined from 55% to 42%, while the proportion in remote areas remained relatively stable at between 54% and 56% (Table S3.4).

In 2014–15, Indigenous males were more likely than Indigenous females to be smokers (47% compared with 42%) [1].

Geographic trends

The 2014–15 NATSISS provides estimates of tobacco smoking for Indigenous Australians by jurisdiction. According to the 2014–15 NATSISS, 39% of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over smoked daily. Those from the Northern Territory (45%) and Western Australia (42%) surpassed this national average, while Indigenous Australians from South Australia (35%) were the least likely to be a current daily smoker [4] (Table S3.3).

Tobacco smoking in pregnancy

Indigenous Australians are at an elevated risk of smoking during pregnancy compared with non-Indigenous Australians. The National Perinatal Data Collection showed that:

  • Indigenous mothers accounted for 19% of mothers who smoked tobacco at any time during pregnancy in 2015, despite accounting for only around 4% of mothers.
  • The age-standardised rate of Indigenous mothers smoking during pregnancy has decreased from 50% in 2009 to 45% in 2015.
  • Almost 1 in 2 (45%) Indigenous mothers reported smoking during pregnancy—compared with 12% of non-Indigenous mothers (age-standardised).
  • The age-standardised rate of Indigenous mothers quitting smoking during pregnancy (14%) is about half that of non-Indigenous mothers (25%) (based on mothers who reported smoking in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and not smoking after 20 weeks of pregnancy) [10].

Alcohol consumption

Abstinence (non-drinkers)

  • The 2016 NDSHS found that Indigenous Australians aged 14 and over were more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol than non-Indigenous Australians (31% compared with 23%, respectively) and abstinence among Indigenous Australians has been increasing since 2010 when it was 25% [7] (Table S3.1).
  • This pattern is consistent with data from the 2012–13 AATSIHS, where 28% of Indigenous Australians reported abstaining from drinking compared with 18% of non-Indigenous Australians [5].

Lifetime risk

  • The 2014–15 NATSISS found that the proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over who exceeded the NHMRC lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption (consuming more than 2 standard drinks per day on average) decreased between 2008 and 2014–15 (19% compared with 15%; non age-standardised proportions). The overall change is largely due to a decline in non-remote areas (19% in 2008 to 14% in 2014–15) [4] (Table S3.6).
  • Comparisons between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are only available using age-standardised data from the 2012–13 AATSIHS and is not comparable to the 2014–15 NATSISS. The findings showed that lifetime risky drinking of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over was similar to that of non-Indigenous Australians (9.8% compared with 9.7%; age-standardised) [5] (Table S3.7).

Single occasion risk

  • According to the 2014–15 NATSISS, 30% of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over exceeded the single occasion risk guidelines for alcohol consumption (non age-standardised proportions), which is a decline since 2002 (35%).
  • Comparisons between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are only available using age-standardised data from the 2012–13 AATSIHS and is not comparable to the 2014–15 NATSISS. The 2012–13 AATSIHS reported that 1 in 2 (50%) Indigenous Australians exceed the single occasion risky drinking guidelines (more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion in past year). This was 1.1 times the rate that non-Indigenous Australians (44%) that exceeded these guidelines [5] (Table S3.7).

Risky alcohol consumption

  • According to the 2016 NDSHS, almost 1 in 5 Indigenous Australians (18.8%) consumed 11 or more standard drinks at least once a month. This was 2.8 times the rate that non-Indigenous Australians (6.8%) consumed this amount of alcohol [7] (Table S3.1).

Geographic trends

Between 2002 and 2014–15 there was a decline in the proportion of Indigenous Australians that resided in New South Wales Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory that exceeded the lifetime and single occasion risk guidelines (Figure ATSI2). Indigenous Australians residing in Tasmania (36%), the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) (35%), Queensland (33%) and Western Australia (33%) had higher rates of exceeding the single occasion drinking guidelines than the national average [4] (Table S3.8).

Indigenous Australians residing in Western Australia (16%), New South Wales (16%) and Queensland (15%) surpassed the national average for exceeding lifetime risk guidelines [4] (Table S3.9).

Illicit drug use

In the 2014–15 NATSISS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over were asked whether they had used illicit substances in the last 12 months, and the types of illicit substances they had used during that period [4]. The data showed that:

  • Almost one-third (30%) of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over reported having used illicit substances in the last 12 months, up from 22% in 2008.
  • Males were significantly more likely than females to have used illicit substances (34% compared with 27%), as were people in non-remote areas compared with those in remote areas (33% compared with 21%).
  • Cannabis was the most commonly reported illicit drug used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the last 12 months at 19% (25% of males compared with 14% of females).
  • The non-medical use of analgesics and sedatives (such as painkillers, sleeping pills and tranquilisers) was also relatively common (13%), with females (15%) being more likely than males (11%) to have used analgesics and sedatives.
  • One in twenty (5%) Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over reported having used amphetamines or speed in the last 12 months (6% of males compared with 3% of females) [4] (Figure ATSI3).

The 2016 NDSHS data showed that (other than ecstasy and cocaine), Indigenous Australians aged 14 and over recent used of illicit drugs was at a higher rate than non-Indigenous Australians (Table S3.1). Rates of illicit drug use in 2016 for Indigenous Australians aged 14 and older were:

  • Over one in four (27%) used any illicit drug in the last 12 months—1.8 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians (15.3%)
  • One in five (19.4%) used cannabis in the last 12 months—1.9 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians (10.2%)
  • Around one in 10 (10.6%) used a pharmaceutical for non-medical use—2.3 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians (4.6%) [7] (Table S3.1)
  • 3.1% used meth/amphetamines in the last 12 months—2.2 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians (1.4%).

The differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians were still apparent even after adjusting for differences in age structure (Figure ATSI4). There were no significant changes in illicit use of drugs among Indigenous Australians between 2013 and 2016, however due to the small sample sizes for Indigenous Australians, the estimates of the NDSHS should be interpreted with caution.

Geographic trends

Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over residing in the Northern Territory (22%) were the least likely to report substance use, while those from the Australian Capital Territory (41%) and Victoria (40%) were the most likely to report using substances.

Indigenous Australians from the Northern Territory (22%) and Queensland (29%) were the only jurisdictions below the national average (30%) [4] (Table S3.3).

Health and harms

The health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are considerably lower than for non-Indigenous Australians. For instance:

  • 35.1% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people compared with 58.3% of non-Indigenous Australia self-assessed their health as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ (age-standardised per cent).
  • 32.5% of Indigenous Australians compared with 12.3% of non-Indigenous Australians reported high/very high psychological distress (age-standardised per cent).
  • 71.0% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term health condition compared with 55.3% of non-Indigenous Australians (age-standardised per cent) [4] (Table S3.6).

Almost 1 in 2 Indigenous Australians with a mental health condition were a daily smoker (46%) and about 2 in 5 (39%) to have used substances in the last 12 months. This was higher than for Indigenous  Australians with other long-term health conditions (33% and 24%, respectively) or those with no long term health condition (39% and 29% respectively) [4] (Table S3.11).

The Australian Burden of Disease Study provides an indication of the risk factors that contribute to the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In 2011, tobacco use accounted for 23.3% of the gap, and alcohol and drug use contributed to 8.1% and 4.1% of the gap, respectively [8] (Table S3.12).

Treatment

Indigenous Australians are also overrepresented in drug and alcohol treatment services. In 2016–17, the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Dataset (AODTS-NMDS) showed that 15% of clients were Indigenous Australians aged 10 and over (Table S3.13). Indigenous Australians (3,313 per 100,000 population) were 7 times more likely to receive AOD treatment services than non-Indigenous Australians (430 per 100,000 population) were. Specifically where:

  • Amphetamines was the principal drug of concern, Indigenous Australians (1,204 per 100,000 population) were 8 times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians (155 per 100,000 population).
  • Heroin was the principal drug of concern Indigenous Australians (911 per 100,000 population) were 7 times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians (123 per 100,000 population) were.
  • Cannabis was the principal drug of concern Indigenous Australians (867 per 100,000 population) were 7 times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians (126 per 100,000 population) were.
  • Alcohol was the principal drug of concern Indigenous Australians (136 per 100,000 population) were 7 times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians (26 per 100,000 population) [9] (Table S3.14).

Dependence on opioid drugs (including codeine, heroin and oxycodone) can be treated with pharmacotherapy therapy using substitute drugs such as methadone or buprenorphine. The National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection (NOPSAD) provides information on clients receiving opioid pharmacotherapy treatment on a snapshot day each year. For jurisdictions where data was provided, in 2017:

  • Around 1 in 10 clients (9%) were Indigenous, an overrepresentation relative to their population size.
  • Indigenous Australians were almost 3 times as likely (70 clients per 10,000 population) to receive pharmacotherapy treatment as non-Indigenous Australians (26 clients per 10,000 population) [11] (Table S3.15).

Data from the OSR shows that 2015–16, there were 80 organisations around Australia that provided alcohol and other drug treatment services to around 32,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients [6]. The OSR data also shows that:

  • All 80 organisations reported that alcohol was one of the top five common substance-use issue, followed by cannabis (94%) and amphetamines (70%)
  • Treatment episodes were more likely to be to occur in non-residential settings (87%)
  • One third of all treatment episodes were in Very remote areas (32%) and the highest proportion of clients were located in Major cities (35%).

Policy context

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 includes a suite of products that give the latest information on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are faring according to a range of 68 performance measures across 3 tiers: Tier 1—health status and outcomes, Tier 2—determinants of health, and Tier 3—health system performance. The measures are based on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework and cover data that has been collected on the entire health system, including Indigenous-specific services and programs, and mainstream services [12].

National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Peoples Drug Strategy 2014–2019

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Drug Strategy 2014–2019 was a sub-strategy of the National Drug Strategy 2010–2015 and remains a sub-strategy under the National Drug Strategy 2017–2025. The overarching goal of this sub-strategy is to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by preventing and reducing the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) on individuals, families and their communities [13].

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Alcohol : ” Deceive Deny and Delay ” : Alcohol industry lies exposed in @FAREAustralia analysis of 17 industry submissions to the National Alcohol Strategy (NAS) 2018-2026

An examination of alcohol industry efforts to self-regulate, whether it be in the area of alcohol advertising or health warning labels highlights how the alcohol industry is unwilling and ultimately unable to place the interests of the Australian public ahead of its shareholders and the pursuit of profit.

Plans to distribute the campaign to GP surgeries nationally has been shelved, but only after health professionals raised concerns about the campaign collateral, including a false statement that read, “it’s not known if alcohol is safe to drink when you are pregnant.”

The DrinkWise campaign is a textbook example of just how reckless and negligent the alcohol industry is prepared to be, stepping into an area ordinarily the responsibility of government, solely in an effort to stave off the threat of responsible and effective regulation.

The industry will lie, deny and mislead at every opportunity, and in this particular case, with no regard for the pregnant women and their unborn children that would be harmed as a result,”

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn see Part 2 Press Release

Download copy of the Fare Report Here 

National-Alcohol-Strategy-Industry-Submissions-Report

 

Part 1 NACCHO Submission National Alcohol Strategy (NAS) 2018-2026

Summary

Implementation of the draft strategy requires investment in ACCHOs for the expansion of early intervention, prevention and alcohol treatment services and co-occurring mental health, social and emotional wellbeing services. As the established leaders in Aboriginal primary health care service delivery, ACCHOs must be the preferred providers for alcohol harm reduction services and programs for Aboriginal people.

NACCHO contends that initiatives, like those under draft strategy, will continue to fail Aboriginal people and communities if ACCHOs are not the preferred providers, and if Aboriginal leadership and self-determination is not supported and embraced by Governments. Aboriginal health needs to be in Aboriginal hands

NACCHO recognises that certain regulatory measures, when implemented through genuine planning and consultation with Aboriginal communities, can be effective strategies for reducing alcohol harms. Notwithstanding this, NACCHO asserts that genuine consultation with ACCHOs, Aboriginal people and communities is imperative to ensure the draft strategy actions are culturally secure, sustainable and effective. Moreover, investment is required in ACCHOs to plan and establish complementary health and treatment approaches, and therapeutic jurisprudence diversionary programs.

There are some priority areas have been missed, these are:

  1. Capacity building in Aboriginal primary health care – training opportunities for Aboriginal Health Workers to upskill;
  2. better coordination of service providers, multi-sectoral – both national and in jurisdictions; and
  3. use of electronic screening tools – feasibility, validated for Aboriginal populations.

Recommendation

NACCHO recommends that the Commonwealth engage in genuine and meaningful dialogue with NACCHO, ACCHOs, Aboriginal people and communities before progressing further with the draft strategy implementation.

In this way the future risks posed by the draft strategy can be addressed, and further disadvantage and criminalisation of Aboriginal peoples and communities can be avoided.

Download 38 – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations

We welcome the opportunity to discuss this submission in further detail.

Part 2 Fare Press Release

A newly released analysis of alcohol industry submissions to the National Alcohol Strategy (NAS) consultation has exposed the lengths the alcohol industry will go to attack, undermine and subvert the development of alcohol policy measures that would reduce harm and save lives.

Its release follows the discovery, criticism and subsequent withdrawal of a misleading and inaccurate alcohol and pregnancy health campaign, which was developed by the alcohol industry front organisation, DrinkWise, for distribution to doctors surgeries nationally.

The industry analysis by leading public health organisation, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and the discovery of the flawed DrinkWise campaign come as the Government prepares for the National Alcohol Strategy (NAS) Roundtable on Tuesday, and highlight the risks and very real danger of giving the industry a seat at the table.

Analysis of the 17 alcohol industry submissions to the NAS consultation revealed four prominent and problematic claims by industry; none of which stand up to scrutiny when examined against the evidence base.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn says the examination of the 17 industry submissions including those from the Australian Hotels Association, Alcohol Beverages Australia, DrinkWise, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, and Brewers Association of Australia reveal in their consistency a high level of coordination and a common willingness to deceive the public, deny the evidence and further delay the advancement of life-saving alcohol policy reform.

“Australia has been without a National Alcohol Strategy since 2011, yet the alcohol industry is causing further delay and falsely claiming that the evidence base is inadequate. This is an industry that is even prepared to lie about its own credentials with DrinkWise, the alcohol industry front organisation, falsely claiming that “DrinkWise is not an industry body”.

Mr Thorn says it is critical that the alcohol industry’s attempts to deceive and mislead the Australian public do not go unchallenged.

“It is clear upon reading the alcohol industry submissions that the industry believes that simply committing a statement to the public record, no matter how outrageous or false, is enough to further an agenda that places profit ahead of public health and safety. But these dangerous claims cannot be allowed to stand,” Mr Thorn said

Nor do the alcohol industry’s claims to be a willing collaborator in implementing awareness and prevention messages stand up to scrutiny.

Mr Thorn says that by any measure the industry’s voluntary labelling scheme has been an abject failure with fewer than half of all packaged alcoholic beverages available for sale displaying some type of pregnancy warning label.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #YouthJustice : Download @aihw report : Highlighting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people under youth justice supervision over-represented in treatment for alcohol and other drug use

” Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people were over-represented among the study cohort. Of the just over 17,000 young people who received either an alcohol or other drug treatment episode or youth justice supervision, 3 in 10 were Indigenous.

In particular, Indigenous young people were over-represented among the ‘dual-service’ client population. During the 4-year period, Indigenous young people were 14 times as likely to experience both youth justice supervision and drug and alcohol services as their non-Indigenous counterparts.” 

Extract from AIHW Overlap between youth justice supervision and alcohol and other drug treatment services: 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2016

AIHW INFO PAGE and Data etc 

Download Copy HERE

aihw-youth justice system

1 in 3 young people under youth justice supervision receive treatment for alcohol and other drug use

Young people under youth justice supervision are 30 times as likely to receive an alcohol or other drug treatment service as young Australians generally, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Overlap between youth justice supervision and alcohol and other drug treatment services, shows 1 in 3 young people aged 10–17 under youth justice supervision during the 4 years to June 2016 also received alcohol and other drug treatment services at some point during the same period.

‘Today’s report highlights the considerable overlap between young people under youth justice supervision and those receiving drug and alcohol treatment services. Through bringing together data on both services, we have been able to determine that there were just over 2,500 ‘dual service’ clients – that is, young people that accessed both youth justice supervision and drug and alcohol services within the study period’ said AIHW spokesperson Anna Ritson.

Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) young people under youth justice supervision received treatment for cannabis as their principal drug of concern, 1 in 12 (8%) for alcohol and 1 in 20 (5%) for amphetamines. Less than 1% of young Australians in the general population received treatment for each of these principal drugs of concern.

Dual-service clients were, overall, more likely than other young people in the study to receive multiple alcohol and other drug treatment services and have multiple drugs of concern.

‘For dual service clients, almost half (47%) received 2 or more alcohol or other drug treatment episodes over the 4-year study period. However, where the young person was not under youth justice supervision, this falls to just under 1 in 5 (19%),’ Ms Ritson said.

Today’s report builds on established evidence about the overlaps that exist among young people who experience child protection, youth justice supervision, homelessness, mental health disorders, and use of alcohol and other drugs.

The high level of overlap between clients of the youth justice and alcohol and other drug treatment service sectors indicates a need for more integrated services and person-centered service delivery, to reduce future reliance on health and welfare services and improve outcomes for young people.

Summary

Some young people are vulnerable and experience multiple levels of disadvantage. Evidence shows that overlaps exist among young people who experience child protection, youth justice supervision, homelessness, mental health disorders, and problematic use of alcohol and other drugs. Understanding the pathways and interactions with the health and welfare sectors for these young people is crucial for effective service delivery and targeted early intervention services.

Despite the relationship between youth offending and the use of alcohol and other drugs, data about the overlap between the services provided to young people by these 2 sectors in Australia has not been previously available.

This report presents information on young people aged 10–17 who were under youth justice supervision (both in the community, and in detention) and/or received an alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment service between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2016. Those who received both these services are referred to in this report as dual service clients.

Young people under youth justice supervision were 30 times as likely as the young Australian population to receive an alcohol and other drug treatment service

Of young people who were under youth justice supervision from 1 July 2012 to

30 June 2016, 1 in 3 (33%) also received an AOD treatment service at some point during the same 4-year period, compared with just over 1% of the general Australian population of the same age.

Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) young people under youth justice supervision received treatment for a principal drug of concern of cannabis, 1 in 12 (8%) for alcohol, and 1 in 20 (5%) for amphetamines. Less than 1% of young Australians in the general population of the same age received an AOD treatment for each of these principal drugs of concern. This means that compared with the Australian population, young people under youth justice supervision were 33 times as likely to receive an AOD treatment for cannabis, 27 times as likely to be treated for alcohol, and more than 50 times as likely to be treated for amphetamines.

Young people who received an alcohol and other drug treatment service were 30 times as likely as the Australian population to be under youth justice supervision

Of young people who received an AOD treatment service, 1 in 5 (21%) were also under youth justice supervision at some point during the same 4-year period, compared with 0.7% of the Australian population of the same age. About 1 in 4 (26%) young people who received an AOD treatment as a diversion (police and court referrals) in 2012–13 subsequently spent time under youth justice supervision within 3 years.

Young people who received an alcohol and other drug treatment service for volatile solvents or amphetamines were the most likely to also have youth justice supervision

Of the 11,981 young people who received an AOD treatment service, those whose principal drug of concern was volatile solvents or amphetamines were the most likely to have also been under youth justice supervision.

Dual service clients were more likely than those who only received alcohol and other drug treatment services to have multiple treatment episodes and drugs of concern

Nearly half (47%) of dual service clients received more than 1 AOD treatment episode in the 4-year period, compared with about 1 in 5 (19%) of those who received only an AOD treatment service. One in 5 (20%) dual service clients received services for multiple principal drugs of concern, compared with 4% of those who received only an AOD treatment service.

Young Indigenous Australians were 14 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to receive both services

Young Indigenous Australians were over-represented among the dual service clients—

2% of young Indigenous Australians had contact with both services during the 4-year period, compared with 0.1% of non-Indigenous young people.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Alcohol and other Drugs : Critical Aboriginal health Drug and Alcohol services cut during #NRW Reconciliation Week

First Nations people in crisis will be left without a place to go after Minister Scullion announced the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council will all have their alcohol and other drug support funding cut.

This is yet another example of the Government doing things ‘to’ and not ‘with’ First Nations people and clearly demonstrates why First Nations people need a Voice to Parliament.”

Senator Patrick Dodson and The Hon Warren Snowdon Press release See Part 3 Below

NACCHO has published close the 200 Aboriginal Health Alcohol and other Drugs articles over the past 6 years

We believe at the current time this must be some kind of oversight.  It will take Aboriginal health in this country backwards in a massive way if there is no Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council.

We urge the Prime Minister and Minister Scullion to reconsider urgently and to announce that our funding will continue ”

The CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC) urges the Prime Minister to reconsider following shocking news from the Federal Government that the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council is to be closed down. See Part 2 below

Scott Wilson says the news is devastating and will have a massive negative impact on Indigenous Australian highlighting that ADAC helps close to 30,000 Indigenous people a year and costs the Federal Government just $700,000.

Part 1 Press Coverage SBS

An Indigenous rehabilitation centre in South Australia could be forced to stop taking clients from September because of funding cuts, its chief executive says.

The head of an Indigenous drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre believes it will have to stop taking clients from September because of federal government funding cuts.

Originally published here

Services provided by the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia can’t continue without ongoing funding for its main body, its chief executive Scott Wilson says.

The council receives $4.5 million a year from the federal government to operate a residential rehabilitation centre in Port Augusta and two day centres in Ceduna and Port Augusta.

But Mr Wilson says he received a call last week, during reconciliation week, to say while funding for the facilities would continue they’d stop receiving $700,000 a year for administrative facilities and wages, including his own, from January 1.

“When you don’t actually have the legal entity being funded you can’t actually operate the other services at all,” he told Sky News.

“It’s almost like having an airline but no airport to land.”

A spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the government has provided $1.38 million a year to continue the alcohol and drug treatment service until June 2020.

“The Minister is absolutely focused on delivering the best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and does not apologise for holding service providers like Mr Wilson to account for the outcomes they deliver,” the Minister’s spokesman said.

He said the government was also assessing the effectiveness of the service.

Mr Wilson said the cut would mean staff could only be offered six-month contracts and the residential treatment centre would probably stop taking clients from September this year.

“Without us there is simply no voice,” Mr Wilson said in a statement.

“We need the funding back. We have so many clients in crisis who need our help.”

Part 2 Press Release

The CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC) – which was set up as a direct result of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Black Deaths in Custody – is urging the Federal Government not to close the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council.

On May 31st 2018, the Prime Minister’s Office called Scott Wilson indicating that from January 1st of next year there will be no funding for ADAC.

Scott Wilson says the news is devastating and will have a massive negative impact on thousands and thousands of Indigenous Australians.

The Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council helps over 20,000 Indigenous people through its day centres’ diversionary programs. A further 10,000 people use other services. ADAC costs the Federal Government just $700,000 a year.

Scott Wilson says minor savings in money will lead to massive drug and alcohol problems for the Aboriginal community. He says the cutback is a false economy.

ADAC has been operating for 25 years. It represents the only collective voice for over 30 Indigenous community controlled member organisations across South Australia.

ADAC provides alcohol and other drugs resources to close to 2,000 community organisations across the nation. 30 Aboriginal community organisations across South Australia are members of ADAC.

ADAC is the largest provider of alcohol and other drugs services for Indigenous people in the State and employs 57 staff across South Australia.

CEO Scott Wilson has had numerous Ministerial appointments including twoPrime Ministerial appointments onto the Australian National Council of Drugs (now called ANACAD) for a decade and he is the founding director of the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation Foundation (now called FARE).

Scott Wilson said, “We cannot believe that the Federal Government is intending to close the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council. The impact would be massive.

ADAC runs a wide range of services across the State including doing all the payroll and purchasing. I have absolutely no idea how staff would get paid without us.”

“To be clear, we advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people facing drug and alcohol issues. Without us there is simply no voice. We don’t believe day centres and rehabilitation centres will be able to continue without ADAC so we are talking about 57 jobs going.”

“We ask the Federal Government to urgently review and reconsider its decision.

We need the funding back. We have so many clients in crisis who need our help. If the Federal Government pursues this track, staff will leave all parts of ADAC in droves because there will be no job security.

We won’t be able to offer contracts to people and everything will be very different indeed.” ADAC was formed in 1993 as a South Australian community response to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody. It was recommended that there should be a community controlled response through a statewide peak substance misuse organisation.

ADAC has received consecutive funding from the Australian Federal Government for 25 years. Scott Wilson says it is well known that the most effective and sustainable approaches to alcohol and drug misuse are those that are actually delivered by Indigenous community controlled organisations.

Staff at ADAC include five Aboriginal people with either a Master in Indigenous Health or a Graduate Diploma.

They also have registered nurses, enrolled nurses, counsellors and a range of other experts.

ADAC expertise has been recognised by the Federal Government over numerous years with ADAC staff being members of nearly every national drug strategy committee since 1998.

ADAC has held over 15 community forums on alcohol and other drugs and ice in the past 12 months.

ADAC is also involved with four National Health and Medical Research Council grants.

Since taking over, day centre client contacts have climbed massively from 900 a year to 20,000 per year.

Scott Wilson added, “We believe at the current time this must be some kind of oversight. It will take Aboriginal health in this country backwards in a massive way if there is no Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council.

We urge the Prime Minister and Minister Scullion to reconsider urgently and to announce that our funding will continue.

WEBSITE

ADAC FACT SHEET

Formed in 1993 (25 years ago) as a South Australian Community response to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) recommendations to provide a community-controlled response through a statewide peak substance misuse organization.

With recurrent funding from the Australian Government, ADAC has successfully provided Peak Body AOD services in South Australia for over 25 years.

It is well known that the most effective and sustainable approaches to alcohol and drug misuse are those delivered by Indigenous community-controlled organisations.

Saggers & Gray (2010) therefore, ADAC is unique as it is the only Indigenous peak body of its kind in Australia and represents the only collective voice for over 20 Indigenous community-controlled member organisations across South Australia.

30 Aboriginal community organisations across SA are members of ADAC

ADAC employ 57 staff across SA and is the largest provider of AOD for indigenous people in the state. Our staff include 5 Aboriginal people with either a Master in Indigenous health or Graduate Diploma, Registered Nurses, enrolled nurses, Counselors and a range of other qualifications including aboriginal Primary Health.

ADAC expertise has been recognized by the Commonwealth government over numerous years with ADAC staff being members of nearly every National drug Strategy Committee since 1998.

The CEO Scott Wilson has had numerous Ministerial appointments including 2 Prime Ministerial appointments onto the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) for 10 years and the founding Director of the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation Foundation for 11 years.

Part 3 Labor Press Release

First Nations people in crisis will be left without a place to go after Minister Scullion announced the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council will all have their alcohol and other drug support funding cut.

This is yet another example of the Government doing things ‘to’ and not ‘with’ First Nations people and clearly demonstrates why First Nations people need a Voice to Parliament.

CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia Mr Wilson received a call during reconciliations week, to inform him of the cut, which includes his own wages from January 1.

The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health received a call yesterday confirming their Inner City Referral Service will face cuts. The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health council will lose the equivalent of two full-time alcohol and other drug workers.

This is just the beginning, with other state and territory bodies anticipating similar cuts.

You can’t make this stuff up, the Turnbull Government has cut critical rehab services during reconciliation week.

Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol services support members of the First Nations community at their most vulnerable. Alcoholic and drug dependant patients have a high incidence of entering the criminal justice system, it is only through rehabilitative services that people get the second chance they deserve. First Nations people need access to crisis alcohol and other drug support, not a hall pass to correctional centres.

Alarmingly, the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA),Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane (IUIH), Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) were not consulted prior to the decision to cease funding.

Labor calls upon the Government to rethink their ill-advised decision to cut funding to critical Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol services across Australia.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #AFL @AlcoholDrugFdn #NRW2018 #WorldNoTobaccoDay : Senator Bridget McKenzie Minister for Sport and Rural Health supports Redtails Pinktails #SayNoMore Drugs, #Smoking and #FamilyViolence #SayYesTo #Education #Employment #Family #Community

 

 ” Over the weekend Senator Bridget McKenzie had a chat pregame to local Central Australia Redtails before they took on Darwin’s TopEnd Storm curtain raiser to AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous round , a 6 hour broadcast on Channel 7 nationally : The Redtails and PinkTails Right Tracks Program is funded by the Local Drug Action Teams Program ”

See Part 1 Below

Part 2 Say No more to Family Violence all players link up

Part 3 #WorldNoTobaccoDay May 31 launched in the Alice

 ” Tobacco smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and the Coalition Government is further committing to reduce the burden on communities.

In the lead up World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, today I am pleased to launch the next phase of the Coalition Government’s highly successful campaign Don’t Make Smokes Your Story,”

Watch video launch in the

The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie was also is in Alice Springs to launch the next phase of the National Tobacco Campaign and said that smoking related illness devastates individuals, families and the wider community : see Part 3 below

PART 1

Arrernte Males AFL Opening Ceremony

Arrernte women AFL Opening Ceremony

Part 1 The Australian Government and the ADF are excited to welcome an additional 92 Local Drug Action Teams, in to the LDAT program

The Senator with Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor and  General Manager of Congress’ Alice Springs Health Services, Tracey Brand in Alice Springs talking about the inspirational Central Australian Local Drug Action Team at Congress and announcing 92 Local Drug Action Teams across Australia building partnerships to prevent and minimise harm of ice alcohol & illicit drugs use by our youth with local action plans

WATCH VIDEO of Launch

The Local Drug Action Team Program supports community organisations to work in partnership to develop and deliver programs that prevent or minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs (AOD).

Local Drug Action Teams work together, and with the community, to identify the issue they want to tackle, and to develop and implement a plan for action.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation provides practical resources to assist Local Drug Action Teams to deliver evidence-informed projects and activities. The community grants component of the Local Drug Action Team Program may provide funding to support this work.

Each team will receive an initial $10,000 to develop and finalise a Community Action Plan and then to implement approved projects in your community. Grant funding of up to a maximum of $30k in the first year and up to a maximum of $40k in subsequent years is also available to help deliver approved projects in Community Action Plans. LDAT funding is intended to complement existing funding and in kind support from local partners.

LDATs typically apply for grants of between $10k and $15k to support their projects

 

See ADF website for Interactive locations of all sites

The power of community action

Community-based action is powerful in preventing and minimising harm from alcohol and other drugs.

Alcohol and other drugs harms are mediated by a number of factors – those that protect against risk, and those that increase risk. For example, factors that protect against alcohol and other drug harms include social connection, education, safe and secure housing, and a sense of belonging to a community. Factors that increase risks of alcohol and other drug harms include high availability of drugs, low levels of social cohesion, unstable housing, and socioeconomic disadvantage. Most of these factors are found at the community level, and must be targeted at this level for change.

Alcohol and other drugs are a community issue, not just an individual issue.

Community action to prevent alcohol and other drug harms is effective because:

  • the solutions and barriers (protective/risk factors) for addressing alcohol and other drugs harm are community-based
  • it creates change that is responsive to local needs
  • it increases community ownership and leads to more sustainable change

Part 2 Say No more to Family Violence all players link up

Such a powerful message told here in Alice Springs today as the Redtails Football Club, Top End Storm football club, link arms with the Melbourne Football Club, Adelaide Football Club for the NO MORE Campaign AU before the AFL Indigenous Round started.

WEBSITE Link up and say ‘No More’

 

 Watch Channel 7 Coverage of this special statement from all players

Part 3 #WorldNoTobaccoDay May 31 launched in the Alice

Tobacco smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and the Coalition Government is further committing to reduce the burden on communities.

In the lead up World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, today I am pleased to launch the next phase of the Coalition Government’s highly successful campaign Don’t Make Smokes Your Story,”

Watch the ABC TV Interview HERE

Watch video of launch in the Alice

Successful Tobacco Campaign Continues

Tobacco smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and the Coalition Government is further committing to reduce the burden on communities.

The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie was in Alice Springs to launch the next phase of the National Tobacco Campaign and said that smoking related illness devastates individuals, families and the wider community.

“In the lead up World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, today I am pleased to launch the next phase of the Coalition Government’s highly successful campaign Don’t Make Smokes Your Story,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The latest phase of Don’t Make Smokes Your Story continues to focus on Indigenous Australians aged 18–40 years who smoke and those who have recently quit. The campaign also concentrates on pregnant women and their partners with Quit for You, Quit for Two.

“An evaluation of the first two phases of the campaign revealed they had successfully helped to reduce smoking rates.

“More than half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants who saw the campaign took some action towards quitting smoking — and 8 per cent actually quit.

“These are very promising stats, however, we must continue to support and encourage those Australians who want to quit, but need help.”

The launch of the next phase of the campaign aligns with World No Tobacco Day and this year’s theme is Tobacco and heart disease.

“Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, killing one person every 12 minutes,” Minister McKenzie said.

“There is a clear link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases, including stroke — a staggering 45,392 deaths in Australia can be attributed to cardiovascular disease in 20151.

“Latest estimates show that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke not only costs the lives of loved ones, but it costs the Australian community $31.5 billion in social — including health — and economic costs.”

“The Coalition Government, along with all states and territories, has made significant efforts to reduce tobacco consumption across the board.

“For example, we know that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounting for more than 12 per cent of the overall burden of illness.

“The Coalition Government has recently invested $183.7 million continuing to boost the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program to cut smoking and save lives.

“This comprehensive program has helped to cut the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoking and we want to build on this success.

“The Government’s investment in this program highlights our long-term commitment to Closing the Gap in health inequality.”

The ABS report Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Smoking Trends, Australia, 1994 to 2014-15, reported a decrease in current (daily and non-daily) smoking rate in those aged 18 years and older from 55 per cent in 1994 to 45 per cent in 2014-15, which shows Indigenous tobacco control is working.

For help to quit smoking, phone the Quitline on 13 7848, visit the Department of Health’s Quitnow website or download the free My Quitbuddy app.

Your doctor or healthcare provider can also help with information and support you may need to quit.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Alcohol and Illicit Drugs : @AIHW 1 in 20 Australian deaths caused by alcohol and illicit drugs :burden due to alcohol use at 3.1 times and illicit drug use at 4.2 times the rate of non-Indigenous

 

” Alcohol and illicit drug use is also prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

Estimates reported from the ABDS 2011 indicated that Indigenous Australians had rates of attributable burden due to alcohol use at 3.1 times and illicit drug use at 4.2 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians in 2011 (AIHW 2016b).

An analysis of the effect of alcohol and illicit drug use in the Indigenous population would be an important area of work for future burden of disease studies.”

From Page 24 AIHW Report

For example, there is more to learn about the links between alcohol and drug use and mental health problems or the health impact of fetal alcohol syndrome—using multiple data sources to understand these links and their impacts on people is critical to responding to people’s needs,’

‘It is important to continue to report using the latest available information as well as work towards filling gaps in the data. This is essential to improving the evidence base on this important issue.’

AIHW CEO Barry Sandison noted that the report demonstrated the value of using data to build the evidence base in important areas of public policy and service delivery.

Download here the 173 Page AIHW in PDF

aihw-bod-19.pdf

Read over 194 Aboriginal Health Alcohol and other Drugs articles published by NACCHO over the past 6 years

‘Alcohol and illicit drugs have a significant impact on the health of Australians, together responsible for nearly 1 in every 20 deaths, according to new analysis from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

‘The report, Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia, uses data from the 2011 Australian Burden of Disease Study published in 2016 (the next study due out in 2019) to calculate the health impact—or ‘burden’—of alcohol and illicit drugs.

‘This is calculated in terms of years of life lost from early death (the ‘fatal burden’), as well as the years of healthy life lost due to living with diseases or injuries caused by alcohol and drugs (the ‘non-fatal burden’).

‘The report shows that alcohol and illicit drugs were collectively responsible for 6.7% of Australia’s combined fatal and non-fatal disease burden. This compares to 9% from tobacco smoking and 2.6% from physical inactivity.

‘The burden was much higher in males than females—alcohol and illicit drugs were responsible for 9.1% of all disease burden in males, compared to 3.8% in females,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr Lynelle Moon.

‘The report also shows that a higher proportion of the burden of alcohol and illicit drugs was ‘fatal’—that is, due to early death—than ‘non-fatal’.

‘Overall, 8.1% of Australia’s fatal burden was due to alcohol and illicit drugs, while 5.2% of all non-fatal burden was caused by alcohol and illicit drugs.

‘Combined, alcohol and illicit drugs were responsible for 4.5% of all deaths in Australia in 2011—equating to 6,660 deaths, or about 1 in every 20 deaths,’ Dr Moon said.

‘By itself, alcohol use was responsible for 4.6% of all disease burden. One-third of this burden was due to alcohol dependence.

‘Alcohol use was responsible for almost one-third of the burden of road traffic injuries.

‘On its own, illicit drug use was responsible for 2.3% of Australia’s disease burden. Opioids accounted for the largest proportion (41%) of the illicit drug use burden, followed by amphetamines (18%), cocaine (8%) and cannabis (7%). In addition, 18% of the burden was from diseases contracted through unsafe injecting practices.

‘Despite the significant contribution of alcohol to Australia’s disease burden, the report predicts improvements will be seen in the coming years. However, this does not look to be the case for many illicit drugs.

‘The burden from alcohol use fell by around 7% between 2003 and 2011 and further reductions are expected by 2020 based on these trends,’ Dr Moon said.

‘Between 2011 and 2020, burden from the use of amphetamines is expected to rise by 14%, while the burden of disease from cannabis use is expected to rise by 36% for females and remain steady for males. The burden of disease from cocaine use is expected to fall by 24% for males and remain steady for females.

‘The burden caused by unsafe injecting practices is expected to fall by 21% for males and 17% for females.

‘Projections are not yet available on the likely future impact of opioid use; however, AIHW analysis from last year highlighted the significant health consequences caused by the rising non-medical use of pharmaceuticals, including prescription opioids.

 

 

Minister @KenWyattMP launches NACCHO @RACGP National guide for healthcare professionals to improve health of #Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

 

All of our 6000 staff in 145 member services in 305 health settings across Australia will have access to this new and update edition of the National Guide. It’s a comprehensive edition for our clinicians and support staff that updates them all with current medical practice.

“NACCHO is committed to quality healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and will work with all levels of government to ensure accessibility for all.”

NACCHO Chair John Singer said the updated National Guide would help governments improve health policy and lead initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can Download the Guide via this LINK

A/Prof Peter O’Mara, NACCHO Chair John Singer Minister Ken Wyatt & RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel launch the National guide at Parliament house this morning

“Prevention is always better than cure. Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

Minister Ken Wyatt highlights what is new to the 3rd Edition of the National Guide-including FASD, lung cancer, young people lifecycle, family abuse & violence and supporting families to optimise child safety & wellbeing : Pic Lisa Whop SEE Full Press Release Part 2 Below

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have joined forces to produce a guide that aims to improve the level of healthcare currently being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and close the gap.

Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Associate Professor Peter O’Mara said the third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the National Guide) is an important resource for all health professionals to deliver best practice healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“The National Guide will support all healthcare providers, not just GPs, across Australia to improve prevention and early detection of disease and illness,” A/Prof O’Mara said.

“The prevention and early detection of disease and illness can improve people’s lives and increase their lifespans.

“The National Guide will support healthcare providers to feel more confident that they are looking for health issues in the right way.”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the RACGP is committed to tackling the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The National Guide plays a vital role in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity,” Dr Seidel said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have equal access to quality healthcare across Australia and the National guide is an essential part of ensuring these services are provided.

“GPs and other healthcare providers who implement the recommendations within the National Guide will play an integral role in reducing health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ensuring culturally responsive and appropriate healthcare is always available.”

The updated third edition of the National Guide can be found on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website.

 

Free to download on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website:

http://www.racgp.org.au/national-guide/

and NACCHO

Part 2 Prevention and Early Diagnosis Focus for a Healthier Future

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, today launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” said Minister Wyatt. “Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

“The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.

“It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

The guide, which was first published in 2005, is a joint project between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners RACGP).

“To give you some idea of the high regard in which it is held, the last edition was downloaded 645,000 times since its release in 2012,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The latest edition highlights the importance of individual, patient-centred care and has been developed to reflect local and regional needs.

“Integrating resources like the national guide across the whole health system plays a pivotal role in helping us meet our Closing the Gap targets.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to accelerating positive change and is investing in targeted activities that have delivered significant reductions in the burden of disease.

“Rates of heart disease, smoking and binge drinking are down. We are on track to achieve the child mortality target for 2018 and deaths associated with kidney and respiratory diseases have also reduced.”

The National Guide is funded under the Indigenous Australian’s Health Programme as part of a record $3.6 billion investment across four financial years.

The RACGP received $429,000 to review, update, publish and distribute the third edition, in hard copy and electronic formats.

The National Guide is available on the RACGP website or by contacting RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health on 1800 000 251 or aboriginalhealth@racgp.org.au.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Alcohol : Download Creating change – #roadmap to tackle #alcohol abuse , Recommendations , Responses and Action Plan : With Press Release from @AMSANTaus

 ” The Territory Labor Government has outlined sweeping alcohol reforms to achieve generational change, in today’s response to the Riley Review into alcohol policy and legislation.

The Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said there’s too much alcohol fuelled violence and crime in the Territory, it affects every community and it has to be addressed. See Part 1 full NT Govt Press Release : Part 4 Download 3 reports

 “ Following the tragic events that have occurred in Tennant Creek in the last fortnight, the most tragic of which has received national media attention, AMSANT reinforces the need to continue to support the nation-leading reforms being undertaken by the Northern Territory Government.

Everyone has acknowledged in all media coverage that the current upsurge in domestic and other violence that has occurred in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine is alcohol caused.

The NT Government is in the process of implementing world-leading alcohol policy reforms following the Riley review. Reforms of this magnitude do not happen overnight and AMSANT understands this,”

AMSANT CEO, John Paterson see full press release Part 2 or HERE

 ” The Northern Territory will become the first Australian jurisdiction to put a floor price on alcohol, the Government has announced.

On Tuesday morning, the NT Government unveiled its response to a wide-ranging alcohol review commissioned by former NT Supreme Court chief justice Trevor Riley, and said it would implement a minimum $1.30 floor price per standard drink for all alcoholic beverages.”

Northern Territory to be first jurisdiction in Australia with minimum floor price on alcohol see Part 3 or View HERE

ABC NT Media Report

Graphic price comparison from The Australian 28 Feb

Update 10.00 Am 28 February

Licensing – Further restrictions on sale of takeaway alcohol in Tennant Creek

The Director-General of Licensing Cindy Bravos has acted to further restrict the sale of takeaway alcohol in Tennant Creek effective 28 February 2018, for the next seven days.

The restrictions will apply to the six venues currently licensed to sell takeaway alcohol, being:

Tennant Creek Hotel

Goldfields Hotel

Headframe Bottle Shop

Sporties Club Incorporated

Tennant Creek Golf Club Incorporated

Tennant Creek Memorial Club Incorporated.

Ms Bravos said her decision was in response to widespread concerns about the significant increase of alcohol related offences, particularly domestic violence incidents, in Tennant Creek over the past four weeks.

“Licensing NT has an important role in supporting the right of all Territory residents to live in a safe community,” Ms Bravos said.

“For the next seven days takeaway sales will only be available between 3pm and 6pm Monday to Saturday and all takeaway sales will be banned on Sunday.

There will also be limits on the amount of takeaway alcohol that can be purchased per person per day.

“These restrictions will be in place for seven days. I will then assess their effectiveness and the options available for implementing longer term measures if the restrictions prove to be successful in reducing the levels of harm associated with the consumption of alcohol in Tennant Creek.”

Fast Facts:

The varied conditions of the licences impose these restrictions:

Takeaway liquor will only be available for sale Monday through to Saturday between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. Takeaway liquor sales on Sunday is prohibited.

Sale of these products will be limited to no more than one of the following per person per day:

30 cans or stubbies of mid-strength or light beer; or

24 cans or stubbies of full strength beer; or

12 cans or bottles of Ready to Drink mixes; or

One two litre cask of wine; or

One bottle of fortified wine; or

One bottle of green ginger wine; or

Two x 750 ml bottles of wine; or

One 750 ml bottle of spirits.

The sale of port, wine in a glass container larger than 1 litre and beer in bottles of 750ml or more remains prohibited.

Part 1 NT Government Press Release

Territorians want and deserve safe communities and today we are releasing the most comprehensive framework in the Territory’s history to tackle the Territory’s number one social issue.

We promised Territorians we would take an evidence based approach to tackling alcohol related harm and the government’s response to the Riley Review provides a road map to address that.

The Northern Territory Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-19, also released today, provides a critical framework for how more recommendations will be progressed over the coming year.”

Minister Fyles was handed the Riley Review in October 2017, giving in-principle support to consider implementing all but one recommendation around a total ban on the trade of take away alcohol on Sunday.

Today’s detailed response now outlines the government:

  1. SUPPORTS 186 recommendations to be implemented in full
  2. Gives IN-PRINCIPLE SUPPORT to 33 recommendations

Minister Fyles said work is well underway with 22 Recommendations completed and a further 74 in progress.

“We have worked efficiently to reintroduce the Liquor Commission, establish a community impact test for significant liquor licensing decisions, extend and expand a moratorium on all new takeaway liquor licences and establish a unit in the Department of the Chief Minister to drive reforms (the Alcohol Review Implementation Team- ARIT).

“There is still considerable work to be done in consultation and modelling to address the 33 recommendations that we support in-principle. While we support the outcomes of these recommendations, we’ll work with community and stakeholders to consider the best possible models of implementation for the Territory context.”

Territorians are urged to review the government’s plan to tackle alcohol fuelled violence and crime and provide feedback at www.alcoholreform.nt.gov.au

Part 2 AMSANT Press Release

Following the tragic events that have occurred in Tennant Creek in the last fortnight, the most tragic of which has received national media attention, AMSANT CEO, John Paterson today reinforced the need to continue to support the nation-leading reforms being undertaken by the Northern Territory Government.

“Everyone has acknowledged in all media coverage that the current upsurge in domestic and other violence that has occurred in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine is alcohol caused. The NT Government is in the process of implementing world-leading alcohol policy reforms following the Riley review. Reforms of this magnitude do not happen overnight and AMSANT understands this,” he said.

“However, the immediate increase in alcohol consumption and violence has primarily been caused by the police walking away from the alcohol outlets in terms of full time POSIs or what is known as “lock down”. The government and the people of the NT have been badly let down by our police force and the buck must stop with the Commissioner.

“The ‘on again off again’ approach to point of sale supply reduction is not effective and we are seeing the results of this across the NT but mainly in the regional centres in which full time POSIs had made such a dramatic difference – reducing interpersonal violence by up to 70%.

“AMSANT also understands better than most that there are major problems in the NT Child Protection system,” he continued.

“Along with others, we have offered many solutions to these problems which have been endorsed by the recent Royal Commission. These include the need for an increased investment in parenting, family support services and other early childhood services and much more action on the broader social determinants of these problems such as unemployment and overcrowding. The NT Government has not sat back but has established a new department to lead the large-scale reforms that we know are desperately need in child protection and youth justice and has other major plans in early childhood, housing and other key social determinants.

“In this process, we are confident Aboriginal leaders will be listened to and we can ensure that when our children need to be removed they are placed with kinship carers in their extended families. We can also do much better at preventing our children and families reaching these crisis points and we have the blueprint for change and a government that is up to the task. Again, these reforms will take time to implement as successive governments in the past have failed to listen to Aboriginal leaders and do what is needed.

“In terms of child protection, there should be no need to remind people that the key cause of child neglect is alcohol abuse amongst parents. It is not the only cause, as parental education, mental illness, overcrowding and other social determinants also contribute, but action on alcohol supply will
make an immediate difference in preventing the removal of more our children and helping families recover and keep their children.

“This take us back to the failure of the Police Commissioner to do his job in protecting public safety and maintaining law and order.

“We must implement the Riley review and the many relevant recommendations of the Royal Commission as quickly as is possible but for now, full-time POSIs is one of the most immediate and effective ways to make a difference and the Commissioner must stop deferring to the Police Association and instruct his force to get back on the outlets all day, every day,” this is his duty.

“Finally, there needs to be an immediate needs-based investment in Tennant Creek through our member service Anyinginyi Health Service to deliver important service and programs in accordance with the views of the local Aboriginal community”.

Part 3 The Northern Territory will become the first Australian jurisdiction to put a floor price on alcohol, the Government has announced.

On Tuesday morning, the NT Government unveiled its response to a wide-ranging alcohol review commissioned by former NT Supreme Court chief justice Trevor Riley, and said it would implement a minimum $1.30 floor price per standard drink for all alcoholic beverages.

The recommendation was for a $1.50 floor price, NT attorney-General Natasha Fyles told Mix 104.9 in Darwin, and the Government hopes to have it in place by July 1.

“$1.30 doesn’t affect the price of beer but it will get rid of that cheap wine, we see wine that costs less than a bottle of water… and that is just not acceptable,” Ms Fyles said.

“A bottle of wine has on average around seven alcohol units per bottle, so it’s $1.30 per unit of alcohol. That would put a bottle of wine around $9, $10, so you won’t see that $4 and $5 bottle of wine.”

Ms Fyles said the price of beer would not be affected because it already retailed at a higher cost; neither will the cost of spirits be changed.

“It’s getting rid of cheap wine, particularly, that has a higher alcohol content of beer, so it affects [people] quicker,” Ms Fyles said.

She said the NT Liquor Act was “ad hoc and not fit for purpose” and would be rewritten over the next year, and that a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 would be introduced for people operating boats; there is currently no drinking limit for skippers.

Major recommendations of the Riley Review:

  • The NT Liquor Act be rewritten
  • Immediate moratorium on takeaway liquor licences
  • Reduce grocery stores selling alcohol by phasing out store licences
  • Floor price/volumetric tax on alcohol products designed to reduce availability of cheap alcohol
  • Shift away from floor size restrictions for liquor outlets and repeal 400-square-metre restrictions
  • Reinstating an independent Liquor Commission
  • Legislating to make it an offence for someone to operate a boat or other vessel while over the limit
  • Establish an alcohol research body in the NT
  • Trial a safe spaces program where people can manage their consumption and seek intervention

The People’s Alcohol Action Coalition has long campaigned for many of the changes, and praised the Government for its “world-leading” action.”

Of course, it’s not going to touch the price of beer; the cheapest a carton on beer sells for is about $1.48 a standard drink… at $1.30 cheap wine will still be the preferred drink of heavy drinkers.”

“Our view was we should fall in line with everything that’s in the Riley report,” he said.

Alongside parts of Canada and Scotland, the NT is one of the few jurisdictions in the world to move towards legislating a floor price for alcohol.In his review, Mr Riley said the NT had the highest per-capita rate of alcohol consumption in Australia, one of the highest in the world, and the highest rate of hospitalisations due to alcohol misuse.

In 2004-2005, the total social cost of alcohol in the NT was estimated to be $642 million, or $4,197 per adult, compared to a national estimate of $943 per adult.

Ms Fyles denied the Government had brought forward the legislation as a response to the spike.186 of the recommendations will be implemented in full, with in-principle support for a further 33 recommendations, Ms Fyles said.

“There’s many Territorians that do the right thing and they should be able to access the beverage of their choice, but when we know the harm it causes it’s important we put in place the recommendations of the Riley review,” she said.

The increase in the cost of alcoholic beverages will benefit alcohol retailers, as it is not a tax.

The volumetric tax has been identified as the preferable measure but the Federal Government has refused to move on that so we are taking the step of putting in place a price measure that has shown to have an impact on the consumption of alcohol,” she said.

Making voluntary liquor accords law

In Central Australia, the minimum price for a standard drink is already $1 under the accords.NT Police patrolling bottle shops

It’s a package of measures which is going to be a watershed moment for addressing the scourge alcohol is causing in Tennant Creek,” Dr Boffa said.”

They should be instructing police to keep those police officers in front of bottle shops until they have liquor inspectors there… I would have seen them as a bigger priority than the establishment of a liquor commission,” he said.

Dr Boffa agreed. “It’s ideological opposition — ‘drinking’s an individual responsibility, this is not the police’s job’ — that’s the message we’re getting now,” he said.”The harm that’s being caused by what the police have done in walking away from outlets is preventable. People are dying as a result of that decision

“It’s not about the workforce. Given that we now know it’s not about workforce, there’s no excuse.

He said they addressed crime and antisocial behaviour on the streets of Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, but communities recently complained that police had stopped patrolling as often in Central Australia, leading to a rise in alcohol-fuelled crime.

Mr Higgins criticised the Government’s delay in designating uniformed licensing inspectors to monitor bottle shops, and said it was was “copping out” on stationing police officers at bottle shops by saying police should determine how they resource and manage their staff.

Dr Boffa said the NT would also be a world leader in risk-based alcohol licensing, and supermarkets making more than 15 per cent of their turnover from alcohol sales would eventually be outlawed.

There are already alcohol restrictions in place in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, but they are voluntary liquor accords that are unenforceable, which the Government is seeking to formalise.

“Currently it’s $200 per liquor licence, which is cheaper than some nurses and teachers pay for their licences.”

However, Ms Fyles said the Government would increase liquor licence fees for retailers.

“These are people’s businesses, their livelihoods, and in like any industry there’s a few bad eggs that cause harm and we need to make sure in implementing these reforms we’re working with the community to ensure lasting change.”

Ms Fyles said the NT Labor Government was working through the recommendations and would be consulting the community and the alcohol industry.

Mr Riley made 220 recommendations, of which the NT Government supported all but one, refusing to ban Sunday liquor trading.

Alcohol misuse leads to crime, drink-driving, anti-social behaviour, and wider economic consequences such as adverse impacts on tourism and commercial opportunities, as seen recently in Tennant Creek with tourists repeatedly fleeing during its spike in crime.

Forty-four per cent of Territorians drink at a risky level at least once a month, compared to a quarter of people nationally.

NT has highest alcohol consumption rate in Australia

“They said they’d adopt everything that was in there… While I would have liked to see the Riley $1.50, I can live with $1.30.”

Country Liberals Party Opposition leader Gary Higgins said he broadly supported the Government’s move and felt an approach to alcohol policy should be depoliticised.

“The cheapest you can get alcohol for now in Darwin is 30 cents a standard drink, so this is a dollar more a standard drink — that’s a big change,” John Boffa said.

The Government is also looking at expanding the Banned Drinkers Register from takeaway outlets to late-night venues.

Part 4 Northern Territory Government’s Response to the Final Report

In March 2017, the Northern Territory Government commissioned the Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review to deliver an analysis of alcohol use in the Northern Territory.

The Final Report was handed down on October 2017.

Read the Northern Territory Government’s Response to the Final Report (1.3 mb).

NT Government’s Position and Action Plan

The Northern Territory Government’s Response to the Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review Final Report comprises two important elements:

Cover image for NT Government Position on Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review Final Report Recommendations

1. NT Government Position on Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review Final Report Recommendations (719.7 kb).

This sets out the NT Government’s position in relation to each of the 220 recommendations in the Final Report. 186 of the recommendations are accepted by Government, 33 are accepted in principle and 1 is not supported (to ban Sunday trading).

The Northern Territory Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-19

2. The Northern Territory Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-19 (6.7 mb).

The Action Plan sets out the policy and legislative reforms, enforcement and compliance activities and harm management strategies/services that the NT Government is committed to delivering, in order to prevent and reduce harms associated with alcohol misuse.

The Action Plan comprises four key areas:

  1. Strengthening Community Responses – Healthy Communities and Effective and Accessible Treatment
  2. Effective Liquor Regulation
  3. Research, Data and Evaluation
  4. Comprehensive, Collaborative and Coordinated Approach by Government