Enhancing the management of alcohol-related problems among Indigenous Australians: Implementation plan

April 2014
Jennifer Low, Dennis Gray, Steve Allsop, Ted Wilkes and Ed Garrison (2013). Enhancing the management of alcohol-related problems among Indigenous Australians: Implementation Plan. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, WA.

The evidence shows clearly that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience significantly higher levels of alcohol and other drug related harm than do other Australians. To this end, the Australian Government Department of Health funded the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) to conduct a modest research project to Enhance the Management of Alcohol Related Problems Among Indigenous Australians (the Enhancement Project). As part of this project, NDRI funded five sub-projects − each of which was conducted within, or in conjunction with, Aboriginal community controlled organisations, and which had a largely primary health care focus. 

In August 2012, NDRI convened a National Workshop in Canberra to discuss and make a series of recommendations based on the lessons learned from the Enhancement Project and the practical experience of participants. The outcome of the workshop was the development of this Implementation Plan. The Plan has a strong emphasis on a collaborative approach to addressing key priorities and is consistent with the goals and the objectives of the National Drug Strategy 2010–2015. 

The purpose of the Implementation Plan is to present a series of recommendations aimed at improving outcomes in the management of alcohol related problems among Indigenous Australians. In accord with the overall objectives of the Enhancement Project, many of the recommendations are not new. Rather, they reflect identification of strategies that have been shown to be effective. While many of these strategies are already being implemented or partially implemented, their application is not universal and wider application of them is likely to result in more effective service management and client outcomes. As indicated above, the recommendations reflect the outcomes of the sub-projects of the Enhancement Project, the lessons learnt in conducting those projects, and the practical experience of those involved.