The Northern Territory has the second highest alcohol consumption in the world. Misuse of alcohol has devastating health and social consequences for NT Aboriginal communities. APO NT believes that addressing alcohol and drug misuse, along with the many health and social consequences of this misuse, can only be achieved through a multi-tiered approach.
APO NT supports evidence based alcohol policy reform, including:
- Supply reduction measures
- Harm reduction measures, and
- Demand reduction measures.
To address alcohol and drug misuse within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the social and structural determinants of mental health must be addressed, see APO NT Grog Summit Report 2013
Parliamentary Inquiry into the Harmful use of Alcohol in Aboriginal Communities
On 17 April 2014, APO NT submitted their written evidence to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs on the Inquiry into the harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities. The APO NT submission made 16 recommendations to the committee:
On 3 April, APO NT CEO’s, Priscilla Collins and John Paterson gave evidence at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs.
APO NT Calls for joint Territory/ Commonwealth Government Board of Inquiry into Alcohol in the NT
On 26 June 2013, APO NT called for a for a joint Territory/Commonwealth government Board of Inquiry into Alcohol in the Northern Territory to provide a road-map for action by communities, professionals, and Government to work together to solve the problems of alcohol related harm in our communities.
For further information see our media release – APO NT Calls for Joint Territory/Commonwealth Board of Inquiry into Alcohol in the NT. To view the proposed Terms of Reference for a Board of Inquiry, click here.
Alcohol Mandatory Treatment
NT Government Six Month Review
APO NT welcomed the Northern Territory Government Six Month Review of Alcohol Mandatory Treatment. This review occurs every six months. APO NT believes that it is imperative to continuously monitor and evaluate unprecedented schemes to ensure that they are meeting their objectives.
APO NT first submission to this review was submitted in February 2014 and full recommendations can be found here: . The second submission, APO NT jointly drafted a submission with Darwin Community Legal Services, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Central Australian Women’s Legal Services and Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service. This submission can be found here:
Scrapping the AMT Bill
In May 2013, APO NT made a submission on the NT Government’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill entitled “Not under the influence of evidence: A sober critique of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill“, for further information see:
- APO NT Submission on the AMT Bill; and
- Appendix A – Cycle of trauma and substance abuse following colonisation.
APO NT in the Media: AMT Bill
To see John Paterson on 7.30 NT speaking on the need to drop the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill and talk to stakeholders, click here.
In June 2013, APO NT called on the NT Government to scrape the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill, for further information see our media release – Bite the bullet, and drop the Bill!
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is one of many alcohol related health issues faced by Aboriginal people in the NT. Public health policies and clinical services aiming to impact on FASD must also be guided by the evidence base and integrated into broader policies that are working to overcome Aboriginal disadvantage.
Recognition of the impacts of FASD and its implications on people’s behaviours and its contribution to offending is integral. Current practices of FASD being largely ignored in the criminal justice system due to the dearth of intervention and management therapies only serves to further isolate and institutionalise individuals affected by FASD.
For more information see:
- APO NT Submission on FASD to the NT Select Committee on Action to Prevent FASD, submitted in June 2014
- APO NT Submission on FASD to the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into FASD, submitted in November 2011