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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Alcohol and other drugs

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander‑specific alcohol and other drugs treatment services

One of our priorities is tackling harmful alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use, which can have lasting effects on individuals, families and communities, affecting them in a variety of ways, including adverse health and wellbeing, and community safety.

The NIAA supports Australians to tackle these issues by funding culturally appropriate Indigenous AOD treatment and related support services across Australia.  Services include early intervention, prevention activities, residential rehabilitation, day-based and outreach services, AOD counselling (individual and group therapy), advocacy and referral, case management, transitional aftercare, education and health promotion. Supports can also include youth specific activities, life skills and capacity building.

We support services to provide culturally safe treatment and care for Indigenous people and their families, with a focus on holistic, trauma-informed services to aid people experiencing the effects of AOD harm and/or dependence.

AOD policy development relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

We work with the Northern Territory Government on elements of the National Partnership on Northern Territory Remote Aboriginal Investment and the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 to reduce the impacts of alcohol-related harm on individuals, families and communities.

We also work with the Commonwealth Department of Health on broader AOD treatment policy and have responsibility for input and response to Government and stakeholder reviews.

Through AOD forums such as the National Drug Strategy Committee and the Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum we contribute to national frameworks including the National Alcohol Strategy.

We also contribute to building the evidence base around Indigenous AOD treatment through investment in research and evaluation. An example of this work can be found in the 2018 report Understanding clients, treatment models and evaluation options for the NSW Aboriginal Residential Healing Drug and Alcohol Network (NARHDAN): a community‑based participatory research approach.

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