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New tools aim to help reduce harmful substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Date posted: 18 May 2015

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre (the Knowledge Centre) today launched two portals and a free mobile phone app which will support efforts to reduce harmful substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The portals provide up-to-date, relevant information about alcohol and other drugs (AOD)- one designed for the workforce, and the other for Elders and the general community. The app is a national directory of alcohol and other drug treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The AOD workers' portal aims to provide practical support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander AOD workforce. Each of the fifteen topic areas has guidelines for workers on how to approach the challenge of AOD practice when working with clients; from specific information on different drugs, to how to recognise and respond to clients with substance use and mental health issues. The 'Taking care of yourself' and 'Workforce' sections also provide information about further training and career opportunities. You can access the Worker's portal here.

The new Community portal is designed for community members and Elders working to reduce harms from AOD use in their communities. The portal provides plain language factsheets on the effects of alcohol and other drugs, as well as information on what communities can do and where people can go for help. There are separate sections devoted to; help for families, help for young people, help for offenders, and social, emotional and cultural wellbeing. Community groups are encouraged to share their stories by contributing to the 'Your stories' page, so that others may learn about programs that are working and making a difference. You can access the Community portal here.

The new app AODconnect provides access to a national directory of culturally appropriate AOD treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It was designed for the AOD workforce or any health professional working in the AOD sector. The app is also useful for those looking for a specific Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander AOD service by state, territory and/or region through an interactive map of Australia or by alphabetical listing. The app has two filter options: focus (Indigenous, mainstream with Indigenous focus, or mainstream); or treatment categories (counselling and referral, harm reduction and support groups, outreach, mobile patrols and sobering up, residential rehab, withdrawal management, and young people). AODconnect is currently available for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). You can download the app here, or on the app store.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew, believes that 'These portals will ensure that health professionals and the community who require a wide range of up to date and culturally appropriate materials can promptly access what they need. Using the app to find AOD treatment services through a handheld device or tablet out in the field will also save time. Importantly, once the app is downloaded, it will continue to work even when Internet connection is unreliable or non-existent.'


Professor Neil Drew
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6155

Media Contact
Tara Hoyne
Development and Marketing Manager
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6109


Last updated: 18 May 2015
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute