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          • » Latest review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander illicit drug use confirms integrating evidence-based practice with culturally responsive programs is essential to reduce harm

Latest review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander illicit drug use confirms integrating evidence-based practice with culturally responsive programs is essential to reduce harm

Date posted: 7 June 2016

Edith Cowan University's Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre have released a comprehensive review of illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is freely available on the Knowledge Centre web resource. Illicit drug use is an issue of concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew, says 'The purpose of our review is to provide a comprehensive sythensis of key information on this area for anyone with an interest in reducing the harms from illicit drug use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The review brings together current evidence and information into one document.'

The review found that illicit drug use is associated with several health impacts and social harms that disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These harms include increased risk of contracting blood borne viruses from injecting drug use, higher levels of psychological distress and an increased risk of suicide.

High rates of cannabis use in some remote communities have been linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Recent data on hospitalisation due to drug use show that amphetamines were associated with the highest rate of hospitalisation due to drug use and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were hospitalised at a rate three times higher than non-Indigenous people.

Evidence shows that services that are most likely to effectively address drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are those that originate within and are controlled by the community. They also need to be culturally appropriate, provide holistic services, and create strong partnerships with other organisations in order to provide clients with a complete continuum of care. Adequate resourcing and funding of services, and the need to collect better information so that 'best practice' can be established for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients are also important elements of providing effective services.

Contacts

Spokesperson
Joanne Hoareau
Research Officer
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6276
Email: j.hoareau@ecu.edu.au

Media Contact
Tara Hoyne
Development and Marketing Manager
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6109
Email: t.hoyne@ecu.edu.au

Links

 
Last updated: 7 June 2016
 
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