A Better Future for Indigenous Australians - continuing the National Illicit Drug Strategy - Indigenous Communities Initiative

Recognising that drug and alcohol abuse in Indigenous communities are often associated with domestic and community violence - and therefore require more of a community solution, the Australian Government is continuing the National Illicit Drug Strategy – Indigenous Communities Initiative.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • The National Illicit Drugs Strategy – Indigenous Communities Initiative assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop local solutions to substance abuse issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, that often contribute to violence.
  • Although Indigenous Australians are less likely to drink alcohol than non-Indigenous people, those who do drink are more likely to do so at high levels. Only 71 per cent of Indigenous Australians consumed alcohol in 2004-05 compared with 85 per cent of other Australians. However, approximately 17 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who drink at least once a week, drink at risky or high-risk levels compared to about 8 per cent for other Australians.
  • This initiative will fund a variety of projects to provide evidence-based Indigenous-specific treatment guidelines, together with alcohol awareness products and other resources to enable Indigenous communities to address the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Who will benefit?

  • This measure is specifically targeted at Indigenous Australians and will reduce the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs. Indigenous Australians will benefit through the development of projects and resources that underpin service delivery, such as treatment guidelines and workforce development as well as comprehensive implementation of the Alcohol Treatment Guidelines for Indigenous Australians.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed $18.4 million over the next four years, including additional funding of $14.6 million.

What have we done in the past?

  • To date, the Indigenous Communities Initiative has run for four years and has funded a range of projects that have contributed to substantial improvements within Indigenous communities such as workforce development, quality evidence-based and culturally-secure resources and partnerships amongst different sectors and stakeholder groups.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing initiative.

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