Particularly given their uncertainties about the role of Indigenous-specific services or Indigenous NSP workers, a number of those consulted during this study found it difficult to know what best practice in facilitating Indigenous access would be. 'I'm a bit flummoxed, really', said one experienced worker in the Northern Territory. The privacy and anonymity issues relating to employment of Indigenous NSP workers were described by another Northern Territory informant as 'a bit of a double bind'. Therefore the point was often made that it was essential to offer options or choices that would enable people to make use of whatever type of service they found best suited their needs. As one person saw it, licensing a wide range of health workers to offer NSP services could be one possible way of achieving this.

While there may be no one approach that is clearly best or of general application, numbers of the services and activities which the study team heard about demonstrate aspects of good practice in facilitating NSP access for Indigenous clients. Specific examples are noted in Appendix H, covering such matters as the following:

  • partnerships between the Indigenous health sector and those responsible for NSP policies and the management and delivery of NSP services
  • an active role for drug user support groups
  • approaches to making NSP services more inclusive or 'Indigenous-friendly'
  • cultural safety and awareness training for mainstream agencies
  • extended NSP hours
  • use of mobile/outreach services
  • use of 'enhanced' NSP services
  • use of dispensing machines
  • peer services
  • reaching young Indigenous IDUs
  • offering choices or options for indigenous IDUs.