Screening and brief intervention

The Alcohol Awareness project: community education and brief intervention in an urban Aboriginal setting

(Original research)

Although many Aboriginal Australians live in cities, minimal research has addressed community-based approaches to reduce alcohol problems in that setting.

This project explores the brief intervention with Aboriginal community groups in urban New South Wales.

Methods to empower and support urban Aboriginal communities to tackle drinking problems need further exploration.

The resources developed as a result of this study, and refined in collaboration with the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Network (ADAN), NSW, have been promulgated by ADAN, by Sydney City Council and (after adaptation) by the NT Health Department.

Investigators: Conigrave, Freeman, Carroll, Simpson, Lee, Wade, Kiel, Ella, Becker and Freeburn

What is the best way to screen for alcohol problems among Aboriginal Australians?

(original research)

In Australia, most people with alcohol problems do not come forward and ask for help.

This may be because of shame, or because they are not even aware their drinking is putting them at risk.

So it is important to have efficient ways to pick up problems, so that help can be offered early and unnecessary harms prevented.

Research is still working out the most appropriate way to screen Aboriginal Australians for alcohol risk.

In a busy Aboriginal medical service, only a small number of screening questions can be included, as people have many other medical issues that need attention.

Conigrave is working on two studies, in partnership with two Aboriginal controlled medical services and two other universities to study the most appropriate and accurate questions, and the best way of asking these.

Evaluating an innovative alcohol permit system introduced by a cluster of remote Aboriginal communities

(Original research)

The Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra Island Alcohol Management System is an innovative program, developed at the request of the Aboriginal communities and through partnerships with industry, local agencies and licensing authorities.

Every person in the region (no matter what their skin colour) requires a permit to buy take away alcohol.

Anyone who is involved in alcohol related offences, or supplies alcohol to someone without a permit, loses that right to purchase takeaways.

The Anindilyakwa Land Council approached the University of Sydney for an independent evaluation of this Program.

Those interviewed, reported that it has resulted in marked improvements in quality of life.

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Investigators: Conigrave, Proude and d’Abbs