Aims: To identify which intervention strategies have been effective in reducing excessive consumption of alcohol, and related harm, among some segments of Australia’s Aboriginal population.
Design: Items dealing with ‘alcohol’ and ‘evaluation’ (27) were identified from the comprehensive electronic data base on Aboriginal alcohol and other drug issues, maintained by Australia’s National Centre for Research into the Prevention of Drug Abuse. From these, were selected all reports (14) dealing specifically with evaluation of particular intervention projects. These were grouped and systematically reviewed under the broad categories of treatment, health promotion education, acute interventions, and supply reduction.
Findings: A broad range of intervention strategies has been employed. However, few systematic evaluations have been undertaken and, the methodologies employed have been generally insufficient to allow robust generalisation. The impact of most interventions appears limited but, in part, this may be a function of inadequate resourcing and program support.
Conclusions: Despite the limitations of the evaluation reports, several conclusions can be tentatively drawn. It appears there is a need to employ a broader range of treatment models and complementary intervention strategies. Interventions are generally inadequately resourced. There is a suggestion that supply reduction interventions may be effective. Most importantly, there is a pressing need for more rigorous evaluation studies in cooperation with Aboriginal community organisations.