NT Living With Alcohol programme evaluation project

  • Research program: Alcohol policy and strategies
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: December 1998
  • Expected end date: February 2000
  • Completion date: November 2010
  • Funded by: Northern Territory Health Services
  • Lead organisation:

A joint project with the Lewin-Fordham Group

National indicators of alcohol consumption and alcohol related harms show that the Northern Territory (NT) levels are consistently higher than in the rest of Australia. In November 1991 the ÔLiving with Alcohol ProgramÕ (LWA) was designed to reduce alcohol-related harm to a level equivalent to, or lower than the national level by the year 2000. The LWA is an important prevention initiative with many unique features worthy of careful investigation. It was funded by a levy on all alcoholic drinks with a strength greater than 2.9% alcohol by volume. The levy raised significant funds for treatment and prevention activities in the Territory and was also in itself an economic disincentive for drinking high strength alcohol. The LWA program has commissioned NCRPDA and a group of consulting health economists from the Lewin-Fordham Group to estimate the economic benefits of the program.

The first phase of the project involves estimating the impact on levels of alcohol-related harm in the domains of road safety, morbidity and mortality. Time series analyses will be conducted on relevant indices that are available for a long enough period prior to the start of LWA. An innovation will be the calculation of new aetiological fractions specifically for the Northern Territory which recognise the higher levels of hazardous and harmful drinking compared with the rest of Australia. These will also be adjusted year by year for estimated changes in drinking levels.

The Lewin-Fordham Group will provide the health economic expertise to this project to estimate the economic costs associated with alcohol use in NT during the period of the study. This information will then be combined with the estimates of the impact of LWA on key harm indicators to estimate the overall economic impact of this unique prevention program.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Professor Tanya Chikritzhs
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1609
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Chief Investigator

Alcohol policy and strategies


  • Co-investigator: Joanne Cronin, Curtin University

Stockwell, T., R., Chikritzhs, T., N., Hendrie, D., V., Fordham, R., J., Ying, F., Phillips, M., Cronin, J. and O'Reilly, B. (2001). The public health and safety benefits of the Northern Territory's Living With Alcohol program. Drug and Alcohol Review, 20, (2), pp. 167-180. DOI: 10.1080/09595230120058551 [RJ358] View web page

Chikritzhs, T., N., Stockwell, T., R., Hendrie, D., V., Ying, F., Fordham, R., J., Cronin, J., Olermann, K. and Phillips, M. (1999). The public health, safety and economic benefits of the Northern Territory's Living With Alcohol Program 1992/2 to 1995/6. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. [M22]