NAIP Component Study: Re-evaluation of the public health impact of the NT’s Living With Alcohol Program

  • Research program: Alcohol policy and strategies
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: June 2003
  • Expected end date: November 2004
  • Completion date: November 2010
  • Funded by: AGDHA
  • Lead organisation:

One of the first applications of the National Alcohol Indicators developed by NAIP was an assessment of the health and economic impacts of the first four years of the Northern Territory’s Living with Alcohol Program. The evaluation found substantial reductions in alcohol related deaths injuries and illnesses, substantial reductions in overall consumption and alcohol consumption as well as a net economic benefit to the Northern Territory of $31 million/annum. There was uncertainty as to what were the ingredients in the program that generated these benefits, eg. the rise in the price of alcohol caused by the special levy as opposed to the many new treatment and prevention programs funded. It was also unclear whether external economic circumstances driving down alcohol consumption in the early 1990s may also have contributed to these apparent benefits. In late 1997 the special levy was discontinued and some three years later the program itself, having been funded federally, was also discontinued.

In this project, trends in alcohol indicators for the Northern Territory during these latter years were re-examined and contrasted with equivalent areas drawn from Northern parts of Western Australia and Queensland. This was a very powerful design to investigate the relative impacts of the alcohol levy, the Living with Alcohol Program and prevailing economic conditions. A summary of the project and main findings was presented at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) conference in November 2004. A technical report was completed in 2005 and a paper is currently in press with Addiction and is being fast tracked for the November 2005 issue. The paper was presented to the 2005 Kettill Bruun Socity meeting.

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: Paul Catalano, Curtin University
  • Co-investigator: Richard Pascal, Curtin University

Chikritzhs, T., N., Stockwell, T., R. and Pascal, R. (2005). Alcohol taxes save lives: response to Holder. Addiction, 100, pp. 1885-1886. [RJ483]

Chikritzhs, T., N., Stockwell, T., R. and Pascal, R. (2005). The impact of the Northern Territory’s Living With Alcohol program, 1992–2002: revisiting the evaluation. Addiction, 100, pp. 1625-1636. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01234.x [RJ472] View web page

Chikritzhs, T., N., Stockwell, T., R., Pascal, R. and Catalano, P. (2004). The Northern Territory's Living With Alcohol Program, 1992-2002: revisiting the evaluation. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. [T156]