Identifying Areas of Greatest Need in Indigenous Substance Misuse Intervention

  • Research program: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: August 2007
  • Expected end date: June 2009
  • Completion date: August 2010
  • Funded by: National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee
  • Lead organisation:

The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) – a sub-committee of the Australian National Council on Drugs – was established to provide high level advice on the most appropriate and effective approaches to addressing Indigenous drug and alcohol issues. To facilitate its role in this area NIDAC commissioned this project.

For the 2006–2007 financial year, we identified 340 Indigenous specific intervention projects conducted by 224 organisations. Of these projects: 32 per cent primarily provided prevention services; 26 per cent provided harm reduction services; 15 per cent provided non-residential treatment services; 9 per cent provided residential treatment services; 8 per cent provided support, referral and ongoing care services; 7 per cent were workforce development projects; and 3 per cent were multi-service projects (largely based around the provision of residential treatment).

A total of $100.7 million (excluding GST) was expended on these projects in 2006–07. This funding comprised 11 per cent capital expenditure, 74 per cent recurrent operational expenditure, and 15 per cent non-recurrent operational expenditure. Between 1999–2000 and 2006–07, in real terms (2006–07 dollars) operational expenditure increased by 110 per cent from $42.6 million to $89.4 million. Within this, non-recurrent expenditure increased from $2.1 million (5 per cent) to $14.8 million (17 per cent).

There was a mal-distribution of service provision at the regional level which reflected a lack of planning in the sector. There was no correlation between service provision and either need or population size. Interviews with service providers also identified a range of factors impacting on service provision including. To address these, the report made a number of recommendations including: better targeting gaps in service provision; increased capacity building; workforce development and support; increased, on-going and better targeted funding; and improved service planning in consultation with stakeholders.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Dr Annalee Stearne
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1630
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Alcohol policy and strategies


  • Project staff: Mandy Wilson, Curtin University

Professor Dennis Gray
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1624
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This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

Gray, D., Stearne, A., Wilson, M. and Doyle, M., F. (2010). Indigenous-specific Alcohol and Other Drug Interventions: Continuities, Changes and Areas of Greatest Need. Australian National Council on Drugs, Canberra. ISBN: 9781877018237 [R239] Download PDF