'Could it be the gunja': Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cannabis Interventions

In Stage 1 of this project, conjunction with six Aboriginal community controlled health services, NDRI staff aimed to develop practical measures to raise awareness of and address cannabis related health problems at a primary health care level. A screening and brief intervention protocol was developed, alongside a training package and an organisational level implementation strategy. The implementation and intervention were piloted in the participating health services. The pilot outcomes were evaluated through staff feedback and evaluation workshops with representatives from participating health services, NDRI, the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre and the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Council (SA). Areas of strength and need were identified in outcome evaluation reports. On the basis of this adjustments were made to the intervention and implementation model and health promotion resource materials including: posters, and pamphlets were been developed – the ‘Could it be the Gunja’ program.

Stage 2 of the project followed on from the collaborative development of cannabis brief interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care and focused on dissemination of the 'Could it be the Gunja' program to additional sites. The project also investigated sustainability of the project, evaluated the efficacy of dissemination and identified factors related to successful implementation of new skills in the work place.

In Stage 3 of the project all project materials were finalised and final recommendations for the use and implementation of cannabis screening and brief intervention were finalised. A stand alone training package in cannabis screening and brief intervention was also developed.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Professor Steve Allsop
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1606
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Principal Investigator

Alcohol policy and strategies


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Professor Simon Lenton
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1603
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Principal Investigator

Harm reduction policy and strategies


  • Principal Investigator: Julia Butt, Edith Cowan University
  • Principal Investigator: Dennis Gray, Curtin University
  • Project staff: Maurice Shipp,

Dr Julia Butt
Senior Research Fellow
Tel: 61 (0)8 6304 6235
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This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

Butt, J., C., Wilkes, E., T. and Gray, D. (2011). The preliminary validity and utility of assessing staff attitudes to working with cannabis related harms in Indigenous primary health care settings. Drug and Alcohol Review (S.1 ed), 30, pp. 16-17. [RJ821] Abstract