Review of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drugs treatment service sector

  • Research program: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: October 2013
  • Expected end date: June 2014
  • Completion date: July 2014
  • Funded by: University of New South Wales
  • Lead organisation:

As part of a larger review of the alcohol and other drugs treatment sector, the National Drug Research Institute was been commissioned to conduct a review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services covering: identification of gaps in current service provision; areas of unmet need; priority groups; service planning processes; funding models/funding arrangements and contracting issues; and, strengths, weaknesses and challenges across these areas.

The review found:

• The current system for the provision of ATOD services is fractured. A model for the provision of treatment services needs to be negotiated between service providers and governments, preferably an ACCHS-PHC centred model.

• Once agreed upon, the model needs to be supported by: improved service planning; organizational and community development; and, consolidated funding allocated on the basis of need.

• Within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, among service providers and within government there is widespread concern to address substance use disorders among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their actions to do so are clearly based on good intentions. What is needed is to more effectively harness those good intentions to reduce harmful levels of ATOD use in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Dr Annalee Stearne
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1630
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Chief Investigator

Alcohol policy and strategies


  • Chief Investigator: Edward Wilkes, Curtin University
  • Chief Investigator: Matthew Bonson, Curtin University
  • Project staff: Julia Butt, Edith Cowan University
  • Project staff: Mandy Wilson, Curtin University

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

Gray, D., Stearne, A., Bonson, M., Wilkes, E., T., Butt, J., C. and Wilson, M. (2014). Review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol, tobacco and other drugs treatment service sector: Harnessing good intentions. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. ISBN: 978-0-9873641-6-6 [T231] Download PDF