Indigenous alcohol abuse is a critical social and health problem and the Australian alcohol industry accepts it has a role to help tackle it. We have a strong record of supporting alcohol bans in remote communities.
Statistically, a higher percentage of Indigenous Australians are non-drinkers than the non-Indigenous population. However, among Indigenous drinkers there exist some very harmful drinking patterns. Consequently, acute alcohol problems in the Indigenous population are proportionately more common than in the non-Indigenous population.
There’s no simple solution to the problems of Indigenous alcohol abuse. Each community faces its own unique circumstances and like other problem drinking issues, it should be dealt with primarily by helping those affected, not immediately restricting a whole community. Tailored local solutions that target those in need and have the support of the community are likely to be the most effective.
The Australian alcohol beverages industry believes local community leaders and members, plus relevant experts all need to be a part of these tailored and targeted solutions.
The industry believes communities should be empowered with education and assistance to help them both develop and regularly review the effectiveness of community decisions around alcohol.
For industry media comment regarding this issue please contact Alcohol Beverages Australia
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait island people
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2015 http://www.aihw.gov.au/indigenous-observatory/reports/health-and-welfare-2015/
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Specific Population Groups, 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey http://www.aihw.gov.au/alcohol-and-other-drugs/ndshs-2013/ch8/#t8_3