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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Study shows possible link between alcohol price and assaults in Alice Springs

Date posted: 17 October 2012

Results from a study show a correlation between higher alcohol prices in Alice Springs and fewer assaults on Aboriginal women, researchers say.

The long-term study by the National Drug Research Institute (A longitudinal study of influences on alcohol consumption and related harm in Central Australia, with a particular emphasis on the role of price) looked at alcohol price, consumption and harm in Alice Springs for 10 years from 2000.

Early results show about 100 fewer women were admitted to hospital because of assaults in 2010, than had previously been predicted for that year. Study co-author, John Boffa, says it shows that increasing the price of alcohol works to combat alcohol use and associated violence.

'And it's also shown that since we put the price up with the restrictions in 2006 we have dropped consumption,' he said.

'And harm has been reduced. Admissions for Aboriginal women to Alice Springs hospital for assault have gone down significantly compared to where they would've been. That's success.'

But the Northern Territory's Deputy Chief Minister, Robyn Lambley, says there is conflicting information about the impact that current supply measures are having on alcohol consumption. She says a report from St John's Ambulance suggests the number of people they have picked up each year has increased by 5,000.

Ms Lambley says the government is confident that some alcohol reduction measures, such as the Banned Drinker Register, had only a minor effect on alcohol abuse and harm.

'So in terms of the existing supply strategies in place in Alice Springs at the moment, we don't intend to roll anything back in the near future, and if we do and I reiterate this it will be in consultation with stakeholders,' she said.

Source: ABC news and National Drug Research Institute


National Drug Research Institute
Curtin University of Technology
Health Research Campus
Level 2, 10 Selby Street
Shenton Park WA 6008
Ph: (08) 9266 1600
Fax: (08) 9266 1611


Last updated: 17 October 2012
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