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Date posted: 22 May 2013
Consultations are being held across the country during May 2013 to inform a new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples drug strategy (NATSIPDS).
Chair of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC), Ted Wilkes, says meetings will be held in Port Augusta, Sydney, Mt Isa, Perth, Broome and Alice Springs.
Broome is one of six national locations the committee will visit this month as it helps develop a new strategy to address the problem of harmful substance use in Indigenous communities. Chairman Ted Wilkes says Kimberley communities can have a say in forming the new strategy.
NIDAC says binge drinking and drug abuse is to blame for high Indigenous suicide rates, low birth weights and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
‘What we're attempting to do on behalf of Indigenous Australians is to identify those substances and then to find ways to address the harmful use,' he said.
‘The drug strategy is about implementing a plan and getting the advice from our community, so we will be going to talk to our Aboriginal people and our non-Aboriginal colleagues who work with us. There aren't too many Aboriginal people that aren't touched by someone close in the family or in the extended family or others that are friends by the scar or the tragedy that is alcohol and drug misuse.'
Source: ABC Indigenous News and National Indigenous Radio Service