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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 
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          • » Latest review of volatile substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people shows that involving community gets better results

Latest review of volatile substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people shows that involving community gets better results

Date posted: 15 February 2016

Edith Cowan University's Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre have released a comprehensive review of volatile substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Professor Neil Drew, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Director, says 'It is with great pleasure that I announce that our latest review is now available on our web resource. Our important work in the area of translational research means that we synthesise the evidence and information currently available into one document and make it freely available on our web resource. This saves busy health practitioners and policy maker's considerable time and provides them with an up-to-date and comprehensive review of a particular health topic.' Our 2011 review has been updated by Dr Christina Marel from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of NSW.

Volatile substance use (VSU) is an issue of concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. The purpose of our review is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of key information on VSU for people involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia.

The review noted that strategies that are consultative, empowering, public-spirited and community-based are more likely to be effective because they are tailored to the community, and are community driven and owned. Further, the sense of ownership and empowerment ensures that community members are actively engaged and involved in the response process, rather than passively on the receiving end of directive policy.

The past decade has seen an increased response to VSU in terms of coordinated government approaches, preventative, strategic and well evaluated programs; and strategies that involve manufacturers modifying products to prevent their misuse. Government resources have been invested into longer-term resources to prevent harms from VSU, and an increased focus on integrated policy frameworks.

Professor Anthony Shakeshaft from NDARC said 'It was interesting to note that the most effective strategies for combating VSU are those that address and improve young peoples’ lives and the health and wellbeing of families and communities over the long term'. This involves taking measures to redress socio-economic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Contacts

Spokesperson
Professor Neil Drew
Director
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6155
Email: n.drew@ecu.edu.au

Media Contact
Tara Hoyne
Development and Marketing Manager
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 9370 6109
Email: t.hoyne@ecu.edu.au

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Last updated: 15 February 2016
 
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