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New research shows Indigenous prisoners in Queensland (Qld) are twice as likely to have alcohol-related problems than other inmates. A recent study found that more than half of all Qld Indigenous prisoners were drinking in a high risk or dependent way before entering jail.
Lead author of the study, senior researcher Stuart Kinner from Melbourne University, says this indicates that specific support programs are needed for Indigenous prisoners after they are released. Dr Kinner says alcohol risk factors are markedly different for Indigenous and non-Indigenous prisoners, and treatments needed to be tailored to suit both populations.
'We need to recognise all the contextual factors - the disadvantage, the mental illness, all the pressures that people - Indigenous and non-Indigenous face after their return to the community,' he said. 'What we need to do is start by recognising the one size fits all approach isn't going to be appropriate.
'It's not simply a matter of telling people that they can't drink alcohol - it's a matter of supporting people and providing trained Indigenous workers to support those people to address alcohol related problems.'
Source: ABC News (North Queensland)