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15 Oct. 2018

AADANT Media Release: Mandatory Treatment and Alcohol Floor Pricing

Monday 15th October 2018

The Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT) would like to state we do not support the reintroduction of Mandatory Treatment in the Northern Territory or the removal of floor pricing on alcohol.

The evaluation of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) program released in 2017 outlined clearly that this approach in addressing harmful alcohol use was not effective, and it was more a punitive approach rather than a treatment option. It was an approach which does not acknowledge the rights of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who were most impacted.

The report also outlined the financial costs of AMT and the excessive funding required to operate the program as compared to other forms of alcohol and drug treatment such as residential rehab and other clinical services. AADANT supports treatment options which are developed with consultation and input from individuals and communities that are evidence based and sit within a Harm Reduction Framework.

AADANT further supports development of alcohol and drug treatment options based on, and supportive of human rights that do not create barriers by criminalising people or removing civil liberties.

AADANT continues to support the recommendations from the Riley Review and remains supportive of the Northern Territory Government’s implementation of these recommendations. Many of these recommendations are a part of a comprehensive plan to reduce the costs associated with harmful alcohol use and dependence in the Northern Territory. As the NT Government have stated, individual aspects should be not viewed as a standalone solution.

AADANT supports regular evaluation of all aspects of the implementation and acknowledges some areas of the implementation may require a longitudinal approach with regular and thorough evaluation throughout the process. While there has been some issue raised with floor pricing implemented in the last two weeks, it is important we acknowledge this initiative is designed to reduce harm through removing low priced alcohol from the market. Floor pricing is once again one aspect of an overall objective to reduce the significant cost of harmful alcohol use in the Northern Territory.

Richard Michell
Executive Officer
Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT