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16 Mar. 2021

MEDIA RELEASE: Northern Territory Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Project Final Report

16 March 2021

The Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT) is the peak body for non-government Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services in the Northern Territory (NT). We represent over 20 organisations providing drug and alcohol treatment and support to families and clients throughout the NT.

In December 2019, AADANT employed a Youth Project Officer to undertake consultation and deliver sector development in the Youth AOD space. This report captures a year of consultation work across both the youth and AOD sectors providing insights into the current concerns and opportunities in this field and recommendations stemming from this consultation for collaborative models of care, community education and workforce development.

The report also highlights the opportunity for the Northern Territory Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to provide a clear and cohesive approach to supporting young Territorians through policy, funding and partnerships with the NGO sector and the broader community.

Throughout the program of forums delivered by AADANT as part of the project, discussions and case studies produced a range of findings for immediate service needs, but also highlighted systemic concerns and identified the urgent need for longer-term planning and investment to break currently embedded cycles for the next generation of young people. 

It was commonly raised the youth AOD sector is regularly stretched to, or beyond, capacity.  Contributors from both the AOD and Youth sectors reported they were often working at full capacity on acute, responsive tasks and crisis management.

This reality results in a lack of capacity for agencies to properly engage in strategic reflection, planning and research, and limits the capacity of the sector to make long-term, systemic, and community changes. 

A key finding from the consultation was the need for a lead voice for Young People in the NT. A Youth Peak Body would provide a cohesive voice for the sector and provide focus on research, coordination and advocacy for best practice solutions in addressing the needs of the Territory’s young people. 

While various local, Territory and Commonwealth government departments have invested in a range of consultation projects, there is an extant need for a commitment to an over-arching, coordinated model that provides long-term, sustainable guidance to build on past work and produce future thinking, planning and advice.

This report provides insights into the Youth AOD sector as it stands, highlighting promising practices and puts forward recommendations for a pathway for a collaborative government, community and sector approach for managing the current endemic Youth AOD issues in the NT.

Please visit our website to view the report in its entirety within our Young People and AOD section which includes videos, resources and information.
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Media Contact
Britt Guy
Youth Project Officer, AADANT
M 0499 980 600

Download the report here: