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14 Aug. 2019

New review says strong connection to country and community can help reduce methamphetamine use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Media Release – New review says strong connection to country and community can help reduce methamphetamine use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

14 August 2019

The use of methamphetamine and the related harms has been the subject of growing concern in Australia, with Australians rating it the drug of most concern in the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. The most commonly used drugs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are tobacco, cannabis and alcohol. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing a disproportionate burden of harm from amphetamines, including methamphetamine.

The authors of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet’s latest publication, the Review of methamphetamine use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; Drs Mieke Snijder and Stephanie Kershaw from the University of Sydney say ‘This review shows how important it is to support individuals, families and communities and the urgent need to develop more culturally appropriate resources’.

The review describes the historical and social factors that influence the use of methamphetamine among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how family, peers and community can be protective factors, including a strong connection to culture and country.

The review highlights new and emerging programs that are being implemented to address methamphetamine use, such as the Cracks in the Ice Toolkit for community and family members, and the Novel Interventions to Address Methamphetamine Use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (NIMAC) study in South Australia.

There is currently no evidence on what are the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for methamphetamine use, however appropriate responses need to address social determinants as well as provide treatment services.

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew says ‘This review summarises many publications and data into one publication which ensures those working in the sector receive an authoritative update that is both accessible and timely’. The Knowledge Centre has created some Knowledge Exchange tools for those who want the key facts and updates in a visual format: an animated video and factsheet https://aodknowledgecentre.ecu.edu.au/about/knowledge-exchange-products/

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Spokesperson: Professor Neil Drew - HealthInfoNet Director 

Ph: (08) 9370 6155          Mobile: 0418 901 468                    Email: n.drew@ecu.edu.au 

More information: The Knowledge Centre provides online access to a comprehensive collection of relevant, evidence-based, current and culturally appropriate alcohol and other drug (AOD) knowledge-support and decision-support materials and information that can be used in the prevention, identification and management of alcohol and other drug use in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities www.aodknowledgecentre.net.au