The Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (SA) inc.

2010 February Directors Editorial - 28 Feb 2010

2010 February Directors Editorial

ADAC Director Editorial will provide a highlight section of the key areas that ADAC had involvement in that month. Highlight for the month of February was the Director in his capacity as Deputy Chairperson on the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) and Director of ADAC was invited and spent an hour with the House of Representative Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Inquiry into the high level of involvement of Indigenous juveniles and young adults in the criminal justice system. ADAC will also be appearing when the Committee has its public hearings in Adelaide end of March early April. ADAC were also involved in helping to develop and refine the Mental Health First AID Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples “Development of Guidelines for Problem Drug Use”. ADAC were also invited to be a member of the SA Aboriginal Blood-Borne Virus Prevention Steering Committee based at AHCSA. The Director was interviewed 15 times by a range of media on issues such as Rural substance abuse. He was interviewed on the 28th February by the Hope 103.2’s ‘Open House’ National program to discuss the alcohol interventions in Indigenous communities. They were interested in speaking with Scott about Tony Abbott’s plans for a nationwide ban on takeaway alcohol in Aboriginal communities. The Director pointed out that the initiative is discriminatory and doesn’t solve the problem of alcohol in these communities – it merely creates racial tensions between the Indigenous community and other areas where there are no restrictions. Many Indigenous people will head to these communities to obtain alcohol and do not leave. Additionally, to enact this nationwide ban, each state would need to give up its Racial Discrimination Act and let Federal Government control the issue – this is not likely to happen. There are reports from the Northern Territory that similar restrictions have not worked – alcohol-related violence and other incidents have increased. ADAC also supports community-led restrictions, where they can come together and solve the problem – we have seen much better outcomes in these instances.

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