HealthInfo Net Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status, 2017

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet released the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status, 2017 on Monday. This document can be found in full here.

The report is broken down into various sections including tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and volatile substances among many other health and well-being sections. Below are excerpts from the report and the various sections relevant to the alcohol and other drug sector.

Tobacco use

  • In 2014-2015, 39% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported they were current smokers; after age-adjustment, this proportion was 2.8 times higher than the proportion among non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2015, 45% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers reported smoking during pregnancy, compared with 12% of non-indigenous mothers.
  • Between 2008 and 2014-2015, the highest reduction in daily smoking was in younger age groups 15-24 years (39% to 31%) and 25-34 years (53% to 45%).
  • In 2011, tobacco use was the leading cause of the burden of disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, responsible for 12% of the total burden of disease.

Alcohol use

  • In 2014-2015, 40% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults reported abstaining from alcohol.
  • For 2010 to 2016, there was a decline (32% to 20%) in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 years and over who exceeded the 2009 guidelines for lifetime risk (two standard drink/day).
  • For 2014-15, after age-adjustment, for a principal diagnosis related to alcohol use, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males were hospitalised at 4.0 times and females at 3.4 times the rates of non-Indigenous males and females.
  • For 2010-2014, the age-adjusted death rates for alcohol-related deaths for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT was 4.9 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2011, alcohol use was responsible for 8.3% of the total burden of disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are less likely to drink alcohol than non-Indigenous people, but those who do drink are more likely to at levels that cause harm [97, 314]. Evidence suggests that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have better health outcomes when there are adequately resourced and culturally safe services provided by community controlled organisations [318, 319].

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA and the NT, between 2004-2005 and 2014-2015, age-adjusted hospital separations due to acute intoxication increased from 2.1 per 1,000 to 5.8 per 1,000 [8]. This was an increase from 5.7 to 11.4 times the rates for non-Indigenous people. In 2014-15, the highest rate of hospital separations related to alcohol use for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was for mental/behavioural disorders (7.8 per 1,000) which was 3.7 times the rate of non-Indigenous people.

Illicit drug use

  • In 2014-2015, 73% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older reported they had never used illicit substances in the last 12 months.
  • In 2014-2015, 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported that they had used an illicit substance in the previous 12 months.
  • In 2014-2015, hospitalisation for mental/behavioural disorders from use of amphetamines had the highest rate of separations due to drug use and was 3.7 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2010-2014, the rate of drug-induced deaths was 1.9 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2011, illicit substance use was responsible for 3.7% of the total burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Volatile substance use

  • In 2014-15, hospitalisation rates for poisoning and accidental poisoning from the toxic effects of organic solvents (e.g. petrol) were between 3.9 and 5.1 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.

A study of petrol sniffing in 41 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities found that the number of people sniffing petrol decreased by 29% from 298 in 2011-12 to 204 in 2013-14 [337]. Since 2005, an overall decline in reported use for 17 of these communities for which there are comparable data, shows that the total number of people sniffing petrol has fallen, from 647 in 2005- 06 to 78 in 2013-14, a reduction of 88%. This decrease in prevalence of sniffing has been associated with the replacement of regular unleaded petrol with low aromatic fuel (LAF).

Infant Mortality

The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of children aged less than one year in a calendar year per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year. In NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT in 2014-2016, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IMR was 6.2 per 1,000; this was almost twice as high as the non-Indigenous IMR, 3.2 per 1,000 [28]. In 2016, the IMR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants was highest in the NT (13.9 per 1,000), 13.7 for males and 14.0 for females (Table 9).

Assist Clients with Medication Free Training Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Alice Springs

The Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT is offering training to the drug and alcohol sector for those who support clients to self-administer medication. This training is kindly being funded by the Northern Territory Department of Health and is free to all participants.

This training will be offered in Darwin, Katherine, Barkly Region, and Alice Springs. BCA National Training Group will provide the training and have created a page to track expressions of interest, please follow this link to register your interest. BCA National will assess all applications to make sure this training is suitable and has not already been completed through another qualification.

Please see summary of the training course below:

Unit summary – HLTHPS006 This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and provide medication assistance, and complete medication documentation. It also involves supporting a client to self-administer medication. This unit applies to community services and health workers with authority in their state or territory to assist with the administration of medication. The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

If you have any questions contact Katie Flynn, Project Worker 8943 0608 project@aadant.org.au

*Please note no dates have been set for the training

NT Transitional Accommodation Program Information Sessions

Please see information below from  Community Corrections, NT Correctional Services Department of the Attorney-General and Justice  Northern Territory Government. Contact Kathryn White (08) 8935 7532 for more information:

The Department of Attorney General and Justice (AGD) in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) are holding information sessions to discuss the Transitional Accommodation Program and the related Request for Information process.

The Transitional Accommodation Program is a capital project funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as part of the Indigenous Advancement and Wellbeing Program and provides for the following outcomes:

The Project will establish facilities in the Northern Territory to provide transitional accommodation for indigenous people exiting prison who have a job or are engaged in training leading to employment.

                Residents of the facilities will also make a contribution towards the cost of accommodation, to transition them to a normalised pattern of paying rent.

You are invited to an information session to learn more about the Transitional Accommodation Program and the Request for Information process to support the development of a Housing Operations Model. Details of the information sessions are:

Alice Springs 19 June 2018 10:30am – 1:30pm Conference Room,

Community Corrections

Centrepoint Building

Tennant Creek 20 June 2018 1:30pm – 3:30pm Conference Room

Level 1, Barkly House

Katherine 22 June 2018 9:30am – 11:30am Blue Room,

Level 1, Government Centre

First Street

Darwin 29 June 2018 9:00am – 12:00pm Conference Room

Level 3, Heritage Apartments

6 Knuckey St, Darwin

A further information session via teleconference will be scheduled for people who are unable to make these times and be distributed at a later date.

Please feel free to distribute the invitation to other organisations working with people exiting prison who may be interested in attending.

Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Networking Meeting Darwin July 5

The Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT) will be holding Youth AOD networking meetings to promote youth AOD service in the Top End. AADANT will coordinate these meetings to identify, promote, and lobby for youth-specific drug and alcohol services.

Please see information below for the second meeting in Darwin, Thursday 5th July. Contact Katie (project@aadant.org.au, 0429 009 599) if you would like to attend and be added to the Youth AOD Networking Meeting mailing list. The second meeting will focus on youth outreach and successful youth outreach models. If you would like an agenda, please contact Katie.

Youth Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Meeting
Thursday 5 July 2018, 2-3pm
First Floor, Paspalis Centrepoint, 48-50 Smith Street, Darwin NT
          To link in via teleconference:
Phone:  1800 238 182          Access Code:  41737

Alcohol & Other Drugs Sector Network Meeting, Alice Springs June 21

Information sharing and network meeting for AOD sector workers in the Alice Springs region

NT PHN, in collaboration with the Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT), are pleased to invite you to the second AOD sector network meeting.  These meetings will be held across the Territory to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer networking, sector information updates and sharing of information between those working in the AOD sector.

The need for increased networking opportunities was a common theme in the Workforce Development consultation and it is hoped that these meetings will provide increased opportunities for communication and collaboration across the various levels and organisations working within the sector.  All staff working within the AOD sector are invited to attend and opportunities for cross-sector engagement are also being explored.

Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) was mentioned in all meetings (Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs) and it will be our first topic for a 30-minute presentation by CAYLUS. Opportunities for round-table discussions and open networking will continue to be a part of these meetings.

If you would like to suggest a topic you think the sector would benefit from in future meetings, please contact Katie (project@aadant.org.au, 0429 009 599)

AADANT would also like to recognise there may be new programs organisations would like to present on which we would also welcome.  Please see details below for the second AOD Sector Network Meeting in Alice Springs:

Thursday, 21st June 2018, 9:00-10:00AM
Centre for Remote Health, Lecture Room 3 & 4
Crn Simpson and Skinner Streets
Alice Springs NT 0871