Alcohol management plans

Introduction

An alcohol management plan is an agreement to tackle the harm caused by alcohol abuse in a way that works for the community. It must have a strong focus on reducing alcohol-related harm and improving community safety, particularly for women and children.

The plan is developed in partnership with the community and with support from local organisations and government staff. It must be agreed to by the community and government.

Alcohol management plans employ an integrated approach with supply, demand and harm reduction strategies.

They aim to minimise the nature and extent of harm caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol management plans recognise that alcohol problems are not the same in every part of the Territory. Communities have different priorities that require different solutions, with strategies being tailored to meet local conditions and circumstances.

Definitions

Supply reduction refers to reducing alcohol consumption and related harm by managing the availability, accessibility and convenience of alcohol supply.

Demand reduction refers to changing individual attitudes, personal knowledge and behaviours to drinking alcohol. It also looks at changing the community’s tolerance of irresponsible and risky drinking patterns.

Harm reduction refers to influencing safer drinking choices and drinking environments to reduce harm to individuals and the community through the provision of interventions that prevent further harm.

Alcohol reference groups

Local alcohol reference groups agree on the strategies and since off on the alcohol management plan at the local level. The groups are made up of stakeholders like:

  • community members
  • policy
  • health representatives
  • government representatives
  • alcohol and other drug services representatives
  • businesses 
  • licensees.

There are alcohol reference groups (ARGs) across a range of NT communities.


Alcohol action initiatives

Since early 2016, the focus of work with remote communities has been the development of Alcohol Action Initiatives (AAIs), which are community driven projects that develop local solutions and practical actions.

The AAI program provides short term funding to support community action to minimise the harm caused by the consumption of alcohol through supply, demand and harm reduction strategies.

Funding is available to communities that have participated in alcohol management planning processes.

AAIs can be as large or as small as a community wants, and are agreed to at the community level through local governance processes.

Alcohol action initiatives are designed to

  • Reduce alcohol harms in the community and address one or more of the following:
    • Supply reduction: reducing alcohol consumption and related harm by managing the availability, accessibility and convenience of alcohol supply.
    • Demand reduction: - changing individual attitudes, personal knowledge and behaviours to drinking alcohol and changing the community’s tolerance of irresponsible and risky drinking.
    • Harm reduction: - reducing harms to individuals and the community through influencing safe drinking choices and drinking environments and providing interventions that prevent further harms.
  • Improve community safety and wellbeing of individuals, children, families and communities
  • Improve school attendance
  • Support community capacity building and  enable communities to own and drive their AAI
  • Support leadership and governance of the AAI on the ground in the community

Alcohol action initiatives (AAIs) examples

Example for youth’s AAIs

  • Ali Curung Youth Leadership and Development
  • Alice Springs Youth Substance Misuse Program
  • Alpurrurulum, Elliott and Ali Curung School Holiday Programs
  • Borroloola Young Men’s ‘Wise-up’ camp
  • Jilkminggan Youth Voices, Reducing alcohol harm Smartphone messaging
  • Kakadu AOD education project Djibdjibdji College
  • Karslake Youth Culture camp
  • Maningrida Cultural Engagement and Diversion Youth activities
  • Pirlangimpi Fathers and Sons Bike Project
  • Tennant Creek Youth Diversion Pilot

Example for women’s AAIs

  • Ali Curung Safe House upgrade
  • All of  NT women’s foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) forum
  • Borroloola Sports Equipment
  • Elliott Early Intervention programs
  • Katherine District Women and alcohol workshops
  • Lajamanu Strong Women’s group workshops
  • Naiuyu Daddirri Deep Inner Listening AOD Workshops for Women
  • Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Gunyangara Safe Strong Sober Program
  • Palumpa Women’s Centre Dilly Bag and Healing Project
  • Yuendumu and Yuelumu AOD Women Leaders

Example for men’s AAIs

  • Borroloola Men’s Shed Project
  • Elliott Men’s Shed Project
  • Kakadu Stronger Fathers Group
  • Lajamanu Strong Men’s Health Workshops
  • Maningrida Expansion Strong Safe and Sober program
  • Naiuyu Men’s Health and Men’s Shed Firepit
  • Nhulunbuy AOD Diversion
  • Wugularr, Barunga, Jilkminggan Strong Bala Healthy Bala
  • Wurramiyanga Men’s Shed Construction Project
  • Yuendumu and Yuelumu AOD Male Leaders

Example for community AAIs

  • Borroloola Grief, Loss and Trauma Training
  • Lajamanu Supporting Safe Families
  • Laramba AOD Education and Awareness program
  • Ngukurr Sport and Recreation AOD Diversion
  • Ti Tree AOD Education and Awareness program
  • Tiwi Islands ‘Tour de Tiwis’ Bike Race
  • Wadeye TV-Alcohol and Safety commercials
  • Wugularr Sports Equipment AOD Diversion
  • Yirrkala and Gove Peninsula Yolgnu –social media for school attendance

Highlighted alcohol action initiatives projects

Spreading positive AOD messages

Wugularr, Barunga and Manyallaluk community members recently participated in Healthy Craft Alcohol Action Initiative workshops delivered by Katherine artists Toni Tapp Coutts and Jayne Nankivell.

This creative health project explored the negative impacts of alcohol in the region. Participants felt comfortable using art to talk about ways to reduce risky drinking behaviours and improve community safety. From these discussions, grew healthy messages participants wished to promote within the community.

These messages were spray-painted onto repurposed car bonnets and doors, along with stencilled banners designed for exhibition at youth events and the Barunga Festival. Feedback was very positive and has led to requests for more community art projects.

Alcohol Action Initiatives are identified through community consultation and funded by the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Branch, using resources available through the National Partnership Agreement on Northern Territory Remote Aboriginal Investment.

Borroloola reconnecting youth through nutritious cooking

A nutritious cooking program reconnecting Borroloola youth back to school is gaining momentum. This Alcohol Action Initiative promotes healthy lifestyles, relationships and positive interactions whilst reducing alcohol and drug related harm.

Borroloola Community Education Centre and Roper Gulf Regional Council staff are engaging school aged children in home economics activities which include; kitchen safety, hygiene, nutrition and equipment skills, along with basic menu preparation and cooking.

The outcomes of the program so far have been described as outstanding, with around 20 participants involved weekly and the number growing. Keen interest in the program has seen the start of a fresh herb garden in an unused part of the school grounds.

Participants have proudly been involved in cooking meals for community activities including the school holiday program, gaining lifelong skills that are useful at home and that will improve employment prospects through enhanced school attendance and vocational skills.

Alcohol Action Initiatives are identified through community consultation and funded by the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug branch, using resources available through a National Partnership Agreement.

Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop

Read about the project on the Roper Gulf Regional Council website.

Contacts

For more information about AAIs email AAISystems.DoH@nt.gov.au


What are Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs)

Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) describe strategies and actions to reduce the harms associated with alcohol in the community.  These strategies target alcohol harm reduction, alcohol demand reduction and alcohol supply reduction. The development of AMPs commenced as a Territory wide strategy in 2010 and continued intensively until the end of 2015. There are 35 communities in the NT which have undertaken alcohol management planning processes.

 In most of these communities, the AMP has been developed and endorsed by both community members and service providers.

Harm reduction strategies and some examples

Harm Reduction strategies are aimed at reducing the harms from alcohol. Every community is different and will have needs and concerns specific to their community.

Some examples of harm reduction strategies -

  • Service staff /community member training to increase staff skill and capacity
  • Creating safer drinking environments
  • Projects to reduce community member risks like Women’s Safe Place
  • Alcohol safety workshops/projects
  • FASD (Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder) projects
  • Alcohol and drug restorative justice programs
  • Community conflict mediation projects
  • Sober Bob and safer transport projects

Demand reduction strategies and some examples

 Demand reduction strategies are aimed at reducing the demand for alcohol. Every community is different and will have needs and concerns specific to their community.

Some examples of demand reduction strategies -

  • Involving young people and Elders in language and cultural activities
  • Culturally appropriate camps and excursions
  • Community alcohol and other drug education
  • Alcohol and other drug treatment services
  • Targeted education - youth, women, men
  • Arranging other activities and services (youth, diversionary, sport and rec)
  • Alcohol and other drug Respite programs
  • Social and emotional wellbeing programs
  • Making community specific information – posters, art, signage

Supply reduction strategies and some examples

Supply Reduction strategies are aimed at reducing supply of alcohol. Every community is different and will have needs and concerns specific to their community.

Some examples of Supply Reduction strategies -

  • Changing types of alcohol available to lower strength ones like mid-strength or light
  • Reducing the amount of alcohol that can be purchased
  • Changing hours of alcohol sale to support positive community activities
  • Introducing a responsible behaviour based Liquor Permit System
  • Restricting type of alcohol and sale hours for high risk community events like large football games, or things like Funerals, Sorry Business.

AMP examples

Small AMPs

  • good for quickly identifying issues
  • a useful tool for a small community or agency

Medium AMPs

  • a more comprehensive look at the issues
  • helps to devise possible solutions or things that help
  • assists a medium size community or medium sized agency to make a functional framework 

Large AMPs

  • a highly detailed examination of the problems and potential solutions
  • helps to identify specifically what actions and resources are needed
  • allows detailed management of any strategies progress or problems
  • Suitable for a large town or large resourced agency to make a comprehensive assessment of the alcohol situation and to create targeted actions to address issues.

How to “Do It Yourself” AMPs

Templates

Evaluations and Research


Community action support


Related links


Contact

The Department of Health’s Harm Minimisation Unit oversees alcohol management plans in the Northern Territory.

You can contact the unit in person, or by mail, phone or email.

Harm Minimisation Unit,
Alcohol and Other Drug Directorate
Department of Health

Level 3, Health House
87 Mitchell Street
Darwin NT 0800

GPO Box 40596
Casuarina, NT 0811

Phone: (08) 8999 2691
Email: aodd.doh@nt.gov.au