Social Impacts

Risky levels of alcohol and other drug use contribute to a range of harms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for both individuals and the community ref=34063 ref=31467. Alcohol and other drug use not only impacts on the physical and mental health of individuals but also affects the care of children, family safety and community wellbeing. High levels of alcohol and other drug use are linked to the development of chronic diseases, hospitalisation for mental health issues and contribute to injury, and violence ref=31278 ref=30136. It can also adversely affect a person’s opportunities in life for education and employment, and increases the risk of involvement with the criminal justice system ref=34185.

High levels of alcohol and other drug use are often a result of social disadvantage ref=29075 ref=30316. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing social disadvantage are more likely to have been exposed to chronic stress, have less access to support services, and to experience intergenerational trauma. All of these factors influence whether a person is at risk of developing problematic alcohol or other drug use ref=34250 ref=34309.

Addressing harmful social impacts from alcohol and other drug use involves investing in the health of communities across the life span including: early childhood, education, employment and training, housing and community and economic development ref=30136.

References

Key resources

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Living and Hunting Together by Melanie Robinson

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