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 [34063][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 [31278][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 [34185].

High levels of alcohol and other drug use are often a result of social disadvantage [29075][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 [34250][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 [30136].

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Living and Hunting Together by Melanie Robinson

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