Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to put our views forward on the Northern Territory Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review, which considers reforming the current system to reduce alcohol-related harm in the Northern Territory.
The Northern Territory has the highest rate of consumption of alcohol in the country which has resulted in a large amount of preventable harm. While alcohol abuse is not limited to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, this group does experience a disproportionate amount of harm. Research shows us that alcohol misuse is strongly linked to experiences of disadvantage, with concurrent layers of disadvantage exacerbating inequities in alcohol-related harm.
In our submission, Jesuit Social Services calls for early intervention and prevention initiatives to foster healthy alcohol drinking habits and improve awareness around alcohol-related harm. We also call for reforms to the justice system to ensure effective responses that address the underlying issues impacting alcohol abuse, within a health framework.