This submission responds to the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into strategies to reduce alcohol abuse among young people in New South Wales.
The submission’s key themes include:
- changing community attitudes and behaviours to alcohol;
- proactive engagement with young people in environments where alcohol consumption and its related harm are likely to take place; and
- treatment services that care for young people.
- The New South Wales Government should develop a whole of government strategy for reducing alcohol abuse throughout the community. This strategy should focus on reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption, harms minimisation, and promoting changes in community attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol. Reducing alcohol abuse amongst young people should be a specific focus.
- The New South Wales whole of government strategy for reducing alcohol abuse should include community based approaches. The state government should set aside resources to fund these initiatives.
- Community level initiatives must meaningfully engage key stakeholders, and in the case of young people they must actually have a say in the development and
governance of these initiatives.
- Through the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs the New South Wales government should lobby the Federal Government to reform excise taxation and introduce volumetric taxation of alcohol.
- The New South Wales Government should commission independent research into the impacts of minimum pricing reforms in New South Wales and the mechanisms through which these reforms could be realised.
- Through the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, the New South Wales Government should lobby for a comprehensive national policy on alcohol pricing to be developed as part of the next National Drug Strategy. This policy should take into account evidence on the elasticity effects of alcohol pricing.
- Any New South Wales Drug and Alcohol strategy should take into account the impact of pricing policy on switching between different types of alcoholic beverages as well as other illicit substances.
- The New South Wales Government should lobby the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs to commission a review into the effectiveness of the regulation of alcohol advertising in Australia.
- The New South Wales Government fund pilot projects using outreach models to engage young people where they naturally congregate and intervene to minimise harm. Interventions should be thoroughly evaluate in terms of effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related harm.
- Any NSW Drug and Alcohol Strategy should outline how treatment services might be reformed to provide more consistent and ongoing care for the person. Funding should be allocated to structural enablers so that these reforms can be realised.
- The New South Wales Government should fund a pilot of a community based partnership for young people in the youth justice system. Drug and alcohol treatment should be integrated into this service.
- The New South Wales Government refund the youth drug court