Report uncovers regional Australia's drug and alcohol issues
ACCORDING to a national health organisation report, rural regions have more than double the impact of drug and alcohol compared to those in city areas.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, 'Alcohol and other drug use in regional and remote Australia: consumption, harms and access to treatment,' was released today.
In the report it confirms that rural and remote communities bear the brunt of the harmful effects of over consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
NRHA CEO, Mark Diamond said the report confirms the need for an urgent injection of health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in rural and remote communities.
"The report highlights the unacceptable burden of disease from alcohol and harmful drug use in the bush," he said.
"Remote and very remote areas had more than double the incidence of disease compared to major cities."
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Director of Policy, Trish Hepworth says the report shows that regional communities consume alcohol at much higher rates.
"The underlying problem is that alcohol has never been more affordable, available or aggressively promoted as it is today," she said.
Mr Diamond says the report is a wake up-call for policy and decision-makers.
"There are real issues here about access to services that country people experience," he said.
"And it is not only treatment services for people with drug and alcohol dependency issues but also the prevention and early intervention programs that are so important."