Data and Evaluation

Key indicators of harm minimisation

The following five key indicators are used by the Northern Territory (NT) Government to measure alcohol-related harm. To view the relevant dataset please click links below:

  1. overall consumption rate
  2. alcohol-induced deaths
  3. alcohol-related assaults
  4. alcohol attributable instances of serious road injury and death
  5. alcohol-related emergency department presentations.
  6. Drink driving
  7. Domestic violence alcohol-related assaults

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Alcohol - Research, Data and Evaluation

The Northern Territory Government is committed to improving our research, data and evaluation initiatives in order to ensure our efforts to reduce alcohol related harm are successful. This commitment is reflected in the Research, Data and Evaluation section of the Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-2019 (the Action Plan).

Our data needs to be accurate, able to be linked to other datasets and easily accessible.

Research on alcohol consumption, misuse, harm and addiction needs to be comprehensive, contemporary and reliable in order for government and service providers to make informed and effective decisions.

Significant investment is being made by Government into treatment and service provision and other supply and demand reduction initiatives.  Good practice and governance requires that each of those initiatives are subject to monitoring and evaluation.

Significant new initiatives, implemented under the Action Plan will be subject to evaluation by a suitable qualified and independent organisation.

Research

The following research is being undertaken under the Action Plan:

  • A ‘demand study’ for alcohol treatment services in the Northern Territory is complete and was led by the Menzies School of Health Research and the University of New South Wales.  The study will inform NT Government decisions in relation to alcohol treatment services across the Territory.
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting released their independent review into Sobering Up Shelters in December 2018, with ten recommendations to Government to improve its service delivery. Government released its formal response in December 2018. supporting all ten recommendations. Work is underway to implement them.
  • In February 2019, Government released the economic study, Harms from and Costs of Alcohol Consumption in the Northern Territory undertaken by Menzies School of Health Research, using 2015/16 data. The report found that the social cost of alcohol-related harm in the Northern Territory is $1.38 billion per year (tangible and intangible costs). The study provides an updated economic assessment of the cost of alcohol-related harm in the Northern Territory, and will increase our understanding of alcohol-related trends to better inform policy and investment.
  • An assessment of need and feasibility of trialling managed alcohol programs (wet houses) is being undertaken by the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the Northern Territory (APONT). APONT is currently undertaking consultations with treatment service providers and Aboriginal community organisations, with a discussion paper being prepared to inform broader community consultations in early 2019.

Data

The following work has been progressed in relation to improving alcohol related data under the Action Plan:

  • The Northern Territory Police Last Drinks Survey was put in place on 1 March 2018. The survey captures when and where a person (that has come into police custody) has had their last alcohol drink and takes into account the person’s prior 12 hour period of drinking. The survey will also be rolled out in emergency departments of key hospitals as part of the Cardiff Model (see below). This data assists Police with identifying places of interest and is another tool which informs their enforcement activities.
  • Work is underway to establish a version of the Cardiff Model in the emergency departments in Alice Springs and Darwin to link emergency department data with police data to inform policy, regulatory and enforcement activities and to prevent alcohol-related violence in the Northern Territory.
  • The Department of Health continues to publish a monthly report of key statistics relevant to the implementation of the BDR including treatment access data.

Evaluation of alcohol harm minimisation initiatives

The impact of harm minimisation efforts under the Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-2019 will be measured in a number of ways, at the population and individual behaviour level.

A number of major initiatives under the Action Plan will be subject to independent evaluation and monitoring. For instance, the BDR, minimum floor price and the introduction of Police Auxiliary Licensing Inspectors (PALIs).

Evaluation of the BDR is already underway: The BDR Evaluation Report, evaluating the first six months of the BDR’s operation, was released in July 2018. The second evaluation report was released in December 2018. Progress against the recommendations of the BDR Evaluation Report will be reported in future Action Plan progress reports. The impact of the minimum floor price which commenced on 1 October 2018, will be monitored closely, with wholesale data being the primary indicator of how the Territory’s consumption of alcohol has been affected. In addition, Section 118E of the Liquor Act requires the responsible Minister to review the floor price at three year intervals, taking into account the objective of reduction of harmful consumption of liquor. This three year review will be underpinned by an independent evaluation.