Management of substance abuse

Indigenous peoples and substance abuse

Aborigines / AUSTRALIA

Background

WHO implemented the Indigenous Peoples and Substance Use project as a means of empowering these communities and giving them the responsibility and control over their own health. Substance use problems are one of the major social and health issues facing this particular population group. Across the world, indigenous cultures have useful perspectives and approaches that can be utilized in treatment of people with substance use problems.

WHO first initiated the Indigenous Peoples and Substance Use Project with case study reports from 12 different indigenous communities (Berbers of Morocco, Canadian First Nations, Greenlanders of Greenland, Maoris of New Zealand, Mayas of Guatemala, Ogonis of Nigeria, Potiguara Indians from Brazil, Tongans from Tonga, Torres Strait Islanders of Australia, a Vietnamese hill tribe community and Yuracares of Bolivia). These described the nature, extent and context of substance use and problems of these communities and some of the responses which have been used.

Phase II of the project was initiated in 1995 with a project planning meeting and the development of a comprehensive community-based action to prevent and manage substance use. Particularly among the Canadian First Nations, support given for interventions on volatile solvent use problems allowed the development and implementation of culturally appropriate treatment programmes in several indigenous communities across Canada.

Documents available

Indigenous peoples and substance use project: a guide to action demands

This guide has been developed for Indigenous peoples and communities. In particular, the guide will be useful for community health workers, community development workers, and alcohol and drug community workers as it provides a process that may assist them to develop programmes and organizations to address problems relating to psychoactive substances in their communities.

Only available in hardcopy


Indigenous peoples and substance use, action 1: community development

Community development action is about a process to assist Indigenous communities to work with problems relating to psychoactive substances. The purpose of this document is to provide community action strategies to assist Indigenous communities to develop action plans, policies and programmes to address problems related to psychoactive substances.

Also available in Spanish

Only available in hardcopy


Indigenous peoples and substance use, action 2: progress of policy development and guide for government and other policy makers

The purpose of this document is to provide a guide for Governments to assist them in formulating policy concerning Indigenous peoples by outlining key principles and processes that need to be considered to empower Indigenous peoples to take responsibility for improving their overall health and wellbeing. Three main areas of policy were identified as having particular implications for Indigenous peoples in addressing problems relating to psychoactive substance use. These include specific indigenous policy, drug policy and health policy.

Also available in Spanish

Only available in hardcopy


Indigenous peoples and substance use, action 3: community monitoring and evaluation

The objective of this action document is to assist indigenous communities in the development of assessment instruments and methods to monitor and evaluate programmes and organizations that address problems related to psychoactive substances.

Also available in Spanish

Only available in hardcopy

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