Working with communities to address methamphetamine-related harms: The NIMAC Project
The NIMAC project has been developed in response to deep concern about the use of methamphetamine in Aboriginal communities.
With ten Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as partners in urban, regional and remote locations around Australia, the project aims to: 1) Provide a better understanding of patterns of methamphetamine use and associated harms within Aboriginal communities via a survey of methamphetamine users; 2) To document community concerns and identify strategies to reduce harms through a series of focus groups with community members, stakeholders and users at each site; 3) To implement and evaluate community-led interventions addressing priorities defined by the community; and 4) To develop and trial a web-based therapeutic tool for use in primary health care services. Site coordinators employed at each site are implementing the project on the ground, supported by the NIMAC investigators and study coordinator.
In this presentation, we will describe the outcomes of an extensive process of community engagement; present early findings of a systematic review of the evidence on community-led interventions addressing alcohol and drug-use in Indigenous communities internationally; and discuss emerging findings from the first focus groups carried out by our partner organizations. When complete, these activities will contribute to an evidence base that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services can use to inform of a range of possible community-led interventions. Selected interventions will be implemented according to an evidence-based change process known as ‘Communities that Care.’