Alcohol-related harm is a significant public health issue in need of policy development and implementation responses informed by good data on alcohol use and alcohol-related harm. Harms are not limited to drinkers but also affect families, bystanders and the broader community. The Preventative Health Taskforce’s Report targeted excessive consumption of alcohol as a key priority area, together with Obesity and Tobacco.
As a strategy to improve alcohol-related harm, particularly in the under 25-year old cohort, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), working with our Prevention and Community Health Committee, hosted an Alcohol Data Workshop in March 2012. Forty five participants from national and jurisdictional health, crime and police sectors attended the workshop that provided an opportunity for these academics, bureaucrats and experts to discuss the sources, quality and availability of alcohol-related data across Australia, and to explore ways to facilitate access to this data.
The outcomes of the workshop are outlined in this workshop report. The suggestions and recommendations within this report do not come from the Council or CEO of NHMRC, but reflect the views of the workshop participants. This report was provided to the Council of NHMRC in June 2012, who commended the work.
NHMRC recognise that the workshop outcomes are a valuable part of the action needed to strengthen the evidence base on alcohol-related harm. The Office of the NHMRC will follow up the recommendations, with relevant stakeholders and report to the NHMRC’s Prevention and Community Health Committee and Council.
The Alcohol Data Workshop was effective in bringing various stakeholders together around data issues, as demonstrated by the discussion and outcomes, and NHMRC thanks all the participants involved in the workshop’s success.