Forum tackles Grafton?s alcohol-related problems

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

A COMMUNITY forum in Grafton on Wednesday has heard ways to reduce alcohol-related harm in the town.

Held as part of the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) study, the forum brought together community stakeholders and members of the study leadership to discuss how Grafton can combat alcohol related problems.

Study coordinator, Newcastle Medical School's health and behaviour Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher, said the study aimed to provide people with information on fixing alcohol problems.

"The idea of providing information back to the community is to give them a snapshot of their community because one of the firsts steps in doing something is acknowledging that there is actually a need to do something," he said

The AARC study involves 20 randomly selected rural communities across Australia.

Ten towns will remain a control group, while the remaining 10 will have alcohol harm reducing strategies implemented over five years to gauge their effectiveness.

Prof Sanson-Fisher said the community forum was the first step in identifying strategies for Grafton.

"We have offered to assist GPs to recognise and treat people with alcohol-related problems and we will continue that process," he said.

"But the steps will really be dependent on what people in Grafton think is a good idea for their community."



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