Australia’s Northern Territory laws for compulsory alcohol rehabilitation are not showing significant evidence that they are working. Experts from Australia and the US have yet to see results that persuade them to support the law, which appear to be discriminatory towards indigenous Australians, such as Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginals.
Experts believe that The Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act 2013 seems to be focused on chronic drinkers who engage in public drinking, which makes indigenous Australians a prime target. Indigenous Australians have a high rate of homelessness, four times more than other Australians, and are documented to have a rough way of living.
These experts go on to say, creating laws that address drinking as a problem in its entirety would make more sense rather than targeting a demographic that already experiences discrimination. Additionally, they point out that the current laws are ineffective in terms of cost. The current program costs an average of $27 million annually, which seems like a high amount when cost effective solutions such as alcohol pricing and sale restrictions would likely be more beneficial.
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