Attitudes and knowledge of alcohol related harm minimization initiatives in a rural Australian city: A baseline survey
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Aims: This study investigates the knowledge and attitudes towards alcohol related harm minimization initiatives in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, as part of a community project aimed at reducing harms associated with excessive drinking. Methods: Baseline data were collected from a stratified, community sample, using a purpose designed instrument. The community's readiness was determined by interviewing key stakeholders and community leaders, using the ‘Readiness for Change’ interview instrument. Findings: There were substantial levels of binge drinking accompanied by low awareness of alcohol as a local problem and lack of knowledge about interventions that are currently operating in the community. Support for measures designed to reduce problems associated with excessive use of alcohol was polarized. Community readiness to tackle alcohol related issues was low indicating a need for awareness raising. Conclusions: These findings are critical to informing the development of interventions to ensure they are tailored to this community's needs and abilities. Since knowledge and awareness of alcohol related issues are low in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the first step in changing community attitudes is to create greater awareness of these issues and their consequences, and provide information on potential interventions to address the current problems.
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