Novel approach to rural alcohol problems finds success

The Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project led to a 20% reduction in average alcohol consumption, a 30% reduction in binge drinking and a 33% reduction in alcohol-related street offences, among other successes, investigators said.

However, there was no improvement in alcohol-related traffic crashes in the intervention communities.

The program involved a randomised trial to intervene over five years in 10 rural communities – bringing together GPs, hospitals, police, schools and community leaders to implement change – and to compare