19 Jun 2002 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

A report to the federal government, released on Tuesday, calls for more indigenous drug and alcohol abuse services, especially for women and young people.

The call follows a national survey of substance abuse programs and services for indigenous people by the government advisory body, the Australian National Council on Drugs.

Council spokesman Scott Wilson, says the survey has highlighted a need for long-term programs covering illicit and legal drug abuse by indigenous people.

"It showed us that there`s huge gaps in terms of services for youth, in terms of services to women specifically."

"It actually highlighed that, for example, when this project was done, there was no illicit drug rehabilitation program for indigenous folks funded anywhere in the country."

Council chairman, Major Brian Watters says alcohol should remain a major focus, with an emphasis on dealing with the reasons why alcohol abuse is so common in indigenous communities.

"Alcohol is the big problem, and there needs to be an integrated approach."

"One of the things that we`ve highlighted is the need to respect and identify the underlying issues, that alcohol is a symptom very often of the other structural factors in a society that cause people to have this sense of hopelessness and pain and lack of self-respect that leads to abuse of substances."