Extra $6.8 million to help fight ice epidemic

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed additional funding to help fight the ice epidemic.

An extra $298.2 million over four years from 1 July 2016 for the National Ice Strategy will strengthen responses across education, prevention, treatment, support and community engagement.

Mr Pitt said the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Public Health Network (PHN) will receive $2,275,910 per year over three years ($6,827,730) for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services. The money will start rolling out from July 1.

“This funding is for primary services such as early intervention and after care, but can also be used for residential rehabilitation,” he said.

In addition to this funding, $19.2 million (nationwide) is being provided for Community Drug Action Teams.

“These teams are run and lead by the community, so they are right at the heart of identifying what the issues surrounding alcohol and drug abuse are in a community,” Mr Pitt said.

“Ice is a big problem in many regional towns – including Bundaberg and Hervey Bay – and anything we can do to get the community involved and thinking about what needs to be done is a great initiative,” he said.

Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) have been successfully run in New South Wales since 1999. CDATs are groups of volunteers who work together to minimise and prevent the harmful use of alcohol and other drugs in their neighbourhoods.

CDATs have led thousands of activities to engage at-risk youth, educate parents and the wider community through community activities and campaigns to curb alcohol-fuelled violence and drug use.

CDATs unite parents, schools, TAFE and universities, government and health workers, law enforcement, businesses, community organisations and local residents who want to create safer and healthier communities.

CDTAs are guided by drug and alcohol harm prevention research with the Australian Drug Foundation supporting these teams with the latest research on effective community development and health promotion activities.

For more information on CDATs you can check out: http://www.adf.org.au/cdat-community-drug-action-teams

The extra $298.2 million (over four years from 1 July 2016) for the National Ice Strategy will strengthen responses across education, prevention, treatment, support and community engagement and includes:

·       $241.5 million in additional funding for Primary Health Networks to commission further alcohol and other drug treatment services to meet local need—with a focus on culturally appropriate mainstream services and including Indigenous-specific services;·

·        $24.9 million to support communities to deliver locally-based and tailored ice prevention and education activities; (Note: This includes funding for the Community Drug Action Teams and the Good Sports Programme.)

·        $13 million to introduce new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items for Addiction Medicine Specialists from 1 November 2016;

·        $10.7 million to support clinical research into new treatment options, training of professionals and evaluating the effectiveness of clinical care for those using methamphetamines, which includes a new Centre for Clinical Excellence research body; and

·        $8.1 million to more broadly improve our data sources on emerging trends in ice and other illicit drug use patterns, treatment options and early identification of newly emerging drug threats.

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