$5 million for extra drug and alcohol services in Tasmania

The Federal Liberal Government will fund $5 million for new drug and alcohol services, including the fight against ice, right across Tasmania.  

Three new providers will deliver services focused on early intervention, treatment and preventing relapse, which are all vital stages in the treatment journey. The new services will roll out next month and are part of the federal government’s $298.2 million National Ice Action Strategy.

The providers commissioned to deliver alcohol and other drug services are:

  • Anglicare Tasmania (state-wide) – screening, brief intervention, counselling, case management, and aftercare services;
  • South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (Huon Valley and Channel regions in southern Tasmania) – screening, brief intervention, counselling, case management, and aftercare services for Aboriginal people and education and training to boost sector capacity; and
  • Youth, Family and Community Connections (Circular Head, King Island and Waratah-Wynyard municipalities in north-west Tasmania) – screening, brief intervention, counselling, case management, and aftercare services.

“People’s lives have been torn apart by drug and alcohol misuse, especially the scourge of ice.  This also has a devastating impact on the families and loved ones of those affected and communities. These new services will help reduce the current waiting times for treatment and help address the gaps in existing services,” Senator Abetz said.

“As well as treatment such as counselling, these services will support people before they become dependent on drugs and alcohol, with support after their treatment to reduce their risk of relapsing.” Offering a range of different services is so important. We know that in some regional Tasmanian communities, drug use – particularly ice – is becoming increasingly problematic,” Senator Bushby said.

“Today’s announcement also represents a significant investment in rural and regional communities, and some of the new services announced today will meet the specific cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Senator Duniam said.

“Negotiations are also underway with a fourth provider to deliver state-wide training to the treatment sector on safe and appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Senator Stephen Parry welcomed the services as a way of helping tackle crime and supporting the work of police throughout the state.

“Services are expected to commence in these communities within the next month and will be coordinated by Primary Health Tasmania,” he said.

Primary Health Tasmania general manager Mark Broxton said the selection of these providers follows a rigorous open tender process.

“We’ve consulted widely with service providers and other stakeholders to ensure the services offered by the successful providers complement and build on existing services,” Mr Broxton said.

“We also looked at what services were already on the ground to make sure the new activity we funded was directed to the areas of greatest need.

“The approach we’ve taken to commissioning services across the continuum of care is consistent with recommendations from the National Ice Taskforce report that evidence-based treatment be available for every stage of a person’s journey to tackle drug misuse.”

The $5 million in funding runs until June 2019, including a proportion earmarked to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This funding follows the Government’s delivery of $800,000 for the Missiondale Drug Rehabilitation Centre – a key election commitment.

More information on the new services is available here: www.primaryhealthtas.com.au/commissioning/alcohol-other-drug-services-commissioning

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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