New funding for local mobile drug and alcohol treatment services

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COORDINARE has announced funding to support Lives Lived Well and Directions Health to establish drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in the Shoalhaven and Bega Valley.

COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN today announced Commonwealth funding to support Lives Lived Well and Directions Health to establish new drug and alcohol rehabilitation services for people in Jervis Bay, St Georges Basin and Sanctuary Point in the Shoalhaven, and Wallaga Lake, Bermagui, Bega and Eden in the Bega Valley.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of the South Eastern NSW PHN, said this funding forms part of the Commonwealth’s Community Health and Hospital Program (CHHP) which aims to increase access to services for people with a drug and alcohol dependence, and reduce pressure on community and hospital services.

“We have been working with local networks and service providers to identify a number of gaps and barriers for people in the Shoalhaven and Bega Valley needing to access drug and alcohol treatment. This included limited treatment services in particular day programs and community-based / home detox, lack of transport, accommodation issues and long wait lists for out of area rehabilitation services,” said Ms Kitcher.

“Following an extensive tender process, we are delighted to fund Lives Lived Well to implement the service in the Shoalhaven region from October 2020, in partnership with Watershed.

"In the Bega Valley, Directions Health Services will partner with existing service providers including Grand Pacific Health, Katungul Aboriginal Community and Medical Service Corporation, as well as three local general practices, to implement the service from October 2020," she added.

The Shoalhaven service will contain a number of key components including:
• withdrawal support / detox for low to moderate risk clients which will be led by GPs and complemented by counselling and case management
• non-residential rehabilitation day program including assessment and sessions three days per week
• an aftercare relapse prevention group offered for those who have completed the day program and want to stay connected to their recovery.

In the Bega Valley, the model of care will involve a coordinated and multi-disciplinary approach delivered by local specialist drug and alcohol practitioners, mental health clinicians, Aboriginal health workers, GPs, nurses and allied health clinicians at their existing premises or via outreach to the priority communities.

Local MPs Ms Fiona Phillips, Member for Gilmore and Ms Kristy McBain, Member for Eden-Monaro welcomed the funding announcement.

“This is great news for residents who may be concerned about their level of alcohol use, or use of prescription or illicit drugs, as well as for family members concerned about a loved one,” said Ms Phillips.

“Clients, families and the local community will benefit greatly from this new holistic approach to care, especially given the lack of local drug and alcohol rehabilitation services previously,” said Ms McBain.

This initiative is supported by funding through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.