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Moreland Hall Welcomes Announcement of New Funding for AOD Treatment Services
Melbourne, VIC, 4th May 2011 – UnitingCare Moreland Hall, one of Victoria’s leading alcohol and other drugs (AOD) agencies, today welcomed the announcement of $188 million of new funding for AOD treatment services (www.budget.vic.gov.au).
CEO Laurence Alvis said:
It is encouraging to see the Baillieu Government’s commitment to improving the accessibility of AOD treatment services in Victoria, particularly in regional areas. This is an important step towards ensuring consistency in the level of support to Victorians affected by AOD misuse, regardless of where they live.
Mr Alvis noted the Government’s announcement to expand Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) in Footscray and Frankston, along with plans to address the shortage of prescribers and dispensers of pharmacotherapies across the state:
These are good indicators that the Government recognises the need for different treatment strategies in response to different individual needs. NSPs provide an essential Harm Reduction service to minimise the long-term health impacts of current injecting drug use and an excellent point of engagement in other treatment options.
Opiate Substitute Therapies (like Methadone or Buprenorphine) provide an excellent treatment option for those seeking to overcome an opiate dependence. Methadone is often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ for AOD treatment services but ongoing lack of suitably qualified doctors to provide prescriptions and appropriate medical support, along with a general shortage of pharmacists willing to dispense such pharmacotherapies means that they are simply not available to many Victorians.
Mr Alvis also noted the commitment to expand the provision of AOD counselling services for regional cities and outer suburban growth areas:
This, too, is a positive step. It has been evident for a long time now that AOD counselling services in these areas are too stretched to meet growing demand. While we haven’t yet seen the detail relating to these budget commitments, we look forward to future discussions with the Government on their plans to improve the AOD treatment service sector in Victoria.
For further information or comment please contact Chief Executive Officer Laurence Alvis on 9384 8880
Background about Moreland Hall: UnitingCare Moreland Hall is an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) treatment and education agency of the Uniting Church in Australia. Moreland Hall has been operating since 1970 and provides a range of treatment and education services to clients in the North West Metropolitan region of Melbourne. These include counselling and support in the community and at Port Phillip prison, adult and youth home-based and residential withdrawal, education and training, drug diversion programs, supported accommodation and youth and family service.
Wednesday, 04 May 2011