NSW BUDGET: $75m BOOST TO TACKLE THE SCOURGE OF DRUGS

NSW BUDGET: $75m BOOST TO TACKLE THE SCOURGE OF DRUGS

The NSW Government will invest $197 million in 2016-17 on drug and alcohol services including prevention and harm reduction programs across NSW.

Assistant Minister for Health Pru Goward said drug abuse impacts on our communities and families, as well as our hospitals, child protection, police, prisons and our courts.

“The NSW Government is increasing funding by $75 million over four years. This significant boost will strengthen the ability of our NGO partners and NSW Health to tackle drug abuse across NSW,” Ms Goward said.

“Strong communities and supported families are our best defence against drugs. This package focuses on three areas: more support for young people, more support for families and getting more people into treatment.”

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said: “This funding package reinforces our strong commitment to tackling the challenge of drug abuse and will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The Government will invest $24 million over four years to support young people by providing detox and treatment services for more than 1,000 young people, and will explore better ways of intervening earlier through a new innovation fund to help build the evidence base for early intervention models for people at risk.

Pregnant women, women with children, families and carers will be supported with a $24.5 million boost over four years. This will help treat an additional 1,000 pregnant women as well as support women and parents with dependent children through residential rehabilitation. An additional $12 million over four years will enhance NGO and Local Health District partnerships to develop new models of care for community treatment and aftercare.

Severely drug dependent people will be supported with an additional $14.5 million over four years to increase access to assertive community-based support, and aftercare for people leaving the Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment program. We will also increase access to the Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program.

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