ReGen welcomes increased service response to methamphetamines (16/10/14)

Melbourne, VIC, 16th October 2014 – UnitingCare ReGen, the lead alcohol and other drug treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania, today welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government of new funding to increase the accessibility of harm reduction and treatment services for people who use methamphetamines.

 

The announcement follows recognition (at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards) for ReGen’s work in developing targeted treatment services for people undertaking withdrawal from methamphetamines.

 

Yesterday’s announcement by Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge, included funding for:

  • Penington Institute to train staff who work with people who inject drugs to reduce the risk of the transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV, as well as additional funding to up-skill Aboriginal communities in reducing the harm of ice;
  • Improved and expanded access to key needle and syringe exchange services in eight local government areas experiencing high need;
  • Harm Reduction Victoria to extend its innovative DanceWize program to venues and public dance parties where ice may be used; and
  • Victorian AIDS Council to target risky sexual behaviours, including innovative peer education for same sex attracted men about the increased risk of HIV transmission as a result of the disinhibiting effects of ice.
  • UnitingCare ReGen and other Victorian providers of residential withdrawal to modify approaches to withdrawal to enhance the recovery of people who use methamphetamines.

 

Responding to the announcement, ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said:

We’re very pleased to see this action coming out of the recent Parliamentary inquiry into the impact of methamphetamines in Victoria. These projects will enable improvements in service providers’ capacity to reduce potential harm and to offer meaningful support to people who are struggling.

 

It’s good that the Napthine Government is looking to support services to adapt their service models and their approach to working with people who use methamphetamines.  As our work to date has shown, the traditional  seven-day withdrawal model does not fit the needs of people undertaking methamphetamine withdrawal.  Our experience has shown that making relatively minor changes can have a significant impact on services’ capacity to engage and retain people undertaking methamphetamine withdrawal in treatment.

 

We look forward to working together with other withdrawal services to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of withdrawal for people who use methamphetamines.

 

Ends

 

For further information or comment please contact Laurence Alvis on (03) 9384 8880 or Media Contact Paul Aiken (0435 875 818).