ReGen welcomes Fed Govt response to National Ice Taskforce report (7/12/15)

Melbourne, VIC, 7th December – UnitingCare ReGen, the lead alcohol and other drug treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania, today welcomed the Federal Government’s response to the recommendations of the National Ice Taskforce.

ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said:

Yesterday’s announcement is a big step forward in our efforts to achieve a co-ordinated, evidence based approach to the harms associated with alcohol and other drug use in Australia. The broad range of measures included in the Government’s response are an encouraging sign that our policy makers recognise the importance of achieving the right balance of measures within our overarching Harm Minimisation framework.

There is no quick fix and no one size fits all approach. We need an effective set of policy measures to reduce the supply of, demand for and harms associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs. The range of measures announced yesterday should have a substantial impact on the prevention of future use, reducing the harm from current use and providing accessible, evidence based treatment and support to the individuals and families affected by problematic use of alcohol and other drugs.

We look forward to seeing more detail about just how the new treatment services will be implemented and hope that they will make it significantly easier for people to get help – when and where they need it – as part of a consistent, integrated treatment system.

It is particularly encouraging to see the Government’s recognition of the need for investment in the alcohol and other drug workforce and the importance of ongoing evidence to inform future policy and practice. While the impacts of methamphetamine use are a particular cause of current concern, patterns of drug consumption (and related harms) are always changing and our workforce needs to have the skills and the capacity to respond to new and emerging issues in the future.