People in Victoria’s north-east will get better access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment close to home thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s new residential rehabilitation facility – the first of its kind in the region.
Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley visited Wangaratta with Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes yesterday to announce the location for the new facility, which will provide the first state Government-funded residential rehabilitation services in North East Victoria.
The facility is one of four new regional residential rehabilitation facilities to be built around the state – alongside facilities in the Grampians, Barwon and Gippsland regions.
Alcohol remains the primary drug of concern and causes the highest number of drug-related ambulance call-outs in Victoria each year – however, rural and regional Victoria has faced increased challenges because of increased availability and use of ice.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 invested a record $259.9 million in AOD treatment services. In addition, the $87 million Drug Rehabilitation Plan released last year builds on the Ice Action Plan to help save Victorian lives and help people to get access to treatment when they need it, where they need it.
Thanks to investments made over the last four budgets, the Labor Government is more than doubling the number of residential rehab beds in Victoria – from 208 beds in 2014/15 to 450 beds when all facilities are up and running.
More than half of the new beds will be based in regional Victoria and once all the new beds are operational across the state, around 700 more Victorians will be able to access rehabilitation services every year.
Residents will receive individual and group counselling, and life skills, with a focus on supporting them to reintegrate into community living.
Construction of the new facility is expected to start in 2019, with the services becoming operational in the first half of 2021.
If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol or drug use, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 for information and support to access treatment.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“This new facility means people in the north-east can get the help they need, close to their homes and existing support networks.”
“These residential rehab facilities provide a structured, therapeutic and safe environment for people to address their alcohol and other drug issues so they get back on track and back into their communities.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“There has been a lot of support for a drug and alcohol treatment facility in North East Victoria and Wangaratta is well positioned to assist country people to get their lives back on track.”