The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up the fight against ice and drug addiction, with new rehabilitation beds and thousands more treatment places and counselling services for Victorians.
As part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, $81.1 million will be invested in stage three of the Ice Action Plan with a focus on early intervention and treatment for Victorians struggling with dangerous drug use.
With an investment of $34.8 million, 30 new rehabilitation beds will be opened, supporting over 80 patients a year, as well as treatment places and counselling services for 3 800 Victorian parents, working to reunite them with their children and loved ones.
This investment will provide a 60 per cent increase on the number of beds funded by the previous Liberal Government.
The Labor Government will also provide 960 treatment places for people on community correction orders to get the support they need to get back on their feet.
Recognising the impact of drugs has a disproportionate effect on Aboriginal communities, $14.1 million will employ 34 Aboriginal health workers to address this drug use head on.
The Government will also invest $12.4 million to expand services for those transitioning in or out of alcohol or drug treatment, who may be at risk of overdose.
Recognising the impact of illicit drugs throughout regional Victoria, $9.7 million will be provided to acquire land in the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions to build new residential drug rehabilitation facilities.
In Victoria last year, there were 217 overdose deaths from illicit drugs and many more from prescription drugs and this number continues to rise.
This latest funding is on top of the Labor Government’s record $100 million investment towards the Ice Action Plan, providing more Victorians with support to tackle this ice addiction.
Quotes attributed to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“If you’re ready to end your addiction, then we’re ready to help you. This investment will see more people get the support they need, while also addressing rising drug crime.”
“We know there is no single solution to stop ice. It’s why at the same time as we help people kick their addiction, we’re also taking a tough approach to those who peddle this vicious drug.”
“We know that different people need different kinds of treatment. This investment provides more options for Victorians who want to get back on their feet.”
“This isn’t just for Victorians with an addiction. This is for their families, their children and our communities.”