Drug & Alcohol Treatment - Order for the Production of Documents

6 December 2018

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (12:43): I, and also on behalf of Senator Farrell, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) according to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey:

      (A) 6.3% or 1.3 million Australians over the age of 14 reported having used methamphetamines,

      (B) among recent methamphetamine users, more than half (57%) reported using crystal methamphetamine,

      (C) of those who had used methamphetamines, including ice, in the past 12 months, 20.4% used these drugs weekly or daily,

      (D) rates of methamphetamine use were 2.5 times as high among people living in remote or very remote areas, compared to rates among those living in major cities or regional areas, and

      (E) young people aged 18-24 years old living in rural areas are more likely to report recent drug use, compared to their city counterparts,

(ii) on 23 November 2018, the Minister for Health, Mr Hunt, announced a $20 million funding package to boost drug and alcohol treatment services in South Australia, particularly in regional and rural areas,

(iii) this funding will be available over three years and will be provided as grants of up to $2.5 million in locations specified as 'areas of need', comprising the Fleurieu region, Peterborough and the Mid North, Port Augusta, Ceduna, Murray Bridge, Playford, Port Adelaide and Onkaparinga,

(iv) all other areas of South Australia, including Mount Gambier, have been locked out of applying for this funding,

(v) there is no detox service offered in the Mount Gambier Hospital,

(vi) rehabilitation facilities are offered only in shared houses or family houses,

(vii) clients wishing to detox must travel nearly 500km to Adelaide to do so,

(viii) counselling staff are under-resourced with some seeing up to 7 clients per day, leaving little time for follow-up letters for their clients to doctors, lawyers or other relevant ongoing referrals, and

(ix) the wait time for a person to see a drug or alcohol counsellor in the Mount Gambier region is up to three to four weeks; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to table in the Senate on 20 December 2018 the information it relied on to make the decision to exclude Mount Gambier-based services from applying for this funding.

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