Port Augusta receives $2.5 million to boost treatment services in the Far North

CALL TO ACTION: Methamphetamine use in South Australia is well above the national average both in urban and regional areas.
CALL TO ACTION: Methamphetamine use in South Australia is well above the national average both in urban and regional areas.

Drug and Alcohol organisations in Port Augusta will benefit from a multi-million dollar grant to boost treatment services in the Far North.  

$20 million of federal funding has been dished out across the state with four services in Port Augusta sharing in nearly $2.5 million to assist people battling the effects of substance abuse.

The grants will increase the capacity of the overstretched treatment services in South Australia with reports revealing methamphetamine use to be well above the national average in both urban and regional areas. 

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt said communities can be hit hard by substance misuse and affects can continue for years.

"We know that people impacted by alcohol and drugs need to be able to access appropriate support when and where they need it. This funding will help provide this access," Mr Hunt said.

"This funding will increase the treatment service offerings in South Australia including counselling, detox, residential rehabilitation with some of the services focussing on youth and rural areas.

"Alcohol and drug misuse doesn’t just affect one person; it also affects their families, friends and the surrounding community. Increasing the level of funding for drug and alcohol treatment in South Australia, will improve lives impacted by drug use."

The Department of Health consulted with the South Australian Government, the South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services and the Primary Health Networks to determine service gaps throughout the state.

Areas of need were based on a number of factors including the range of existing services in particular regions and demand for those services

Drug and Alcohol Service South Australia received majority of the funding – $1.9 million to set up an outreach service in the region.

"Getting help for alcohol and other drug problems is extremely important for young people, and this funding allows us to offer additional support and treatment for adolescents in Port Augusta," a spokesperson for the organisation said.

"We will be trialling an Assertive Outreach Service to help young people as well as their families, including support to build resilience skills so family members can better support their loved one through treatment.

"The Assertive Outreach Service team will work alongside existing services, including hospital, GP, police and community services, to identify young people at risk."

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia ($125,000), the Baptist Care Incorporated ($374,574) and SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services ($12,030) also received grants to develop training and rehabilitation services in Port Augusta.