Tag Archives: treatment

ATCA asks for more Ice treatment

I received the below press release yesterday – I’d love to see any sane individual argue with ATCA’s points on the lack of treatment facilities.


The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) today called for more treatment options for methamphetamine or ICE users. This follows the release of the position paper on methamphetamines, developed by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

Ms Janice Jones, Executive Officer of the ATCA, said today that the ATCA supports the position paper on methamphetamines released by the AMA and is calling for a review of how the health system deals with this very difficult drug problem.

Therapeutic Communities (TCs) in Australia & New Zealand have been successfully treating amphetamine dependence for over 30 years, and recognise the need to respond differently and strategically to the problems faced by ICE users seeking help. The increase in aggressive behaviours amongst ICE users, often leading to psychosis, can create chaos and disruption for treatment providers.

Ms Jones said today, “We need strategic planning and targeted responses to avoid any reactions that may result in scarce funds being inadvertently misdirected”.

The ATCA also supports the recommendations made by the AMA in calling for all emergency departments to have a specialist drugs liaison officer to engage and support methamphetamine and other drug users.

However, Ms Jones added, “These workers also need to be trained in the range of mental health conditions that ICE users can present with. They also need to be aware of what services are out there that are experienced in treating the complex needs of these people.

Therapeutic communities deal very well with clients with complex and problematic behaviours which often result from polydrug use, including ICE.

“Working with clients with a comorbidity of mental health and substance use disorders is now the expectation, rather than the exception. At least 70% of clients undertaking treatment for drug addiction also suffer from mental health issues. Likewise, a similar number of clients with a presenting mental health problem will have a co-occurring substance use disorder. This is our area of expertise but we need an increase in beds and qualified staff to cope with this disturbing trend”, Ms Jones said. ”

The first post-Howard TV ads to screen

Noticed this press release today and although I’m a big fan of money being spent on prevention, it’s good to see the treatment sector getting some coverage. I’m assuming the specific reference to Dubbo alludes to this press release being sent all across regional areas and they forgot to remove ‘Dubbo’ from the broadly distributed one:


People who have issues with alcohol or drugs are being urged to seek help and get treatment as a new campaign from the Australian National Council on Drugs gets underway, highlighting the simple message ‘treatment works.’

Statistics now show over 230,000 children live in households where they are at risk of exposure to at least one adult binge drinker. 1.5 million people aged 14 and over drink alcohol daily and Australia has an estimated 300,000 daily users of cannabis aged 14 and over.

Anyone in the Dubbo area who has issues with alcohol or drugs – and wants to get help – is being urged to go to www.ancd.org.au where there will be an extensive range of phone numbers to assist people – the numbers will link people to organisations who are out there offering advice on where and how to access treatment services for people with alcohol or drug problems.

The ANCD highlights that there are now thousands of people around the nation in treatment programs at the current time run by an incredible variety of agencies helping people tackle issues and addictions. The ANCD points out that treatment programs can offer many gains for people and their families as they tackle their problems and achieve their goal to break free of their dependence.

Dr John Herron – Chairman of the ANCD – said ‘It’s now time for the community to be much more aware that treatment can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Treatment works.’

As part of the new awareness campaign a special television community service announcement which has been funded by the Humanity Foundation (a national philanthropic organisation that has a special interest in drug and alcohol issues) has been launched highlighting the message ‘treatment works’.

Dr John Herron said ‘There’s just no question that thousands of Australians right now have problems that they are not tackling. It is estimated that there are over 40,000 people dependent on heroin , 73,000 Australians dependent on methamphetamines (including ‘ice’) and over 50,000 Australian children living in a household where an adult is using an illicit drug.’

‘The message just hasn’t got through enough – and it needs to – because it is simple – treatment works. If you know somebody who is struggling, give them a hand or talk to them and support them – and urge them to take some action by talking to one of the many fine and professional help centres listed on the ANCD website. Every journey starts with a first step.’

‘Tens of thousands of people have treated their substance dependency problems. Although many believe that their problem is too severe or too difficult to treat, the reality is that there are many different types of treatment and assistance available and everyone has the potential to overcome their problems. On the ANCD website you can also access many real and positive stories of people who were in the depths of despair and never thought they could get their lives back together… and have now overcome their problems.’

‘By getting treatment you may become part of a support group. You are also likely to come across people on similar journeys who want to deal with their alcohol or drug problems. You are then being treated in an environment where people understand that you have a big journey ahead – and they want to help you achieve the goal.’

‘Treatment certainly can be a difficult process. It may be that it doesn’t work the first time, or even the second or third time as many people may relapse and need several attempts at treatment to resolve their issues. Clearly this can be disappointing for the person and their family. Dependence and its underlying issues can be very complex and difficult, however we do know that when people start this journey they will learn and grow from each episode of care and treatment they undertake and this will ultimately help them reach their goal.’

‘Research shows clearly treatment ultimately is the best place to put money when it comes to dealing with alcohol and drug problems. As far back as 1987 the RAND cooperation in the USA did important research on where it is best to invest funding to reduce drug use in a community. The results were very clear. Putting money into treatment is a tremendous investment for the community with not only less drug use but also less people turning to crime to fund their substance dependency.’

‘The members of the ANCD and I have visited many treatment centres across the country and we are never failed to be impressed by the quality of care and the level of dedication of staff working in these agencies – they are indeed extraordinary people doing extraordinary work for many people and their families and friends. They help people to get their lives back and they help people to heal problems. So many people that have been through treatment will tell you they feel better and look better and their relationships improve – because they’ve achieved the vital goal of getting control of their lives back. The first step is to seek the help and that’s why our simple message is ‘treatment works’.

To find out more we urge people to go to www.ancd.org.au

It’ll be interesting to see if the role and/or focus of the ANCD changes with the new government. So far it appears it’s very much business as usual.