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Inquiry underway into the provision of drug rehabilitation services in regional, rural and remo


Today, April 6th 2018, sees the visitation of members of an Upper House visiting Batemans Bay to hear submissions into an inquiry that has been established to inquire into the provision of drug rehabilitation services in regional, rural and remote NSW. Deputy Opposition Whip Greg Donnelly is chairing the inquiry, which took evidence in the Shoalhaven yesterday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently reported that Australia recorded in 2016 the highest number of drug-induced deaths since the late 1990s, with the death rate from psychostimulants, which include methamphetamines and the drug 'ice', quadrupling since 1999. ‘These statistics are alarming, and give a sense of urgency to the Committee’s investigations’ said the Chair of the Committee, the Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC.

Mr Donnelly continued “The committee will focus on the provision of drug rehabilitation services, including the range and types of services available across regional, rural and remote NSW. The funding of services, whether public or private, the cost of services and the ease of which services can be accessed will all be examined.”

“The provision of drug rehabilitation services in regional, rural and remote NSW has its own particular challenges, and this inquiry will assist in the identification of any gaps and shortages in the provision of these services” said Mr Donnelly.

The inquiry will also look at the evidence of rehabilitation services that have had both successful and unsuccessful outcomes, and assess the evidence regarding the efficacy and impacts of mandatory detoxification programs for those who self-harm or are subject to an apprehended violence order.

The Committee welcomed submissions from interested parties up to the 8th of December 2017. The hearing will then move on to Dubbo, Broken Hill, Lismore, Grafton with a final hearing scheduled in Sydney on July 3rd, 2018 Terms of Reference That Portfolio Committee No. 2 –Health and Community Services inquire into and report on the provision of drug rehabilitation services in regional, rural and remote New South Wales, and in particular: 1.The range and types of services including the number of treatment beds currently available; 2.Specific details regarding rehabilitation services for those with amphetamine and methamphetamine (“ice”) addictions; 3.The qualification to receive funding as well as the funding arrangements for services be they public, not-for-profit, for profit or on any other basis; 4.Registration and accreditation process required for rehabilitation services to be established; 5.The cost to patients/clients, including fee structures provided to families, for accessing rehabilitation services; 6.The waiting lists and waiting times for gaining entry into services; 7.Any pre-entry conditions for gaining access to rehabilitation services; 8.Investigate the evidence regarding the efficacy and impacts of mandatory detoxification programs for those who self-harm or are subject to anApprehended Violence Order (AVO); 9.The gaps and shortages in the provision of services including geographical, resources and funding; 10.Issues relating to the provision of appropriately qualified health professionals to fill positions in rehabilitation services 11.Evidence of rehabilitation services that have had both successful and unsuccessful outcomes, including what characteristics constitute a successful outcome and how reliable is the data collection and reporting mechanisms currently in place; 12.Current and potential threats to existing rehabilitation services; 13.Potential and innovative rehabilitation services and initiatives including naltrexone; and 14.Any other related matters.

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