Funding for alcohol and drug treatment extended in New England Electorate

08 Apr 2015



FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said Armidale’s Freeman House drug and alcohol treatment service has been given funding of $932,100, giving the organisation certainty for another year.


Mr Joyce said the Society of St Vincent de Paul’s Freeman House could continue to offer long term treatment and rehabilitation programmes, as a result of the Government’s decision.


He said the Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, had extended funding to about 160 alcohol and drug treatment organisations until 30 June 2016.


“The Government has now allocated $87 million in 2015-16 for alcohol and drug treatment activities provided by non-government organisations,” Mr Joyce said.


“This decision means that Freeman House and others across Australia can continue to offer their services to help individuals and families affected by substance abuse.


“Minimising the harm associated with alcohol and other drug misuse to individuals, families and communities is an important priority for the Government.”


Mr Joyce said a review of the drug and alcohol treatment services sector, commissioned by the Department of Health, was currently under consideration by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.


“The review was initiated in 2013 to examine the duplication and overlap between services and propose a better way forward,” he said.


“Extending funding for another 12 months will provide clarity and certainty for Freeman House and others in the alcohol and other drug sector while these longer term plans are developed.”


Based in Armidale, Freeman House provides residential treatment program from three to 12 months, as well as a non-residential treatment program, counselling, outreach program, aftercare program, referral services and over the life of the program incorporates detox services.


The Freeman House project aims to increase the range of high quality alcohol and drug treatment services, increase treatment places that are available, improve client physiological, psychological health and social functioning, minimise harm for individuals, families and communities.


Mr Joyce said the review’s findings required further analysis and consultation between the Commonwealth, states and territories, all of which provided funding for alcohol and other drug treatment.


Commonwealth funding provides treatment and support to individuals including mothers, teenagers and older Australians, as well as families and communities affected by substance misuse.


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