YOUNG people aged 10 to 19 with drug and alcohol problems in Moree and Boggabilla will get earlier access to treatment with more than $369,000 from the NSW Government to boost support services.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today announced a $369,403 contract had been awarded to Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Drug ARM Australasia to deliver social work and psychology treatment services in the Moree Plains Shire.
Mr Marshall said this new service was welcome news and would fill a gap in diversionary programs in the district.
“This service will allow young people to be supported to kick their drug or alcohol addiction and the courts will also be able to refer juveniles to the program, rather than simply sending them to prison, which has been the only option in the past,” Mr Marshall said.
“No one wants to see our youth destroyed by the terrible affects of drug or alcohol addiction and I know that the community and our police are committed to tackling alcohol and drug misuse and ensuring that our region’s young people receive the same quality healthcare as everyone else in the State.”
The new services will focus on young people who are experiencing moderate to severe substance use, who are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island descent and who have had contact with the justice system.
“I’m pleased this funding will expand the reach of these services in the Boggabilla and Moree communities, providing drug and outreach programs to vulnerable young people who often struggle to find programs suitable for their age group,” Mr Marshall said.
“There is no ‘one-sized-fits-all’ approach to tackling drug and alcohol addiction and this is especially true for adolescents.
“There are also plans to expand the range of services available at the Youth Centre in Boggabilla which provides important after-school programs for young people, mental health programs and support, cultural activities and health and fitness education.”
Across the State, the NSW Government has awarded contracts to 10 NGOs to provide new withdrawal and counselling services, predominantly in regional and rural areas.
The services will provide tailored care, including medical and mental health services and housing and employment support, as well as help young people reconnect with family where possible.
This announcement is part of a broader $75 million NSW drug package over four years to tackle alcohol and drug misuse in our communities.
Drug ARM Australasia has been involved with harm minimisation programs in Australia for over 100 years. In addition to its drug and alcohol addiction prevention and recovery programs, Drug ARM Australasia also works with children who are currently unable or unwilling to be part of mainstream schooling.