Helping more people in western Sydney overcome drug and alcohol addiction

Residents of Western Sydney caught in the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction will from today have increased access to treatment and rehabilitation services.

Minister for Mental Health and Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, today announced the NSW Government will provide the Salvation Army with $427,500 over three years to run a new program that will help drug and alcohol dependent people rid themselves of their addiction.

“There are few problems that are crueller and more debilitating than drug addiction, so I am pleased to announce the NSW Government is providing vital funding to the Salvation Army to increase and improve drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services in Western Sydney,” Mr Humphries said.

“This announcement reflects the NSW Government’s commitment to helping people with drug and alcohol problems overcome their addictions, get back on their feet and lead meaningful lives in their communities.

“In particular, this funding will allow the Salvation Army to also help those with high levels of social disadvantage who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, as well as people coming out of prison, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to address the recidivism rate.

“We want to keep people out of our acute hospital wards, out of our prisons and back in the community supporting themselves.”

The new Penrith-based Day Program will be primarily for people currently on Opioid Substitution Treatment (methadone and buprenorphine) and who want to live drug free. It will operate in partnership with the Blacktown methadone unit and the Gateway clinic at Nepean Hospital.

Salvation Army Director of Mission and Resource Team Recovery Services, Major David Pullen, said a significant focus of the Day Program will be to help re-integrate people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction back into the community.

“This is an extremely innovative program that will provide a range of services to help people find purpose in their lives, such as job training and living skills training as well as ongoing counselling and support for dependence,” Major Pullen said.

“The Salvation Army has a long and proud history of helping people when they need help most, and through this funding we will be able to extend our commitment to helping more people in Western Sydney on their path to recovery.”

Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said the Salvation Army has a proven track record in delivering high quality treatment, prevention and health promotion services in NSW.

“I congratulate the Salvation Army for their successful tender and I am confident that the organisation will continue to deliver high quality services that go towards breaking the destructive cycle of substance abuse,” Mr Ayres said.

“I am proud to be a member of a Government committed to keeping people out of costly acute health services, out of prison and leading purposeful lives back in our communities.”

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