Alcohol and other drugs

Find out about the PHN’s role in commissioning alcohol and other drugs services across our catchment
The PHN uses service mapping, community consultation and local health data to understand the kind of services needed across our catchment. Improving access to and affordability of alcohol and other drugs services is a priority for Primary Health Networks across the country.

Service providers are selected based on community need. In some communities, we may work with rehabilitation services to offer withdrawal treatment for those experiencing mild to moderate risk. We may also work with counselling and crisis services to target those using methamphetamine (ice) and other drugs. After hours services in certain regions have also been selected as a priority area.

The PHN understands the need for support and guidance for families of those affected by alcohol and other drugs use. Family support services and crisis hotlines will be established, dependent on the local need. Loved ones can play a vital role in recovery and the PHN is committed to providing holistic recovery services for our communities.

The National Ice Taskforce found that families, communities, and frontline service workers are struggling with the fallout from a growing number of dependent methamphetamine users. In response to these findings, the Commonwealth has providing an increased investment in methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug treatment to reduce the demand for methamphetamine and the harm it is causing. This funding will:

  • Increase the service delivery capacity of the drug and alcohol treatment sector through the commissioning of additional methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug treatment services, targeting areas of need with a focus on methamphetamine use in the community.
  • Improve the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment services for individuals requiring support and treatment, particularly for methamphetamine use, by increasing coordination between various sectors and improving sector efficiency.
Whilst acknowledging that there is an ongoing demand for drug and alcohol treatment within Australia, the National Ice Taskforce consultations identified difficulty in keeping up with the demand of an increasing number of ice users seeking treatment.

The objectives of this funding are:

  • To address the increased demand for access to methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug treatment – through needs based and targeted planning in response to the changing needs of the community. This must give consideration to currently funded services, as well as consultations including local Hospital and Health Services (HHSs), Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), and other services provided by the non-government sector.
  • To support region specific, cross-sectorial, and integrated approaches to methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug treatment services based on the needs of clients locally, and focused on improving care coordination at the local level
  • To facilitate and support evidence-based treatment for clients using methamphetamine, alcohol and other drugs, as well as flexible and stepped care models tailored to individual need and stage of change
  • To promote linkages with broader health services, including mental health services, to better support integrated/coordinated treatment and referral pathways to support clients with comorbid mental health disorders
  • Promoting service linkages with other relevant support sectors, such as social welfare, employment services, and child and family services, will also be important.
  • To ensure targeted and culturally appropriate methamphetamine, alcohol and other drug treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people which link to broader Indigenous health services.
  • To promote quality improvement approaches and support primary health professionals and specialists through education and training.