Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) is investing $1.6 million into Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) support services across the region from 1 May 2017. This follows a thorough needs assessment involving community stakeholders including general practice and treatment providers.

The needs assessment process highlighted there was a significant gap in coordination and communication between treatment services and non-treatment services including general practice.

“We know that if alcohol and other drug use is treated early, people will recover more quickly which will significantly reduce the impact on families and the community.

“Often people will disclose their alcohol and other drug use to their GPs during consultations. This funding will empower GP’s to connect vulnerable people to treatment services in their local communities preventing their patients developing long-term addictions,” said Western Victoria PHN’s Acting CEO, Kate Barlow.

Funding will be used to:

  • Deliver early intervention services for those people requiring assistance for substance use including families affected by use
  • Build the capacity of the non-treatment sector to screen, identify use early and make timely referrals to treatment intervention services
  • Integrate and coordinate early intervention services with primary, community and emergency services.

Following a rigorous tender process, Western Victoria PHN awarded funding to these service providers.

Regional area      Service provider
Great South Coast      Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre Inc
Ballarat Goldfields Uniting Care Ballarat
Geelong Otway Barwon Child, Youth and Family
Wimmera Grampians     Grampians Community Health

“Western Victoria PHN is excited to work with service providers to deliver innovative, locally designed programs that meet the needs of their community. We are committed to working alongside and supporting these services to assist those impacted or at risk of developing AOD related problems,” said Kate Barlow.

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