8 Jul 2020

Government announces $32m in funding for drug and alcohol addiction services

3:31 pm on 8 July 2020

Services to help those with drug and alcohol addictions are set to get an extra $32 million in funding over the next four years.

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Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Making the announcement in Napier, the prime minister said district health boards had worked together to determine where the money could best be spent.

There will be extra beds at the Springhill Residential Addiction Centre in Napier, new withdrawal help options in Tairāwhiti and a co-ordinated network of withdrawal services throughout the South Island.

The funding also aims to bring in more support in Rotorua and Taupō for people before and after entering residential care, as well as increasing the capacity of specialist services in Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Taranaki DHBs.

Jacinda Ardern said more specialist staff would support those trying to break their addiction.

"Alcohol and drug addiction recovery services around the country have been under pressure, fragmented, and lacking consistency for a long time," Ardern said.

Last year, the government said it planned to invest in the sector after the release of a report from the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions. Although another report has come out last month from the mental health commissioner.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins also confirmed additional funding for DHBs to strengthen existing alcohol and drug specialist services.

"This additional investment will help alleviate pressure on services and provide a more co-ordinated approach across regions."

Hipkins said it was a crucial step towards a long-term transformation of alcohol and drug services.

"More people will be able to get help each year and for many people, help will be available closer to home, making services more accessible, improving family and whānau support."

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