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Parramatta post detoxification service.



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PARRAMATTA POST DETOXIFICATION SERVICE

I am pleased to launch an important new post-detoxification service in Parramatta. Funding of $450,000 over three years for the Follow-on Youth Recovery Support Team (FYRST) project was promised prior to the 2001 election.

The new service is to be run by The Salvation Army and will provide on-going support and assistance for young people aged 16-25 years who have been through detoxification or rehabilitation and help them establish a healthy and positive lifestyle within their local community.

Team members will work in an holistic way to address the complex issues that young people and their families face in recovering from drug problems.

I am also pleased to launch a new booklet outlining progress under the Tough on Drugs strategy.

Amongst other things the document highlights: • an unprecedented rise in drug seizures since the inception of Tough on Drugs; • a reduction in overdose deaths; • the increase in treatment services for drug users; and • evidence that parents are talking to their children about drugs.

These trends are very welcome, but there are still a number of emerging challenges that need to be addressed in our fight against drugs. Most importantly, we need to prevent our young people from using illicit drugs.

The Government is particularly interested in the growing body of evidence that shows that preventive investment in the early years of life pays off in terms of preventing a range of social problems, including drug use, suicide and juvenile crime. In light of this evidence, the Government has recently agreed that the additional $14 million announced during the election for the Community Partnerships Initiative should focus on community action to build resilience in the early childhood and adolescent years.

PRIME MINISTER

Other emerging issues include the increased use of psychostimulants in Australia and the need to improve access to drug related services in regional and rural Australia. The Government will work cooperatively with the Australian National Council on Drugs and with States and Territories over the coming months to look at how best to address these issues.

I am also announcing today that the Australian National Council on Drugs will be taking responsibility for publishing a new national drug research magazine with funding under Tough on Drugs. The ANCD will build on the record of the magazine published, until recently, under the title, Connexions.

The new magazine will provide people with an interest in alcohol and other drug issues with accessible information about the latest drug-related research findings and initiatives. I commend Major Brian Watters and the Australian National Council on Drugs for their work on this important project that will help translate research into practice and promote the development of more effective interventions to prevent and treat drug dependence.

7 May 2002