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QNADA News

QNADA argues for more treatment options for families in response to problematic article.

The intelligent approach is expanding option for families  

QNADA felt the need to respond to an article in the Gold Coast Bulletin that suggested that "dumb" people with uncontrollable ice problems breeding more kids is the cause of a spike in defendants in the local Children's Court."  We argue for the expansion of treatment options for families.  Please see press release here


Providing certainty and funding for alcohol and other drug treatment services

The Australian Federal Government will continue to support drug and alcohol treatment services across Australia with funding of more than $75 million a year. Across Australia, around 150 groups that provide direct drug and alcohol treatment and support services will be given guaranteed funding for another two years until 30 June 2019.

This includes services such as drop-in centres that provide counselling and information, withdrawal management and rehabilitation clinics. This is in addition to the National Ice Action Strategy Funding of $241.5 million for drug and alcohol treatment currently being rolled out.  For more information, please go here.

Treatment options can keep kids safe

Treatment options can keep kids safe and families together

An article in the Courier Mail yesterday reported that methamphetamine use is now more common than problematic alcohol use in relation to child safety cases.  Figures from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services suggest forty-four percent of families where children had been found in need of protection had parents taking some form of methamphetamine.

CEO of the QLD Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, the peak body for the NGO treatment sector in QLD, Rebecca Lang states: 

“This highlights the need for effective treatment options for parents seeking support for problematic substance use.  It is critical that parents have access to residential treatment options that are family friendly as well as evidence based non-residential treatment options of varying intensity, yet they are sadly lacking in Queensland.”

She further stated:  “Treatment for problematic methamphetamine use is not that different to treatment of other types of alcohol or drug use, with the difference at times being that longer treatment is required, due to the potential for a protracted withdrawal syndrome.”

“Child Safety Officers have limited options for referral when they identify parents who are experiencing problematic substance use.  We need to do better in linking these parents with treatment appropriate to the severity of the issue.  It could be as simple as providing appropriate childcare options so that parents can seek non-residential treatment, or increasing the number of residential places where parents can take their children with them.”

“Supporting parents to seek help as soon as possible for problematic substance use so children can safely remain with their family is the best outcome for all involved, but first we need options for parents.  While drug testing might be helpful in identifying the problem, research has demonstrated its deterrent effect diminishes as drug use becomes more problematic.”

QNADA is the peak organisation representing the views of 41 NGO AOD organisations.  Through our knowledge of the sector, network of experienced members and links across complementary human service delivery sectors, QNADA is well-placed to provide practical advice and front-line service delivery experiences to inform policy and program advancement for the sector.

The sector consists of organisations involved in the continuum of care for individuals and their families affected by alcohol and drug use. QNADA members provide drug education and information, early intervention, outreach, withdrawal management, residential rehabilitation, psychosocial and medical treatment, relapse prevention, justice diversion and social inclusion.

If you or someone you know has identified that help is needed for problematic alcohol and other drug use, please contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 177 833.  They provide a free 24 hour/7 day counselling, information and referral service for anyone with concerns about their own or someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs. This is an anonymous and confidential service.

For more information, anecdotes or comment, please contact Rebecca Lang on 0408669590.

If you would like to connect with a local contact in your region in regards to this story, please contact our office and speak to Gillian on 30235050.


From preventable deaths to pills that kill

From preventable deaths to pills that kill

The Sunday Mail Exclusive “The Pills that Kill” suggests the response to the latest overdose of a young people who consumed a substance sold to them as MDMA involve improving education and greater collaboration of law enforcement agencies, while encouraging the public to “tell us who these pushers are.” 

The Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies CEO Rebecca Lang stated:

“It’s disappointing that the article doesn’t acknowledge we could be doing more than simply telling people drugs are dangerous and they should avoid taking them. The reality is these deaths would be largely preventable if we put the right information into users’ hands, instead of continuing with the mistaken belief that law enforcement action will be effective on its own.”

“While the current policy approach in both Queensland and nationally is harm minimisation, the focus on supply reduction far outweighs that on demand or harm reduction.  That’s left us in a position where the general public has heard the ‘just say no’ message so many times it’s problematic to even suggest we might change that message to ‘we want you to live’, which means we can’t have a pragmatic discussion about what else we could be doing that we know is working in other parts of the world, like drug checking.”

“Prohibition and policing will not end the demand for, or supply of any substance.  An unregulated market supports the very situation we’re trying to avoid, where suppliers are experimenting with ingredients and including at times highly toxic chemicals that can cause serious harm.  We need to shift our thinking to provide for a more nuanced approach.”

Ms Lang joins with colleagues such as as Gino Vumbaca from Harm Reduction Australia, Prof. Alison Ritter, Director at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Dr. Monica Barratt, Australian leader for the Global Drug Survey and Dr. Alex Wodak, a former Director of Alcohol and Drug Service at St. Vincent’s Hospital (and now President of the National Drug Law Reform Foundation) in calling for a shift in approach to zero harm.

Ms. Lang added, “Harm reduction is about more than introducing the option of drug checking or pill testing at festivals or in party precincts, it’s about making accurate, credible information regarding the potential harms of specific substances available to people who have already made the decision to use.  Parents of teenagers and young adults around the country should be assured that their Government is doing all they can to stop preventable deaths of young Australians. Instead they leave it to police to tell the us something is ‘five times stronger’ and has ‘high toxicity’, without telling us what they’re comparing it to and pointing the finger at event organisers who, like the police themselves, aren’t able to be everywhere at once.”

The Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA) is the peak body for the alcohol and other drug treatment sector for Queensland.

For more information, anecdotes or comment, please contact Rebecca Lang on 0408669590.

Booze or Drugs, it's not a competition

12/01/2017

Booze or drugs, it’s not a competition…

A story is doing the rounds arguing that “booze is better than drugs” (here), citing a recent study from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.  The argument made by Caleb Bond of the Daily Telegraph is that while it is true that alcohol causes the more harm in a community than any other drug, it is only because it is the most widely available.  In addition, the article promotes the simplistic view that if parents teach their children to ‘drink responsibly’, they will experience less harm. 

The Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA) is the peak body for the alcohol and other drug treatment sector in Queensland.  CEO Rebecca Lang is committed to harm reduction for all substances.  She states:

“The article is misleading and incorrectly asserts that early access to alcohol in a controlled environment reduces both the likelihood of young people going on to experience alcohol related harm or to use other drugs, which is just not supported by the evidence.” 

“Early induction into use of any type of drug, be it alcohol or something else has long been associated with a higher risk of progressing to problematic use in later life.”

 “Let’s be clear, all alcohol and other drug use carries a risk. We need to be careful not to give parents a false sense of security that alcohol use is somehow less risky than other drug use.  The study cited is useful for parents who wish to better understand the relative risks of harm to the developing brain from moderate alcohol use with that of harm from binge drinking. Professor Mattick, the study’s author warns parents not to assume that early supply of alcohol is protecting their children and we agree. The issue is complex and parents need access to accurate information to make good decisions to protect the wellbeing of their children.”

If you or someone you know has identified that help is needed for problematic alcohol and other drug use, please contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 177 833.  They provide a free 24 hour/7 day counselling, information and referral service for anyone with concerns about their own or someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs. This is an anonymous and confidential service.

For more information, anecdotes or comment, please contact Rebecca Lang on 0408669590.

Related articles on this story are here and here.

Australian Winters School Call for Abstracts are now open!!

Lives Lived Well and QNADA present - 2017 Australian Winter School

CROSSROADS - Brisbane 27-28 July Mercure Hotel

Join us in Brisbane to COORDINATE innovation, COLLABORATE  and INTEGRATE together to enhance our alcohol and other drug treatment sector.  SHARE your work and INSPIRE others.

For more info on the 2017 conference and to submit your abstract go here.


North Brisbane PiR release outcomes from QNADA harm reduction project

North Brisbane PiR Coordinators felt they could do more to support PiR participants who were living with alcohol and other drug issues. They approached QNADA – the Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies – to explore options for working together. The result was a successful PiR Innovation Fund Project that brought the two sectors together. QNADA led a 12-month, harm-reduction project designed to provide information, break down barriers and improve treatment pathways.   Watch QNADA CEO Rebecca MacBean give a summary of the project here and read an article providing further detail of the project on p6-8 here

QNADA on lack of drug treatment in QLD prisons

10th November 2016 

QNADA CEO Rebecca MacBean argues for better drug treatment, particularly in men's prisons in QLD.  Currently there is no continuation of substitution therapy provided to men in the Brisbane Correctional Service amongst others.  Please read the story here.