ACT alcohol and drug services making a difference

Released 09/12/2016

ACT Minister for Health Meegan Fitzharris today released the results of a survey showing Canberrans in need are accessing alcohol and other drug services and that they are making a difference.

The Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey, undertaken by the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) in partnership with alcohol and drug services, provides a valuable insight into the services that people are accessing and how the ACT Government can continue to improve these for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“I am pleased to release ATODA’s survey report today. The survey shows that our alcohol and drug services are making a difference and helping people get their lives back on track,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“For example, of the alcohol and drug service users who took part in the survey, 86 per cent said their drug use has reduced and 91 per cent indicated they are now less involved in crime.

“For survey participants, the overall level of satisfaction was high, with over 90 per cent stating they were ‘mostly satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the services they received.

“The survey results also demonstrate that our education programs are working, with participants reporting improved knowledge about preventing blood borne virus transmission,” Minister Fitzharris said.

Other outcomes of the survey results include:

  • 79 per cent of participants reporting improved general health;
  • 78 per cent reporting improved mental health;
  • 85 per cent reporting improved knowledge of preventing blood borne virus transmission;
  • 70 per cent found that their parenting and other relationships had improved;
  • 64 per cent had better capacity to manage their finances; and
  • 57 per cent of tobacco smokers reported either quitting or reducing their smoking.

“I am proud to say that the ACT Government invests more than $19 million a year to provide drug treatment and support services in our community,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“What these positive survey results highlight is that this investment is making a difference in our community every day, and I would like to thank all of the hardworking staff in our alcohol and other drug services who support some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“I would also like to thank ATODA for their ongoing work. The ACT Government will continue to work with the sector to improve our alcohol and other drug support services and programs available to Canberrans,” Minister Fitzharris said.

Carrie Fowlie, Chief Executive Officer of ATODA said the report highlights what can be done when government and non-government services work together to reduce alcohol and other drug related harms.

“The survey results show that people accessing these important services are getting the support that they and their families need,” Ms Fowlie said.

“We know that demand for drug treatment services continues to increase, with up to 500 people accessing services every day in Canberra.

“Alcohol and drug services are currently maintaining high levels of service user satisfaction and positive outcomes despite higher demand, longer waiting times, increased complexity and poly drug use,” Ms Fowlie said.

The 2015 ATODA Service Users’ Satisfaction and Outcomes Survey was a self-reported census of people accessing specialist alcohol and other drug services in the ACT. To access the survey report

ATODA is the peak body for the alcohol, tobacco and other drug sector in the ACT.

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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