REHABILITATION IN THE RIVERLAND

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will pilot a community-based rehabilitation program in the Riverland, with a view to using this model to address the scourge of drugs in other parts of South Australia.

The Problem

The most significant emerging drug issue in recent years has been the increased use of crystal methamphetamine, commonly referred to as Ice.

National wastewater monitoring reveals that South Australia, along with Western Australia, has the highest level of Ice use in the nation.

There has been an alarming increase in the use of Ice in regional and remote communities, with reported use as much as tripling in recent years.

Ice seriously impacts on the health of individuals and communities.

Physically, a fatal toxic reaction can result from a first-time use, irrespective of dose.

Psychologically, symptoms include panic, extreme paranoia and hallucinations.

The erratic, violent behaviour of Ice users harms families and communities.

Ice users need targeted treatment and support services that cater to their specific needs.

Such specialised services are often not accessible in regional and remote areas of our state.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will pilot a community-based rehabilitation program in the Riverland, with a view to using this model to address the scourge of drugs in other parts of South Australia.

The Matrix program is an intensive outpatient addiction recovery program well suited for users of Ice.

It is based on a model of rehabilitation which has been used in the United States of America for over 30 years.

The program combines practical skills training for escaping addiction with frequent, structured, social support and the regular rewarding of participant achievements and success.

Three Matrix program pilots are currently running in metropolitan Adelaide.

Early reports suggest Matrix is as an accessible and cost-effective program with high levels of participant engagement.

Our Riverland pilot would include:

  • supported detoxification, primarily in an outpatient setting
  • participation in an intensive program involving attendance on a regular basis throughout the week,
  • support from psychologists and recovered consumers with lived experience
  • ongoing random urine testing to provide objective verification of efforts to stay clean.

The outpatient program will be supported by inpatient rapid detox beds in the Riverland region.

Winning the war on drugs requires a holistic approach that considers law enforcement, prevention and rehabilitation.

Download or view the PDF version here

news policies