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Funding injection for Drug Foundation

25 May 2004

Funding injection for Drug Foundation

A funding increase of $1.1 million over four years for the New Zealand Drug Foundation is part of a $14.6 million package to protect victims of drugs announced today by Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton.

"This additional money is great. It means we can focus our attention across a broader range of important drug and alcohol issues, especially new issues that catch communities and policy makers by surprise," says Drug Foundation executive director, Ross Bell.

The new money will fund a research project on methamphetamine treatment services and will establish a network of health promotion workers and others dealing with illicit drug issues.

"There is increasing need for access to treatment services for those with problems with methamphetamine. Their behavioural issues can place stress on treatment services, and they don't always complete their treatment.

"Our research will look at current treatment services and any gaps there are, identify the links between mental health and methamphetamine treatment services, and see what the best way to provide services is. We will also talk to methamphetamine users about what services they need. This will help treatment providers improve their services and ensure people get treatment and stick with it.

"Often those on the coal face work in isolation and under stress, and don't have the opportunity to take a breather and share their experiences with others. The network will promote discussion around what works well, and will get good information about drug issues to people that need it," Ross Bell says.

The Drug Foundation is an independent public health organisation that works on reducing the harm from drugs, alcohol and tobacco through research and policy work and by providing information to the drug and alcohol practitioners, policy makers and the wider community.

The package also included funding for alcohol and drug residential treatment services for youth in the central North Island and the national Needle and Syringe Exchange Programme.

ENDS


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