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Addiction Assessment in Court Pilot Launched

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

17th February 2006 Media release

Anderton launches the Addiction Assessment in Court Pilot

Jim Anderton launched the Addiction Assessment in Court Pilot in Tauranga.

"It is especially good to see a project I have sponsored move from an idea to a reality and to meet the people this will impact on," Jim Anderton, Associate Minister of Health said this morning.

"Addiction assessment in court may not reduce the impacts of substance misuse or problem gambling on the Tauranga community today but I do think that the Addiction Assessment at Court Pilot will be valuable in ensuring people who need addiction treatment, can be pointed in the right direction for help.

"Minimising addiction-related harm has wide-reaching implications for many parts of society. The benefits of treatment are not only seen in health, but in education, welfare and in reducing offending.

"The gateway to treatment is through timely assessment and timely means when people have a reason to consider change. Appearing in court can be the wake-up people need to look at where they are going and the consequences of continued substance misuse or problem gambling," said the Minister Responsible for our National Drug Policy.

"For me, this project is innovative as it impacts upon two service systems the Court system and the addiction treatment service system. Essentially we will have a competent addiction practitioner from a local treatment service sitting at court waiting for referrals from the Judge to do stand down assessments. This will essentially be an outreach service.

"As chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy, I am heartened to see this collaboration because an aim of the National Drug Policy is to strengthen inter-sectoral work", Jim Anderton said today at the launch.

ENDS

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