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Addiction resource launched in Wellington

Hon Jim Anderton

Progressive Party leader

5 November 2008 Media Statement

Addiction resource launched in Wellington

People working together can make a difference, Associate Health Minister and Progressive Leader Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton today launched the National Committee for Addiction Treatment's guide to New Zealand alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction issues, 'Investing in Addiction Treatment'.

He said the booklet was a helpful tool to enhance collaboration across the sector, including with government.

"You not only recognise that good progress has been made, but that there is no room for us to rest on our laurels. The resource inspires us to higher standards, and encourages us all to work together, to do better for those who depend on addiction treatment services. By being strong enough to care, we can make a difference."

Jim Anderton told the launch meeting in Wellington that of all the names cited in yesterday's historic election of Barack Obama as President-elect of the United States, Rosa Parks' was the one that stuck in his mind.

"She proved that everyday people, with a powerful spirit and the strength to care, can come together and make a real difference to the lives of others. This is so often the case with many of the great challenges facing our community."

He said that minimising the harm from addiction - to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling - was a community challenge.

"It is well known that the causes of alcohol and other drug misuse or problem gambling are complex and many-sided. We know there is no silver bullet. Most people accessing addiction treatment services have coexisting mental health problems. The detrimental effects of addiction are wide and varied.

"Our approach to tackling this problem therefore, needs to be responsive, comprehensive and tailored to meet the needs of individuals and their families - and above all, be collaborative."

Jim Anderton said NCAT had an aspirational goal of doubling the addiction service workforce within three years.

"That won't be easy, but it's still an important goal to aim for - there is a need out there."


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