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ALAC supports Treatment Works Week

June 24


The Alcohol Advisory Council applauds the efforts of those involved in supporting people with an alcohol and drug problem.

Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia launched Treatment Works Week today [Monday 24 June]. The aim of the week is to highlight the role treatment services play in reducing alcohol and drug problems and to focus on the consequent benefit to the whole community.

Alcohol Advisory Council Senior Advisor Treatment Ian MacEwan says some 44 percent of drinking New Zealanders will experience problems with their drinking at some point and 22 percent will be dependent on alcohol at some time in their lives.

He says providing treatment for people with alcohol and drug problems is money well spent by the health care system. “It has been estimated that for every dollar invested, treatment saves about $3 in medical spending for the Government.”

Treatment also results in reduced criminal activity and criminal justice costs, reduced social care and housing demands, reduced accidents as well as productivity and training gains for employers, he says.

“Alcohol and drug treatment programmes do work. They are cost effective, save lives and contribute to the reduction of crime and illness,” Mr MacEwan says.

“In England, a National Addiction Centre study has shown substantial improvements in lowered crime and drug use for people up to 5 years after treatment.”

[ends]

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