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Northland DHB leads Fight against Methamphetamine

Media Release

October 19 2016

Northland DHB leads Cross-Agency Fight against Methamphetamine

Northland, a district with high incidence of problems related to methamphetamine supply and use is the perfect place for a joint cross-agency proposal between Northland DHB and New Zealand Police.

“Working together is not new in Northland so it made good sense for the DHB to initiate a joint cross-agency proposal to tackle the ever increasing and harmful methamphetamine issue in our community,” explains Northland DHB chief executive, Dr Nick Chamberlain.

The project pilots an aligned approach to enforcement, treatment, and community resilience building in Northland.

Using the Te Ara Oranga (a path to wellbeing) recovery based model of care, service users will be able to access services at the right stage of the pathway for their needs, which encourages hope and enhances their strengths, abilities and resiliency.

“A major barrier to remaining drug free after treatment is the absence of a stable living environment that supports abstinence,” Dr Chamberlain said.

“This pilot offers levels of support that transition through residential treatment to independent living over several months.

“Community health teams will provide treatment, therapy, health promotion, cultural and peer support to encourage abstinence, remove the barriers to participation in education and employment, and build strong family and social relationships.”

The cross-agency initiative will test effectiveness of an innovative approach to methamphetamine demand reduction by integrating health and policing responses in an area where methamphetamine related crime has been identified as especially problematic.

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“The investment will add additional policing, health and community response resource,” Dr Chamberlain said.

“The new model integrates health and police by building capability in district and community policing, and increasing resources for DHB treatment response for police referrals.”

The $3 million dollar project will increase police capacity (additional team of 8 FTE operational resource) and provide additional addiction treatment and community services capacity across the region.

It is anticipated that the new service will be operational mid-2017.


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