Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Open letter to PM calls for addiction treatment boost

Open letter to PM calls for addiction treatment funding boost

Gaps in access to addiction treatment have prompted 30 organisations to issue an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The letter calls for a boost to funding, and introduction of a health-referral model to replace criminal sanctions for people who use drugs.

The open letter, signed by health, social justice, housing and church-based organisations from throughout the country, calls for a doubling of investment in alcohol and other drug-related prevention, harm reduction and treatment. The letter states: “We urge you to budget for additional investment of at least $150 million per year from 2019.”

“Every day people who need addiction treatment are missing out. There not only needs to be more treatment, but a wider range of options too,” says Ross Bell, the Drug Foundation’s Executive Director.

“Organisations who signed up are seeing no let-up in demand for services. They want to do more and in new ways, but the lack of funding is a continual source of frustration.”

“Church social services, iwi health providers, treatment agencies and others at the frontline have a common message: the problems drugs cause aren’t going away, and the government has to properly resource the sector.”

“Services need to be equipped to respond to the current synthetics drugs crisis as well as new challenges that are likely to occur in the future.”

The open letter asks the Prime Minister to “review our outdated drug law to ensure that people using synthetic cannabinoids and other drugs get a referral to health and other services, rather than a criminal conviction. Penalising people for drug use is a huge barrier to accessing services that could help them.”

A signatory to this letter, Hāpai Te Hauora, is the largest Māori public health organisation in Aotearoa.

“Māori have the worst outcomes of all New Zealanders with respect to mental health and addictions issues," spokesperson Selah Hart says. “We support this letter on the basis of the urgent need in our communities. We add our voices to this collective call for action with the hope that health equity will be given more than lip service by this government through the provision of well-resourced and culturally appropriate services for Māori."

Organisations are timed this call so that it can be considered alongside the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry, which reported back to the government this week. 40 recommendations were delivered to the government by the review panel on 28 November, and Health Minister David Clark has said the government will respond in March 2019.

“We know that there is a lot for government to digest in the report and we’re not looking for a rushed response. However, we do expect a focus on long-term change and a significant boost to funding,” Ross Bell said.

“Decisions for Budget 2019 are being made in December – we’d like this letter to be taken into account in those discussions.”

“Addiction has far-reaching consequences for individuals, their whānau and society as a whole.

It is time the services are supported to succeed.”

Members of the public who also support this cause are invited to sign the “Fund health services not handcuffs” petition on Action Station: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/fund-health-services-not-handcuffs-1


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


 

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:

UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>

ALSO:

2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>

ALSO:


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels