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New tools to fight drug and alcohol problems

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

Three new Drug Education Network tools have been launched for frontline health workers, community and family engagement, and school education.

These include More Options for Managing Pain, Driver Dice and Mocktails + Mastery, which are educational resources for Tasmanians.

They will help us improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians around alcohol and other drug use.

These preventative health tools will allow the Government, community and individuals to work together to make Tasmanians’ lives better, healthier and longer.

Pleasingly, our national efforts are working. The number of teenagers choosing to abstain from alcohol is increasing - 72 percent in 2013 compared to 82 percent in 2016. This is great news.

The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to increase investment in alcohol and drug services, including:

  • $6 million over three years for 30 additional community-based alcohol and drugs rehabilitation beds;
  • $870,000 over two years to the Australian Drug Foundation for the Good Sports and Healthy Minds programs;
  • $100,000 a year for two years to Pathways Tasmania to include a residential rehabilitation program specifically for women; and
  • $50,000 a year for two years to the Holyoake Gottawanna program. This also includes an additional three years funding for the Ulverstone residential rehabilitation facility from 1 July 2019.

With the recent rescheduling of codeine, More Options for Managing Pain explains how opioids work, overdose risks and other side effects. It also presents options for people to consider how they manage pain.

Driver Dice, developed with the Department of State Growth, will help start discussion and education around the safety and legal responsibility of using drugs and driving.

The Mocktails + Mastery book examines drinking culture and how alcohol works in the body, and is full of practical tips for feeling good and full to the brim with recipes for delicious mocktails.

I congratulate the Drug Education Network on the development of these important resources.