The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) welcomes the launch of $235,000 in funding to support ongoing delivery of essential alcohol, tobacco and other drug health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ATDC chief executive, Alison Lai has praised the funding initiative, which has been provided through a partnership between the Tasmanian Government and Primary Health Tasmania (with Australian Government funding).
“Alcohol, tobacco and other drug services are essential health services, especially during the increased stress, pressure and isolation caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Mrs Lai said.
“This funding will support Tasmanian community organisations delivering alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment programs and services to respond to the impact of COVID-19.
“The funds, which will be made available through the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Sector COVID-19 Capacity-Building Package, will provide up to $25,000 for eligible organisations to invest in necessary modifications or initiatives to keep maintaining service continuity.
“This may include minor building modifications to enable appropriate social distancing during treatment, to the boosting of outreach services to access clients unable to travel to treatment.”
“We thank the Tasmanian Government and Primary Health Tasmania for making these vital funds available, which will support alcohol, tobacco and other drug services across the state, ensuring no-one is left behind,”
Primary Health Tasmania spokesperson Joyleene Abrey said while there’s reason for optimism about Tasmania’s COVID-19 recovery, healthcare providers have had to change the way they deliver services and these changes are likely to be in place for a while yet.
“The alcohol and other drug sector is doing a great job by continuing to help vulnerable Tasmanians during these difficult times, and we are pleased to have a role in making sure they can provide care in a safe and sustainable way.”
The funding package will also include $15,000 from the Tasmanian government for a six-month trial of the overdose prevention drug, naloxone and up to $50,000 for community public health messaging.