July 09, 2017

The use of methamphetamines in WA is nearly double the Australian average. Recent Holyoake data shows that methamphetamine is now the primary drug of concern for the majority of people presenting for our services in the Wheatbelt.

In September 2015, Holyoake established a Methamphetamine Service Design Project in collaboration with Next Step Drug & Alcohol Services, the Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network (DAWN), and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI). The two main objectives were:

  1. To identify national and international research about innovative best practice in prevention, treatment and service.
  2. Based on this research, to design, implement and evaluate a comprehensive service model.

As a result, we have now established a Specialist Methamphetamine Team in Northam thanks to funding from the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) – through its Country WA Primary Health Network. The funding provides for a trial implementation which will be evaluated by NDRI based at Curtin University.

The Member for Pearce Christian Porter said this much-needed service is part of the Federal Government’s response to the National Ice Taskforce report. “Methamphetamine use in Northam and surrounding areas is a growing concern. I am confident this problem can best be addressed by setting up dedicated, specialist services such as this one. I look forward to seeing the benefits for all those impacted.”

Holyoake’s specialist team includes a doctor, clinical nurse, case manager, peer workers, family support workers, and counsellors operating from one convenient location.

Holyoake’s CEO Angie Paskevicius said the service will have a long-term focus on supporting people. “This initiative acknowledges that support for methamphetamine use requires a customised approach that is holistic, intensive and sustained to better meet the needs of individuals and their families.”

This is the first service of its kind in regional WA. Our vision is that this evidence-based approach will result in positive outcomes and provide a strong case for continuation and expansion of this service across the state.

If you or someone you care about is affected by the use of methamphetamines, please call 08 9621 1055 or email adminnortham@holyoake.org.au for more information.