NSW Government’s landmark investment in alcohol and other drug services


​This October saw the NSW Government announce a landmark investment of $500 million over four years as part of its final response to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice (the Inquiry).

This is the single largest investment in alcohol and other drug services that NSW has ever seen. At least $358 million will go to the delivery of health services and more than $141 million will go to expand justice initiatives.

Approximately 200,000 – 500,000 Australians who need and seek alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment do not receive it. Harms from AOD use contribute to emergency department presentations, hospitalisations, early death and morbidity.

This funding will mean more than 30,000 people impacted by AOD use will benefit from additional services. It will also support more than 11,000 people with AOD-related offending behaviour, and create more than 670 new jobs, with a strong focus on rural and regional areas.

Recognising the importance of placing the person at the centre of care, the funding will address gaps and improve health and social outcomes through prevention, treatment and holistic support, including:

  • evidence-based treatment, support and early intervention services, especially in regional and rural areas for key priority populations;
  • integrated care for people with multiple and complex needs (including homelessness, domestic and family violence, mental health, involvement in the criminal justice system);
  • improving service access and planning by enhancing digital capability, system navigation and virtual healthcare;
  • enhancing the AOD workforce (creation of new jobs, traineeships, career pathway development and skills building), including Aboriginal health practitioners and peers; and
  • better utilisation of data and evidence to inform system priorities, management and monitoring

Stronger investment in evidence-based treatments can make a meaningful difference however it will take a whole system approach to become a reality.

NSW Health will continue working to reduce the harm and minimise the impact of ice and other ATS on individuals, families, and communities and work with stakeholders to improve the coordination of alcohol and other drug service delivery.

To view all the related reports and fact sheets visit The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ on the Premier & Cabinet website.

For free and confidential advice 24/7 call Family Drug Support on 1300 368 186 or Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm.

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