Health Gippsland South The Nationals Parliament

O’Brien: Gippsland South needs more rehab beds

The Nationals’ Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the State Government to fund additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in Gippsland as local families struggle to deal with addiction, especially to ice.

Mr O’Brien told the Parliament this week that those suffering from addiction, along with their friends and families, are continually frustrated at the lack of access to rehabilitation beds and services.

Mr O’Brien said he had spoken to many people throughout Gippsland struggling to find the help they need, especially those with addictions to the drug ice.

“There is a genuine concern among many in my community about drug and alcohol services, in particular rehabilitation services,” Mr O’Brien told the Parliament.

“Several have told me of the anguish of having a loved one who is affected by drugs or alcohol struggling to get the help they need.”

Mr O’Brien said he did not want to over-estimate the effect ice was having in Gippsland communities, especially in the light of metropolitan media reports that Sale in particular was over-run by ice.

While he does not believe the drug issue is any worse in Sale or the rest of Gippsland than any other area of Victoria, Mr O’Brien said there certainly was an issue that needed to be addressed.

“I know this is a challenging issue and I know that rehabilitation services are not the only issue needing to be addressed; there are a whole range of issues,” he said.

“Ice is not a problem that government itself can solve.

“I do however ask the minister to plan, fund and implement additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds and services in Gippsland as soon as possible.”

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