East Perth to host meth clinic, State Govt announces

Stock image.
Stock image.

EAST Perth will be the site of a new specialist methamphetamine clinic, announced over the weekend by the State Government.

Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said the new clinic and expanded drug and alcohol services were “key elements” of a $14.9 million WA Meth Strategy in the 2016-17 State Budget.

“The meth clinic, based at the Mental Health Commission’s Next Step facility in East Perth, will provide free withdrawal treatment and counselling services for people with meth problems,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The clinic will provide rapid assessment of people experiencing meth-related problems by a multidisciplinary medical team, including a doctor, nurse and clinical psychologist with specialist knowledge of meth-related harm.”

Former meth users can struggle with relapses without proper support immediately after getting off the drug.

The new clinic will include pharmacotherapies to prevent relapses, and to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

The clinic will also provide individual counselling and group programs, and is aimed at outpatients rather than emergency cases.

The Mental Health Commission has dedicated $530,000 over two years to fund the clinic, which is part of a $3.7 million expansion of the community alcohol and drug services network.

The boost will provide the equivalent of an additional 13 full-time staff to provide counselling and referrals to people getting off meth and their families.

Opposition Mental Health spokesman Stephen Dawson said the announcement was long overdue but the proposals did not go far enough.

“This Government had eight years in office and are only now starting to tackle this issue,” Mr Dawson said.

“Families have been calling out for these services for years and they’ve been getting deaf ears.”

The Mental Health Commission’s new Meth Helpline is the first point of call for people who need help with meth and for family and friends who may be seeking advice.

People who are struggling with meth or who knows someone who is should call 1800 874 878.