East Perth: WA’s only drug and alcohol detox and rehab service for youth boosted by $50,000 grant

Youth Minister Peter Tinley MLA with Mission Australia area manager Suzanne Caren. Picture: Jessica Warriner.
Youth Minister Peter Tinley MLA with Mission Australia area manager Suzanne Caren. Picture: Jessica Warriner.

WESTERN Australia’s only detox and respite facilities for young people have been boosted by a $51,000 grant.

The Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) in East Perth can care for eight people between 12 and 21 in their detox facility, and a further 10 in their residential rehabilitation centre in Carlisle.

The service is funded by the Mental Health Commission and provided in partnership between Mission Australia and Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services.

Mission Australia area manager Suzanne Caren said the Lotterywest grant would help DAYS refurbish their counselling and recreational facilities.

“Having spaces that have been specifically designed with the needs of young people in mind will help to reduce the anxiety around accessing services of this kind,” she said.

Ms Caren said the average age of clients was between 15 and 17, with some as young as 11.

The service caters to young people from all over the state, whether they are referred by a GP or arrive themselves – Ms Caren said there was no strict pathway and any young person with a drug or alcohol issue was taken in.

After three weeks in detox, clients spend three months in rehab.

“We provide educational groups, connect young people with psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, we get them involved in community education and training – whatever that young person needs to sustain their life and cease their drug use after rehab, we will put in place for them,” Ms Caren said.

Youth Minister Peter Tinley presented the cheque to centre staff today, and said DAYS was an “outstanding model” of how rehabilitation services can reach young people.

“The program works in a variety of ways – for example, it offers cannabis intervention services to young people cautioned by WA Police, and alcohol and drug counselling to young people in custody at Banksia Hill Detention Centre,” he said.

“The program also targets specific counselling services at young people using methamphetamine, which is fast becoming a major challenge to our community.”