The 2017-18 State Budget delivered a significant funding boost for harm reduction, support and drug treatment services to fight ice and drug addiction. 

Through the $78.4 million commitment announced as part of Stage 3 of the Victorian Government’s Ice Action Plan, coupled with additional investments as part of the Aboriginal Affairs and Family Violence packages, the State Government is investing a record $220.1 million in alcohol and other drug services in 2017-18, expanding access to vital treatment services for members of the community. 

Commitment snapshot

Additional drug treatment services for parents within the child protection system - $17 million over four years

This initiative will provide more timely access to treatment services for parents for whom participation in treatment is a court requirement. 

The department has begun engaging with child protection and the sector to both design and implement this new initiative, which has been developed in response to feedback from both sectors. 

Expanding alcohol and other drug treatment services for people with mandatory treatment conditions - $9.1 million over four years

This initiative will provide almost 1,000 people on community correction orders to receive support and get back on their feet. This additional capacity will allow more people successfully complete their judicial order, reducing their risk of re-offending and risks to community safety, and supporting them to make positive changes in their lives.

Funding will be targeted to known areas of high demand. We will seek expressions of interest in coming months from providers to deliver extra services to this group.

Expanded treatment support for people at risk of overdose - $12.4 million over four years

Content This initiative will expand support available to people when transitioning into or out of treatment services, a critical time when they are at a higher risk of harm.  An additional 17 care and recovery positions and eight peer support roles will be established with a focus on reaching out to and supporting people at those points of highest risk. 

Further data analysis is underway to help identify how and where these position might best be located. In coming months, we will seek expressions of interest from providers who can deliver expanded services to this group.

Earlier access to alcohol and other drug services - $6.0 million over four years

This initiative will expand phone-based and online support and advice services for people using alcohol and other drugs as well as their families and others seeking information, advice, support and referral.  

This funding boost will expand the capacity of existing services like DirectLine, the Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice Service (YoDAA) and the Family Drug Help Line to support  individuals, families and communities. This will include expansion of both phone and web based services.

More access to family violence expertise through mental health and drugs services - $17.3 million over four years

A two part project is underway to respond to recommendations 98 and 99 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Part one is the recruitment of Family Violence Capacity Building Advisors this year who are being auspiced by Family Violence service providers in each of the 17 DHHS areas.

Part two, funded through the 2017-18 Stage Budget, will support establishment of 17 family violence advisors in alcohol and other drug services (one in each of the 17 DHHS areas). An expression of interest will be released to the sector in coming months to seek providers willing to auspice these new positions.

Alcohol and other drug treatment for Aboriginal Victorians - $14.2 million over four years

This initiative will expand Aboriginal specific alcohol and drug services, supporting employment of new youth and adult  Aboriginal alcohol and other drug worker positions to provide specialist alcohol and drug services and support for Aboriginal communities across the state. 

Consistent with the government’s emphasis on self-determination, the design of these positions and the associated delivery model will be developed in close collaboration with the Aboriginal community, with strong engagement planned over the next six months to identify community needs and decide on appropriate models of care.

Regional drug residential rehabilitation services, stage 2 - $9.7 million in 2017-18

This initiative provides $9.7 million in 2017-18 to support capital planning and land acquisition to enable development of key regional residential drug rehabilitation treatment facilities in the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions.

The process of capital planning and land acquisition will be led by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority. 

Expanding access to residential rehabilitation - $8.7 million over four years

This initiative will increase the number of residential rehabilitation beds with 30 new beds to be established within existing services. These beds will provide a short term boost to capacity while new regional residential drug rehabilitation treatment facilities come on line.

Expressions of interest have been sought from existing services to open new residential rehabilitation beds within a 12 month period.

Mental health and alcohol and other drug facilities renewal - $10 million in 2017-18

This initiative provides a funding boost to support renewal of facilities operated by state-funded mental health and drugs services. This funding pool will again support infrastructure and capital works to enhance access and improve models of care through targeted improvements to existing facilities.

This funding will be allocated through a competitive grants process open to all funded service providers, with detail to be released later in 2017.

Strengthening alcohol and other drug treatment data systems - $4.0 million over five years

This initiative will support strengthening of information systems across the alcohol and other drug treatment system. This will allow all intake providers (and treatment providers) to be able to see if a client has a history of engagement with the treatment system.
 
This initiative will also provide some support for targeted alcohol and other drug treatment service providers to transition to the new alcohol and other drug treatment data collection system, the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection (VADC).

The department will be engaging further with the alcohol and other drug treatment sector on options for strengthening information systems.