APY Detox Centre

20 Jun 2007 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation prior asking the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse a question about the APY detox centre.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Along with two of my colleagues, the Hon. John Dawkins and Vickie Chapman, I went to the APY lands from 22 to 24 May and am grateful for the assistance we had in understanding some of the health issues on the lands. We met with Nganampa Health while there and discussed one of their key issues, namely, the lack of coordinated program planning, in that the coordination takes place between DAARE, the Department of Health, Country Health and Glenside, which is not necessarily in relation to the APY detox centre. Nganampa Health told us that there is a significant issue with acute psychosis and polysubstance abuse and, in relation to the planning of the detox centre, they were invited to be on the steering committee which, unfortunately, meets in Adelaide.

Some information provided to me when I was a member of the Aboriginal Lands Standing Committee from DAARE last year stated that the goal of the facility was to provide a range of treatment and rehabilitation services, referral to hospital where intensive medical support was required for detox and a mobile outreach service, and that SAPOL and DASSA were working on the protocols for the diversion program. My questions are:

1. Will the minister outline the differences in service provisions for drug and alcohol services to be provided on the lands between Nganampa Health and the new centre?

2. Which hospitals will provide those detox services?

3. Which service will have responsibility for crisis services for people experiencing drug induced acute psychotic episodes?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO(Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): I thank the honourable member for her important questions. In relation to the APY facility, the commonwealth government has—

The Hon. R.I. Lucas interjecting:

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Not at all—I am not passing the buck. I am actually giving them acknowledgment, but if you do not want me to, that is fine; I will withdraw those comments.

The commonwealth government has provided funds to build a substance misuse facility and associated staff housing on the APY lands, and the South Australian government has agreed to fund the recurrent costs of running the facility.

The Department of Health has agreed to establish and manage the facility and has nominated DASSA as the lead organisation to actually operate that particular facility. It will provide a range of treatment and rehabilitation services for people from the APY lands who have experienced problems, particularly in relation to substance misuse, and the service focus is on combating dependence and assisting people to reintegrate back into their communities and their homes. The model is based on both the formal research that has been undertaken and on what has actually worked in other drug and alcohol programs, particularly those in indigenous communities as they indeed contain some of their own particular challenges.

Two rounds of consultation have been undertaken throughout May with the community and Anangu organisations on the service model that would be most appropriate for the facility and its location. So, we very much involved local community representatives and their views about this. That is part of the reason why it has taken so long to bring it to fruition, because it has involved quite a lot of sensitive discussions and negotiations. The APY executive nominated a Malpa (an indigenous guide) to assist DASSA in the second round of consultations.

The residential facility and outreach service will complement existing state funded community petrol sniffing programs and also youth programs that provide healthy activities for young Anangu to help prevent petrol sniffing.

Consultations regarding the location of the facility have been completed and building has commenced. The Murray River North Construction Company was the successful tenderer, and I have signed the lease agreement with the APY executive.

DASSA has appointed two very experienced nurses and three Anangu staff in a mobile outreach service. The mobile program currently has approximately 25 referrals from a variety of sources, including SAPOL.

In terms of the services that I was asked about, it is proposed that this facility will provide:

assessment by facility staff;

referral to hospital if intensive medical support is required for detoxification;

residential rehabilitation programs for up to three months;

treatment and rehabilitation for people who misuse petrol, alcohol, cannabis and other substances on the APY lands; and

as a secondary focus, a period of respite for families of people with substance misuse issues and the broader community.

A range of residential rehabilitation and treatment services will be provided at the facility and in the community, based on varying client needs. The first stage in the work of the facility is a mobile outreach service, which visits communities and provides:

assessments in communities;

counselling and support for individuals, families and communities that are affected by substance misuse;

referral to hospital or clinical primary health care if needed;

assistance in case management and in designing individual management plans;

support for diversionary programs, particularly the Police Drug Diversion Initiative; and

a range of community drug and alcohol education services.

In relation to the other questions which I was asked, I am happy to take those on notice and bring back a response.

Thursday 27 September 2007

In reply to Hon J.M.A. LENSINK (20 June).

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I have been advised:

1. Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) will operate the substance misuse service once the facility has been built at Amata on the APY Lands. The facility will provide a range of treatment and rehabilitation services for people from the APY Lands who experience substance misuse problems. The focus of the service is on combating dependence and assisting people to reintegrate back into their families and communities. The substance misuse service will have two components – a residential facility that is under construction at Amata and a mobile outreach program, which has already been established.

The Nganampa Health Council is an Anangu community controlled health organisation whose role is to provide primary health care services to everyone living on the APY Lands. This includes 24 hour primary clinical care and a range of public health and targeted program activities.

2. Acute detoxification services for APY Lands residents will continue to be provided by the Alice Springs Hospital, the Port Augusta Hospital and the Port Augusta Substance Misuse Services.

3. Discussion is occurring between DASSA and the Rural and Remote Mental Health Service at Glenside regarding mental health assessment and care planning into the new substance misuse facility, with protocols anticipated to be in place when the facility opens.