Too many drink just to get drunk

ALCOHOL and drug patients on the Fraser Coast need more medically supervised beds to provide real care to get them out of substance abuse and misuse.

Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies CEO Margi O'Connell-Hood met with alcohol and other drugs non-government organisations in Hervey Bay to discuss proposed changes to the infrastructure of the Queensland Health sector.

“An obvious gap is the lack of medically supervised beds in the region to provide the continuum of care,” she said yesterday.

“The number one resounding issue is the lack of detox beds available.

“There are six treatment services in the Fraser Coast Wide Bay region that provide rehabilitation services to those suffering from substance misuse but services require resourcing regarding the provision of medically supervised beds.”

The push for more beds comes on the eve of worrying new Roy Morgan research for the Salvation Army's alcohol awareness campaign launched yesterday.

It was revealed 2.1 million people sometimes drink alcohol simply because they want to get drunk.

Of that, one in three 18 to 24-year-olds said they either sometimes or often consumed alcohol because they wanted to get drunk.

And 1.3 million people revealed they sometimes drank alcohol to stop feeling down or depressed; 178,000 revealed they often drank for that reason.

The Hervey Bay consultations drew representatives of employment and corrective services, local councils, mental health and professionals directly involved in providing treatment to those suffering from alcohol and drugs.

“One in two Australians is affected by alcohol and other drugs at some point in their lives,” Ms O'Connell-Hood said.

“This equates to at least half the population. Now that a government is in place, the Fraser Coast is well placed to be major players in the delivery of Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services.”

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