More turn to WRAD for with help with alcohol issues

MORE south-west people are seeking assistance for alcohol issues than cannabis, a new report says.

The Warrnambool-based Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD) revealed in its annual report that booze continued to be the most common problem for which people sought assistance during the 2012-13 financial year.

Cannabis and prescription medication issues were also treated regularly.

The centre’s annual report showed WRAD ended the 2012-13 financial year on a strong footing, appointing a psychologist and an occupational therapist, while continuing with an extra doctor.

The report revealed that the number of women accessing the service continues to grow and a significant number of clients reported multiple drug usage, including alcohol, amphetamines and cannabis.

Director Geoff Soma said the year in review had demonstrated strong performance.

“WRAD has worked hard over many years to build a multi-faceted service to support clients with a range of alcohol and drug and other issues,” he said.

Mr Soma said the health department had begun the complicated process of reforming the service system which involved the recommissioning of drug and alcohol programs.

“The new design is ambitious but with adequate government investment will hopefully result in better services for our client group,” he said.

Chairwoman Helen Taylor said this year’s success in the medical services program had proven WRAD’s long-term future planning and growth of programs was in line with community needs. 

Ms Taylor said alcohol continued to be the most problematic drug concern in the community, while there was significant concern around prescription medication abuse.

She also noted the increased number of patients attending WRAD’s expanded general practice.

“Initially people have used the general practice as an emergency appointment but we are now beginning to see return clients and their families,” she said.

Treasurer Chris Kol said the surplus of $204,603 was a welcome improvement on a $71,000 deficit the previous year that was largely caused by the investment in expanding medical services.

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