New addiction treatment facilities for Auckland City Mission

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New addiction treatment facilities for Auckland City Mission

Media release from prime minister Jacinda Ardern and health minister David Clark
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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Government funding to increase the number of beds available in Auckland for drug and alcohol detoxification by 50 per cent.

“A huge number of Kiwi families will have experienced the terrible harm and distress that come from alcohol or drug dependency. As a community we need to do more to support people that are living with addiction,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“We know that dedicated detoxification and treatment programmes make a significant difference. Demand for these services is high and too often people are waiting too long to get the help they need.

“To help ease that pressure, Cabinet has approved $16.7 million in one-off funding to build two floors of the Auckland City Mission’s new Mission HomeGround development.”

Currently there are a total of 20 detox beds funded in the Auckland region, which will be moved to Mission HomeGround once it is complete in two years’ time. All up it will house 30 studio units (15 medical detox beds and 15 social detox beds) – allowing for an increase of ten beds.

The $16.7 million will be drawn from money recovered under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

Health Minister Dr David Clark said the detoxification services currently provided by the Auckland City Mission are tried and true.

“They have outstanding GPs, nurse practitioners and social workers with specialist qualifications in alcohol and drug counselling, mental health, Te Ao Māori, elder care and violence and trauma.

“These new facilities will make a good service even better by creating an environment that supports recovery and wellbeing. It will feature a visitor area, access to outdoor space and a gym. Several of the units will also be designed for people with physical disabilities,” said David Clark.

“This development will help turn lives around. I can’t think of a better use of the funds recovered from the proceeds of crime than that,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Background: What is social / medical detoxification?

Detoxification is often the first step in the recovery process for people experiencing substance addiction or dependence. It involves stopping or reducing intake of the substance or substances over a period time, working towards abstinence.

Social detoxification is where this process takes place in a less controlled setting - such as in the client's own home or when additional support is required in environments such as the Auckland City Mission provides. The client is not medicated, but is assisted through the process with counselling and therapy where necessary.

Medical detoxification is where the client is closely monitored in a medical setting and medicated where necessary to ease the process. This is more likely for people whose dependence is severe, and where the uncontrolled reduction or removal of the drug is likely to cause serious harm. This is more likely with particular drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines.

The model suggested for Auckland City Mission with the two floors in close proximity would allow a 'step up/step down' model of care for clients depending on their need. Mission HomeGround's proximity to Auckland City Hospital and to the Pitt Street Ambulance Station will allow fast and efficient medical transfers where necessary. In addition, the availability of on-site addiction medicine specialists, general practitioners, practice nurses and mental health clinicians will allow those who would otherwise present to the emergency department, or require an inpatient admission, to be managed in community settings.

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