• Tristan Angelini

Why better access to alcohol and drug treatment is necessary to end homelessness




For many years now, governments all around the world are finding ways on how to completely end homelessness. Not only because it makes a country look bad, but because people deserve a better home and a better life. It’s a basic necessity, to begin with. However, there are factors at play why homelessness exists and why it’s become a huge problem.


People who are currently experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness are among Australia’s most socially and economically disadvantaged. Across Australia, governments are funding different programs to help those in need of a permanent place to stay. But is it possible to solve this problem without looking at the external factors? Just like if you want a business to succeed, you will need to first identify the things outside of it that could contribute to its success or failure.


By 2021, the federal government of Victoria promises its residents to provide them with better access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment. Time and time again, experts have maintained that one of the biggest factors affecting a person’s ability to keep a job and house is their mental health. When you say mental health, it involves not just the mental aspect but as well as the emotional, psychological, social well-being of a person. It affects the way someone thinks and acts. When mental health is afflicted, the quality of life follows. Two of the major reasons for poor mental health are prolonged exposure to substance abuse and other addictions. This is something the government is taking very seriously, which is absolutely great news.


The Andrews Labor Government has pledged a $52.1 million investment to support the initiative in giving Victorians new residential rehabilitation facilities. These facilities will provide care to an additional 900 Victorians every year in areas such as Gippsland, Hume, and Barwon regions.


According to the media release, facilities will be established to provide a “structured therapeutic and home-like environment where people experiencing addiction can develop coping skills.” Any underlying issues will hopefully be addressed at the same time because this is necessary to overcome their alcohol and other drug addiction.


Aside from the ones mentioned, a youth-specific facility will also be built in Traralgon. This rehabilitation facility will be able to welcome 20 individuals aged 16 to 20 years old, who are also going through alcohol and drug addiction. This program will also help these young people reintegrate back into the community, and at the same time have access to educational and vocational training necessary to find employment.


Construction of these projects will commence early this year. According to a released statement, “The residential rehabilitation facilities are part of the Victorian Government’s implementation of wide-ranging reforms across the alcohol and drug sector, including more than $180 million as part of the Ice Action Plan and $87 million through the Drug Rehabilitation Plan.” The plan is that by end of 2021, all three facilities will be completely operational.

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