Initiatives to enhance public health commended
Penington Institute – the Melbourne-based drug research and education organisation – has commended the Andrews Government for substance use initiatives in its 2016-17 Budget.
John Ryan, CEO of Penington Institute said that the Budget contains some serious forward steps in enhancing community health and safety in relation to substance use.
“Penington Institute compliments the Victorian Government for its commitment to introducing real time prescription monitoring,” Mr Ryan said.
“The recently released Coroner’s Court statistics about overdoses of prescription opioids make the scale of the problem clear. The real time prescription monitoring initiative has real potential to save lives.
“However, there is still a vital need for holistic care. The health sector must remain vigilant about the unintended consequences of real time prescription monitoring. There is the very real possibility of people changing their drug use and increasing the risk of overdose,” said Mr Ryan.
“We therefore call for comprehensive evaluation of the real time prescription monitoring system.
“We also call for clear and broad communication of the changes to those who will be most affected.”
Mr Ryan commented that the announcement of funding for the next stage of the Premier’s Ice Action Plan is also to be commended.
“Expanded treatment facilities are welcomed as is the enhanced training for frontline workers, along with the other Ice Action Plan initiatives,” said Mr Ryan.
“We cannot forget about the importance of public health and safety initiatives in reducing the harms caused to people and communities who are affected by drug use.”
Media contact – Penington Institute:
Sophie Marcard 03 8662 3808 or 0400 089 653 and firstname.lastname@example.org