Young people aged 10 to 19 with drug and alcohol problems will get earlier access to treatment with more than $257,000 to boost support services on the Northern Rivers. 

Northern Rivers Nationals MPs Thomas George, Ben Franklin, Chris Gulaptis and Geoff Provest today announced a $257,659 contract has been awarded to Non-Government Organisation (NGO) The Buttery to deliver social work and psychology treatment services.

“Every young person deserves to feel loved and supported and have the opportunity to succeed in life,” the Members said.

The Members said the new services will assist families across the North Coast.

“We are committed to tackling alcohol and drug misuse and ensuring that our young people receive the same quality healthcare as anyone else in the State,” the Members said.

The new services will focus on young people who are experiencing moderate to severe substance use, or who are homeless, have mental health concerns, or are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island descent and those who have had contact with the justice system. 

Across the State, the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government has awarded contracts to 10 NGOs to provide new withdrawal and counselling services, predominantly in regional and rural areas. 

The services will provide tailored care, including medical and mental health services and housing and employment support, as well as help young people reconnect with family where possible.

This announcement is part of a broader $75 million drug package over four years to tackle alcohol and drug misuse in our communities.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has committed a record $208 million towards alcohol and other drug services in the 2017-18 Budget. 

“The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government has spent more on drugs and alcohol programs and prevention in one year than Labor spent in its entire last term,” Mr Hazzard said.