Summit on the horizon for addiction services

REGIONAL SUMMIT: Substance Misuse Limestone Coast project officer Sophie Bourchier. Picture: file.

Aidan Curtis

SUBSTANCE Misuse Limestone Coast (SMLC) is looking to bring back its Alcohol and Other Drug Regional Summit after the success of its first event in 2021.

SMLC project officer Sophie Bourchier said the first Summit was a great success and they wanted to keep building on it.

“We always thought it was a good idea to get all of the agencies and allied health together in one room and talk about the great work agencies do, but also to identify the gaps,” Ms Bourchier said.

“Everybody agreed [in 2021] one of the major gaps was there was no detox in the Mount Gambier Hospital for those who required detox from their drug of choice, particularly alcohol.

“Instead they had to travel to Adelaide to access that service because alcohol detox is a dangerous procedure that needs to be medically managed.”

Ms Bourchier said that first Summit helped push the then opposition Labor government to commit to drug and alcohol detox beds for the hospital, which was “an absolute bonus”.

She said the plan was now to make the Summit a regular event to keep agencies up to date and to continue identifying gaps in treatment in the region.

“When gaps are identified, agencies can put their hand up and say they have funding to do that when other agencies may not be aware,” she said.

“It would be great to have it annually, but we’ll just have to wait and see if we can naturally do it again in 2024.

“We’re looking towards the end of the year, in November.”

More details on a Summit for 2023 will be released later in the year.