Youth addiction services access hits target

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says young people are now able to access specialist help for alcohol and drug problems more quickly.

“The most recent data from DHBs shows that 81 per cent of youth aged 19 or under were seen within three weeks of contacting a youth alcohol and drug service – that’s an eight per cent lift compared to 2012,” says Dr Coleman.

“This means the sector is currently exceeding the target of 80 per cent set for mid-2015.

“It is a tribute to the hard work of staff that we have achieved the 80 per cent target a year early. We cannot be complacent, we need to maintain momentum.”

Work to improve access to Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services is one of 26 initiatives that are part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.

The Government has invested $62 million over four years to support young people with or at risk of developing mild to moderate mental health issues.

“It is important that young people can access dedicated drug and alcohol treatment services when they need them,” says Dr Coleman.

“We want our youth to live healthy, addiction free lives so they are able to complete their education and have the resilience they need as they move into adulthood.”