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Date posted: 30 April 2014
The Napthine government will attempt to tackle the ice epidemic hitting Victoria with $34 million to boost alcohol and other drug-support services.
The new government money, to be announced in the state budget on May 6 and to be paid over four years, will be targeted at Gippsland, the Grampians and the Hume region as well as outer-metropolitan suburbs.
Mental Health Minister, Mary Wooldridge, said the money would support services for an extra 2000 people a year in response to growing use of ice and other drugs.
A new four-bed ward for mothers withdrawing from alcohol and other drug use will also be funded in next week's budget, Ms Wooldridge said, allowing mothers to stay with their babies for the first time.
UnitingCare ReGen Chief Executive, Laurence Alvis, said his organisation proposed the $4 million unit after noticing a gap in services for alcohol and other drug addicted mothers with young babies.
Mr Alvis said the new unit would cater for women in the weeks and months after they gave birth, in situations where they had continued using alcohol or other drugs while pregnant, or had stayed clean during pregnancy but 'fallen back into old habits' afterwards.
Source: The Age