'Clearly more support was needed': David Littleporud MP at the Lives Lived Well event in Kingaroy.
'Clearly more support was needed': David Littleporud MP at the Lives Lived Well event in Kingaroy. Matt Collins

Record number of drug users reach out for help

ALMOST 1000 people reached out to Lives Lived Well for drug or alcohol support in the Darling Downs and South Burnett regions over the past year, a 50 per cent increase on the year prior.

Lives Lived Well clinical services manager for southwest Queensland James Curtain said the increase was partly due to the expansion of Lives Lived Well's regional services, which had enabled more people to be supported.

Mr Curtain was speaking at the opening of their new larger space for Lives Lived Well at 95 Youngman St, Kingaroy.

Also speaking at the opening was Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud.

"Last year I held a community ice forum in Kingaroy and it was clear more support was needed to help tackle ice and addiction," he said.

"That's why I secured Federal Government funding for an additional clinical worker for a better targeted approach in the Kingaroy region."

"As a father of three boys, the ice scourge scares me because I've heard the heartbreaking stories of parents who watch helplessly as their children suffer the horrific consequences of addiction - that's why a targeted approach is so important and why I'm so passionate about better services in rural communities, like the South Burnett."

Speaking about the service, State Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington praised the hard work of the Lives Lived Well team.

"Lives Lived Well offer an essential service here in the South Burnett and I'd like to thank the Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud for his advocacy in ensuring ongoing funding for these important programs," she said.

"Unfortunately, there is a high demand for these services in our region, so it is good to know we have the dedicated staff of Lives Lived Well available locally and ready to help."

Mr Curtain thanked both State and Federal governments for their ongoing funding support of the various programs as well as the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN for their support, under the Australian Government's PHN Program.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt said mental health, alcohol and other drugs continue to be priority areas for the PHN with the region having the highest percentage nationally of clients self-reporting current anxiety and the fourth highest self-reporting current depression.

"Lives Lived Well offer invaluable services to people living in our communities needing mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs support and this new space will ensure more people can be supported," she said.

Lives Lived Well is a not for profit drug and alcohol support service which offers free counselling and support in Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Toowoomba, Chinchilla, Warwick, Gatton, Tara and Dalby as well as free outreach services to surrounding areas.

Releasing its annual data for the Darling Downs region at today's Kingaroy opening, Lives Lived Well reported the following in comparison with the previous year:

- More women sought support, an increase of 23 per cent to 62 per cent

- More people sought help for methamphetamines (ice) as their primary drug of concern

- Fewer people sought help for alcohol as their primary drug of concern.

Cannabis remained the primary drug of concern for most people seeking help at Lives Lived Well Darling Downs.

Mr Curtain said the increase in people seeking help for methamphetamines was a trend seen by other Lives Lived Well services across Queensland.

People experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol or who have mental health concerns, can call Lives Lived Well on 1300 727 957.