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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5147 ..


Dr Maxwell has significant experience and expertise from Chicago in the prescribing of naloxone to non-medical personnel in order to reverse the effects of heroin overdoses. We discussed both that issue and a needle and syringe program in Corrective Services institutions today.

Alongside this, as the government considers the next steps in relation to the commitments made under the corrections health plan, I will be meeting with organisations, unions and other experts, which will feed in to the information considered by government prior to making a decision.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Porter?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what are the existing drug and alcohol programs currently operating in the AMC?

MS GALLAGHER: There is a range of drug treatment and support services currently provided to prisoners in the Alexander Maconochie Centre. These services include abstinence-based programs, a comprehensive methadone program, as well as education programs with a harm reduction focus. Services are provided by ACT Health and Corrective Services as well as a range of community organisations, including DIRECTIONS ACT, Toora Women Inc, Gugan Gulwan, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of the ACT, the Salvation Army, Canberra Recovery Service, Canberra City Addiction Support Service and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Services. Solaris, the therapeutic community operating in the AMC, is jointly managed by Corrective Services and ADFACT.

For the information of members, the process is that when prisoners are admitted to the AMC the corrections health program provides a comprehensive assessment of each prisoner. Part of this assessment is a drug and alcohol assessment. Clients of the health service who require opioid replacement are inducted or maintained on the methadone program. Clients of the health service who use other drugs—that is, alcohol or cannabis—are started on a medicated withdrawal pack.

All clients are offered blood-borne virus screening on admission. There is a dedicated blood-borne virus nurse who is rostered three days a week who carries out pre and post-test counselling and screening and facilitates medical officer feedback for the results. Clients are also offered hepatitis B vaccination as required.

There is also an Aboriginal liaison officer that visits the AMC regularly. The impact program works with pregnant women at the AMC, and a nurse liaison provides services to the OTS clients in the jail, particularly related to transitioning them back into the community. The alcohol and drug program also provides AOD training for AMC staff. I think you can see there that there is a range of measures already in place to support prisoners.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, a supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.


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