Prevention and treatment
Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs prevention refers to measures that stop or delay the uptake of drug use and protect against progression to more frequent or regular use amongst at risk populations.
The Queensland Government supports a range of government and non-government agencies throughout Queensland to provide services that prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use and harm.
Public and non-government alcohol and other drugs services work together to provide treatment-focussed interventions such as screening and assessment, early and brief intervention, counselling, support, case management, group work, referral and continued care services.
Public alcohol and other drugs services and many general practitioners provide pharmacotherapy support services including opioid replacement therapy, supported by community pharmacies as well as the provision of sterile injecting equipment through the Queensland Needle and Syringe Program.
Some Queensland public hospitals and non-government services also provide inpatient withdrawal support and management with some services providing outclient or day program models.
In addition to a range of outclient services, the non-government (and private) sector also provides a range of residential rehabilitation services.
Drug diversion programs
The Queensland Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative is a Queensland State Government initiative aimed at diverting persons who have committed a minor drug offence into alcohol and drug treatment. It is comprised of 3 programs:
- The Police Diversion Program for individuals arrested for possession of 50 grams or less of cannabis, and/or possessing a thing for use, or which has been used, for smoking cannabis
- The Court Diversion Program aimed at people apprehended with small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use
- The Queensland Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (QMERIT) program aimed at individuals charged with offences committed in conjunction with demonstrable illicit drug use who volunteer to undergo treatment while on bail.
These drug diversion programs aim to:
- provide people with incentives to address their drug use early, in many cases before incurring a criminal record
- increase the number of illicit drug users diverted into drug education, assessment and treatment
- reduce the number of people appearing before the courts for possession of small quantities of illicit drugs.