Thousands are waiting for drug and alcohol treatment. For Chloe, the long wait for help almost took her life

Thousands are waiting for drug and alcohol treatment. For Chloe, the long wait for help almost took her life

When Chloe was told she’d have to wait 12 months for a mattress at a drug and alcohol rehab centre, she spiralled.  

She was homeless, in her early twenties, and struggling with a drug addiction that experienced lasted because she was 18.

She discovered herself likely in and out of disaster accommodation and was desperate for support but failed to know exactly where to start off.  

“I utilised a Google look for, ‘How to halt using prescription drugs, how to get off methamphetamine,'” she instructed Hack. 

Advocacy team Rethink Dependancy estimates about a single in 4 Australians will struggle with alcoholic beverages, medications or gambling at some position in their life time. 

Many hesitate to search for assist simply because of the stigma, and when they do reach out, the hold out lists to get help can make an addiction even more durable to kick. 

When Chloe eventually received linked to a assistance employee, she uncovered there was a 3-month wait for a detox bed to get off the substances, and yet another 12-thirty day period wait for a household rehab mattress the place she could get better and rebuild.  

Chloe laying in a medical bed due to her drug addiction.
Chloe’s dependancy observed her stop up in hospital. (Equipped: Chloe)

This lousy news despatched her into a dim spot. 

“Truthfully, my drug use improved much more close to that time, for the reason that of the thoughts of hopelessness and the inner thoughts of currently being trapped … And finally, that guide to an intentional overdose mainly because I just required to conclusion it all.” 

Tales like this are depressingly prevalent, with waitlists to accessibility general public drug or alcoholic beverages cure by now extended, and in some regions, show up to have been getting extended. 

For many, the practical experience of asking for support and then becoming informed they will have to hold out months or months sends them down an even tougher path. 

The lengthy hold out for detox and rehab beds 

Typically, if a man or woman needs to show up at household rehab, they to start with have to go by withdrawal administration — or detox — at a medical facility.  

Professor Alison Ritter, a drug policy skilled with UNSW, said Australia wanted a system that could answer additional right away to what a human being essential, “fairly than placing them onto some method of ready.” 

“The hassle is, it is really difficult to get a detox mattress,” she explained. 

“And it’s even more challenging to get a [residential] rehab bed, and you’ve got bought to get all those two beds to line up.”