With the nearest detox centre almost 1000km away, an online petition to be sent to the NSW government’s upper house by the Alcohol and Other Drug Detox and Rehabilitation Facility Steering Committee is looking for signatures in a bid to get a dedicated centre for Broken Hill.
The ePetition has been created as a call to the state government to invest in and provide funding for a community-based alcohol and other drug withdrawal, detoxification, and rehabilitation centre in the Silver City
The Steering Committee hopes to bring attention to what they say is the dire need for a residential facility to support people through withdrawal and rehabilitation from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
The nearest NSW residential facility is almost 850km away in Wagga Wagga.
Chair of the Steering Committee, Joanie Sanderson, says the group has been trying for three years to get a detox and rehabilitation centre in Broken Hill. She hopes 10,000 people will sign the petition.
Ms Sanderson said they had asked for a meeting with both the Premier and Health Minister and it looks like they will get to talk to the latter, Ryan Park.
“There’s been survey after survey and we know we definitely need a centre here, so we’ve just been trying all the different avenues to see if we can get one,” Ms Sanderson told the Truth.
“We still haven’t got the money [allocated], but we still have hope that this is going to happen.
“The Far West region covers such a huge area – some 147,000sqkm which is 19 per cent of the land mass of the state of NSW, of which Broken Hill’s servicing the whole area.
“The hospital’s already stressed because of the lack of staff for services and it’s just putting so much more emphasis and pressure on something that’s already overloaded with trying to help people in the community.
“We’re not just making something up, this has actually come from the community. And I haven’t met anybody that doesn’t think that we need one in Broken Hill.
“We don’t want the next generation of young people coming up to be caught in that cycle of alcohol and other drugs.”
“It’s been a long haul, but hopefully if we can get enough money and get something happening here, then we can have our own facility.
“We don’t want the next generation of young people coming up to be caught in that cycle of alcohol and other drugs. We want to see changes because we don’t want lives to be going down the gurgler.”
The group encourages everyone to get online or find an outlet with a paper petition to sign and make this centre happen for Broken Hill. To sign the ePetition, visit https://bit.ly/3pfn2IR