NOT HAPPY: Community gathers to show their outrage for the proposed location of a rehab facility.
NOT HAPPY: Community gathers to show their outrage for the proposed location of a rehab facility. Meg Bolton

Drug rehab 'fear campaign' spreading false truths

THE "fear campaign" and lack of understanding needs to stop overshadowing how Rockhampton's first drug rehabilitation centre will help the community, according to The Salvation Army's Judy Dash.

"This is a fear campaign because no one is actually explaining to them what a rehab centre is all about," Mrs Dash said.

"People have this understanding patients will be bringing drugs and other substances (into the community).

"(But) there is strict security around it - they are frisked and all their bags are gone through to make sure they have no addictive substances."

Since the location was leaked last week thousands of residents have opposed the proposed location of the centre.

Mrs Dash said outrage was the common reaction amongst communities where a rehab facility was planned for construction, but perspective changed once the facilities were built.

"The people who are being rehabilitated want to escape from their previous life," she said.

The Salvation Army is linked to many rehabilitation centres across the state - Mrs Dash said it was typical for the patients to become part of the community where they received treatment.

In Rockhampton, the service will be a volunteer program, which will only accept patients who have shown they have started their detox journey and plan to complete it.

She stressed the rehab centre was a vital step to addressing the drug problems in Central Queensland.

The Salvation Army has provided two drug support services in Rockhampton since 2016, but Mrs Dash said there was a need for drug rehabilitation closer to home.

Giving addicts the opportunity to address their problems in their community helped them reintegrate once they were sober, according to Mrs Dash.

"For rehabilitation to happen they need to have the support of their family and loved ones around them," she said.

"Rockhampton has been calling out for this rehab centre and because its based in the community it would be lovely for the community to embrace the rehab centre."

The 42-bed facility will provide residential rehabilitation, treatment and withdrawal management.

The facility will have 32 beds for residential rehabilitation allowing people to stay on-site while accessing treatment for drug and alcohol use.

Eight beds have been allocated for the withdrawal stage and detox treatment, and two family units will be available for people to fight their addiction alongside their families.

Mrs Dash said there was no reason to protest the location because residents who feared the rehabilitation centre could have "drug labs" in their neighbourhood.

"Don't fear (it) because you don't know what your neighbour is doing, we have so many drug labs in Rockhampton... their neighbours could be one of those drug lords," Mrs Dash said.

Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Queensland Dr John Wakefield said applicants would undergo appropriate assessment to ensure they were suited to on-site treatment.

"Only people deemed as being suitable for a residential program will be admitted to the centre," he said.

"The safety and wellbeing of the community, clients and staff are top priority."

The centre will accept referrals from across the state, with priority placed on clients living in Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Mackay.



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