Leading health and addiction programme coordinators SMART Recovery Australia and newly established telehealth detox providers, Clean Slate Clinic will join established rural frontline advocates Sober in the Country Ltd (SITC) to form a historic national partnership to reduce alcohol-related harm in rural, regional, and remote Australia.
The partnership is uniting to address the staggering statistic that people living in remote areas are 160% more likely to be risky lifetime drinkers. The collaboration will provide telehealth specialist withdrawal and recovery services to 10,000 individuals living with alcohol dependence in rural and remote communities.
The partnership will see Sober in the Country (SITC) working towards integrating Smart Recovery’s structured peer support programs into their existing national peer support group ‘The Bush Tribe’ and Clean Slate Clinic working alongside the duo to ensure those needing supervised detox can get it via telehealth.
Sober In Country Founder Shanna Whan said: “This partnership will go a tremendously long way towards closing the completely unacceptable gaps in alcohol-related harms for all rural, regional and remote Australians just like me. We will save many lives by improving and adding to what we’re already providing through our beautiful, close-knit online rural community.” Said Shanna.
SMART Recovery CEO April Long said: “Our approach to addressing addiction is grounded in evidence and is incredibly cost-effective. We hope to see long-term investment in this partnership.” Said April.
Clean Slate Clinic CEO Pia Clinton-Tarestadsaid: “More funding is needed to reduce alcohol-related health inequalities in regional and remote Australia. Our partnership offers a complete, sustainable, scalable and integrated solution suitable for over 90% of individuals in rural and remote Australia seeking to reduce or quit drinking.” Said Pia.
As part of the partnership, Sober in the Country’s powerful peer group support program, Bush Tribe, will be bolstered with access to Smart Recovery groups. The groups feature online and face-to-face structured support to prevent relapse. There is also a focus on extending the nationally recognised #OK2SAYNO awareness campaign.
In addition, the national partnership will:
- Increase awareness amongst Australians of the impact of addiction, with a particular focus on rural and remote Australia
- Increase access to peer support, withdrawal (detox) and recovery services for all individuals struggling with addiction
- Reduce barriers to accessing support services for individuals struggling with addiction, including through the use of digital technologies
- Offer a complete solution for the vast majority of individuals in rural, regional and remote Australia seeking to reduce or quit drinking
Download the “National Partnership to reduce alcohol harm in the Bush” media release.