'It's been needed for a long time', help for local addicts
ROCKHAMPTON'S soon to be constructed drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre could be the light that guides addicts away from a life dependent on drugs, according to Jenny Wayman.
The alcohol and other drugs facilitator has run the First Step Program at the Salvation Army in Rockhampton for the past three years.
While her program has helped almost four people get and stay sober, she said the rehabilitation centre was what the community really needed.
She said if her small program could help, the positive affects the rehabilitation centre could have on Central Queensland were endless.
"It's been needed for a long time,” Mrs Wayman said.
A new rehabilitation centre will ensure addicts returning home from rehab have a network of support to rely on locally, according to Mrs Wayman.
"There is definitely people that really need to go to rehab, but (if they leave town to attend rehab) sadly when they come back home they fall into the same pattern,” Mrs Wayman said.
"They don't have that follow up support and that's a really important thing for people coming out of addiction.”
A Queensland Health spokesperson said local addicts would be put first.
"All Queensland residential rehabilitation services accept referrals from across the state,” a spokesperson said.
"Referrals to the new facility will be prioritised for people living in the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Mackay and Central West Hospital and Health Service regions.”
The location of the facility is still unknown, but construction is planned for 2020.
The facility will provide residential rehabilitation, withdrawal management, residential rehabilitation for parents and families, and will have capacity for non-residential rehabilitation services.
But in the meantime, local addicts can access Mrs Wayman's program, which focusses on what addiction is and how to understand it, how addiction changes behaviour, examining poor decisions and learning how to take the next step.
She meets with the group of about six once a week and also has eight external community members trying to get or stay sober.
The First Step Program is a "Step by Step” journey of education, intervention and recovery for people with addiction, and their family and friends.
Mrs Wayman said the program was open users and former users who needed support.
"The very first step is admitting the problem, when they take the step they come into the group,” she said.
The group meet every Tuesday night at the Salvation Army in Park St.