New system to simplify search for help with alcohol and drugs

By Jackson Graham

October 6, 2021

Greg Hunt
Health minister Greg Hunt. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australia has its first online directory offering tailored support to people experiencing harm from alcohol or other drugs, the federal government claims.  

Not-for-profit the Alcohol and Drug Foundation says about 71% of people find it difficult to access alcohol and drug support information.

The online resource, called Path2Help, is designed to simplify the search for help seekers navigating through a labyrinth of 7000 services. 

It asks people 11 personal questions and then automatically links them with appropriate help. 

The federal government gave $3.9 million to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation for the portal in the 2019-20 budget, and announced its finalisation on Tuesday. 

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of drug-related death in Australia. In 2018, alcohol use contributed to 4.5% of the total burden of disease in Australia.

Meanwhile, about nine million Australians aged 14 and over in 2019 reported taking an illicit substance at some point in their lifetime, while 3.4 million Australians said they had in the past 12 months.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the program was responding to difficulties Australians faced in knowing which service could help them. 

“Many Australians don’t know where to turn for help or what questions to ask when they or a loved one have substance abuse, misuse or addiction problems,” Hunt said.

“Path2Help will make navigating the system easier and will provide Australians with information and resources to help understand alcohol and other drug use, learn how to start difficult conversations with their loved ones and links to facts about drug use.”

The foundation is also using the grant money to bolster services available to the friends and families of people who use drugs and alcohol.


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