Those receiving methadone treatment or who have an opioid dependency in Bourke are being supported by a program in which aims to provide better care to rural locations.
The Buvidal Program is a partnership initiative between the Bila Muuji Drug and Alcohol Network, the Western Local Health District (WLHD) and the Bourke Aboriginal Medical Service.
Bila Muuji Drug and Alcohol Network manager Nathan Frank said the partnership would hopefully reduce some of the issues preventing people from receiving the right care.
"People in regional locations deserve to have the same access to specialist treatment as cities do, and our regional health services, such as Bourke Aboriginal Health Services, are working hard to make it happen," Mr Frank said.
"The issue of access to appropriate treatments for clients with opioid dependencies was an issue BAHS brought to our attention. By working together, we have developed a model of care that we hope will be a game-changer for the community.
"The WLHD has already started training local health professionals and we will be looking at ways to inform the community on this new option for treatment. Drug and alcohol misuse is very complex. It can be very tricky to support someone who may have an addiction."
Helen Gotch of the Western Local Health District said they were impressed by the level of support provided in Bourke by non-governmental organisations, and the Buvidal Program was like the icing on the cake.
"A gap is soon to be addressed and closed," Mrs Gotch said.
Drug and Alcohol specialist Dr James Bell recently visited Bourke as part of the program to explore the best ways of delivering support, evaluating how it's experienced and learning about how it could be improved.
"I wanted to talk to BAHS staff, hear what the problems were, and how to provide culturally appropriate support. I also wanted to hear from community elders about it," Dr Bell said.
Mr Frank said they were very lucky to have such an experienced health professional such as Dr Bell working with the program.
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