ACT Peer Based Drug User Organisation Represent injecting/illicit drug users and people on pharmacotherapies –our peers/ our community Organisational philosophy is user/peer-centred that supports the rights of our community to self organize and form peer based structures and processes in order to reduce drug related harm
Promote and protect the health and human rights Challenge the social and legal barriers to the health and well-being by ensuring access to the resources and means to reduce drug related harm Maintain an active public voice on issues affecting our community Provide avenues through which the interests and needs of our community can be represented
Representation and Participation ACT Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy Implementation & Evaluation Group; AMC 18 month Evaluation of AOD Services Advisory Committee; ATODA – ACT Peak Body ATOD Sector; Opioid Treatment & Advisory Committee (OTAC); Alcohol and Other Drug Workers Group; Various Government Inquiries and Local and National Strategies
PHAAT- Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Action Group. An independent, unfunded group of pharmacotherapy consumers Aims include improving quality of pharmacotherapy treatment PHAAT Consumer Representative on OTAC Advocates on behalf of consumers experiencing problems with their pharmacotherapy treatment Mentoring for consumer Participated and organized training and information workshops
CAHMA and PHAAT had considerable input into ACT Pharmacotherapy Guidelines with positive inclusions and changes: Increased numbers of Take-Away’s for methadone and buprenorphine consumers Urine testing is not mandatory and is determined on an individual basis by prescribing doctor in consultation with the consumer
Many of the changes to the ACT Pharmacotherapy guidelines and to the program are very significant in terms of the positive outcomes for consumers, allowing greater flexibility in dosing, increased numbers of take away’s etc. One the most significant positive outcomes of this process was that consumer were engaged as important stakeholders in the constructive debate, negotiation and compromises that were part of the process of writing the new guidelines.
Acceptance and realization from other stakeholders that consumer orgs and consumer reps have very similar goals and aims for pharmacotherapy consumers as the other members of OTAC. Similar goals being providing a quality, safe and effective service where clients of the are assisted to achieve the best possible outcome from their treatment.
Happy, empowered, satisfied consumer are more likely to be retained in treatment and other considering treatment may be influenced to seek treatment. In the ACT an important cultural shift has been the acceptance of the importance of consumer input and representation and the acknowledgement that this input has the ability to improve the program for everyone, improve the relationships and significantly influence and effect a positive treatment experience and outcome for everyone involved with the program; consumers, providers, prescribers, pharmacist, nurses and other support and ancillary staff.