Our CEO Jeff has commented on addiction in an ABC News article on the changes to drug availability and usage in WA since the border closures:
Jeff Claughton, chief executive of the Fresh Start Recovery Program in Subiaco, said his service had also noted an increase in people using benzodiazepines.
He said there was also a concerning increase in the use of a prescription drug called Lyrica, which is designed to treat nerve pain.
“We’re certainly seeing a lot of abuse of it whereas, pre-pandemic, it was rare to see it being used in that way,” Mr Claughton said.
But Mr Claughton said the most dramatic change had been the increase in the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.
“I think with people being locked down at home, not able to go to venues and so on, I think there was a significant increase in the use of alcohol at home,” he said.
“It’s certainly been the stories that we’ve heard from people … they’ve gone from having a wine or two at night to a bottle or two at night and really got quite worried about it.”
He said he expected the effects of the pandemic on drinking behaviour to continue long-term.