News and media

Media Release
7 March 2019

Odyssey welcomes action to treat addiction as a health issue

Odyssey has welcomed the Government’s amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act tabled today in Parliament. The proposed changes to the Act are an important step, signalling a commitment to tangibly address drug-related harms in our communities, and reduce stigma and discrimination for people living with addiction challenges.

“We applaud today’s announcement, which builds on the promise of He Ara Oranga – The Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry and supports a health-based approach to reduce drug harm in our communities,” said Fiona Trevelyan, Odyssey CEO.

“As an organisation we endorse all efforts that mean people living with addiction challenges are not incarcerated, nor stigmatised for their drug use, but rather supported to access the most appropriate health and social services for them.”

Today’s amendment is a good step towards reducing the marginalisation of some of our most vulnerable populations. It acknowledges a need for a more concerted harm minimisation approach and recognises the long-term impacts experienced by whānau and communities when people who use drugs are not able to access appropriate services.

As a treatment provider, Odyssey welcomes this bold first step to bring He Ara Oranga recommendations to fruition.

“We remain committed to focus on the things we know are working for people whose lives are impacted by drug use and, as an organisation, we will continue to develop and invest in services that work," said Ms Trevelyan.

"We hope this Bill signals a strengthened commitment from the Government to be brave and creative in how it supports organisations that deliver crucial education, early intervention and treatment services.  We eagerly await more funding for treatment so that all New Zealanders can access the services that will enable them to live life to the fullest.” 



Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries, please contact Nicki Paull, Programme Manager - Communications and Engagement, 021 806 357.