A relative lack of inpatient withdrawal units compared to drug rehabilitation beds has the potential to cause treatment delays for addicts, the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania says.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai's comments follow Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie's call for the federal government to increase the number of rehab beds across Australia.
Senator Lambie released a statement on Monday morning, urging the Morrison government to "fix" support services for people with substance abuse problems if it wanted her support for its push to drug-test welfare recipients.
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"You can't punish someone for being on drugs if they don't have the help available to get them off it," she said. "My message to the government is simple - fix the support services and you'll get my support too."
Senator Lambie has previously stated that another condition for her support for the proposal would be for federal parliamentarians to be drug-tested as well.
Ms Lai said both the state and federal governments had "done quite a lot" in the residential rehabilitation space in Tasmania.
"Our message to both state and federal governments here in the state is that while we've been incredibly welcoming of the investment that they've put into the actual residential beds, there is still a need for increased investment into the services that provide the throughcare," she said.
"A lot of people might be coming through ... the inpatient withdrawal unit before they go into a residential rehab, and those beds haven't increased despite the number of actual residential rehab beds in the community sector increasing by quite a lot.
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"So that can cause delays for people getting into treatment."
Ms Lai also said that when some people leave residential rehab in Tasmania, outreach and aftercare support was not always available.
State Mental Health and Wellbeing Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the Hodgman government was rolling out the biggest increase in drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment ever funded in Tasmania, equating to $6 million over three years to open 31 new beds.
"We know there is always more we can do," he said.
"However, this current initiative provides a structured, therapeutic residential rehabilitation environment."