We Help Ourselves

Ed, I write to make readers aware of the important work of We Help Ourselves – a New South Wales and Queensland based organisation working on the front line with ice, amphetamines, cannabis, heroin, alcohol and other drugs. Since its beginnings back in 1972, we have been able to help 40,000 people from many different types of backgrounds and are one of the largest not-for-profits working in the drug and alcohol sector. I write specifically to suggest to readers that if you know someone who is having a battle with ice, cannabis, alcohol or other types of drugs, what is most important is that they seek treatment and reach out. The reality is that treatment is effective and it is available, and despite the belief that treatment options for amphetamines are unavailable or limited, this is simply not the case. At WHOS we have a strong view that for every person you help with treatment, you are potentially helping all their families and saving tens of thousands of dollars for taxpayers by keeping people out of prison. We know that when you treat people with drug and alcohol problems, this can and does lead to a reduction of re-offending rates and therefore a reduction in justice costs. It may surprise readers to learn that the average cost per prisoner, per day now sits at $305 compared to $120 a day to fund a treatment program bed. Getting people into treatment programs is always going to be better than putting people behind bars. We provide a safe place for some of the most marginalised and damaged members of our community and help them develop new pathways. However, to keep these programs we need real and sustained increases in the investments in our sector. We quite frankly are overwhelmed by the public need and we want to meet more of the demand. I close by reminding readers, every journey starts with one step and it is never ever too late to start on the road to recovery. Garth Popple, Executive Director, We Help Ourselves.