Treatment Services for People with Methamphetamine Dependence

Auditor General's overview

Dependency on drugs, legal or illegal, affects many people and can devastate individuals, families and communities. It can lead to people losing their jobs, homes, health and their lives. Methamphetamine dependency has become widespread, with methamphetamine making up 90% by weight of all illicit drugs used in the state, and often linked with violence and crime.

Since 2016, Western Australia has had a Methamphetamine Strategy and Plan and a Methamphetamine Taskforce to address the problem. The aim has been to limit access to the drug, educate people about the risks involved, and help people overcome the problems that come from its use. The Government recently released the Taskforce’s report…



Video summary

Duration 1:46

Report content

Introduction and background
Methamphetamine (meth) use can have serious implications for users, their families and the community. A stimulant, meth is often used continuously over several days in what is known as a ‘binge’, disrupting the patterns of everyday life and work.
Audit conclusion
Following a well-run expansion of services in accordance with the WA Methamphetamine Strategy, the Mental Health Commission (MHC) has increased access to treatment in areas of need.
Key findings
The MHC has effectively managed the expansion of meth treatment services required by the WA Methamphetamine Strategy and Methamphetamine Action Plan.
To enable the Mental Health Commission to better evaluate delivery and outcomes as it continues to expand services, it should: 1.Review and finalise its information and reporting requirements for all contracted providers, including waitlist information.
Response from the Mental Health Commission
The Mental Health Commission acknowledges that methamphetamine use remains a significant concern within the Western Australian community, and remains committed to the development and implementation of efforts to preventing methamphetamine related problems...
Audit focus and scope
This audit assessed the availability, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment services for people with meth dependency. It focused on 2 key questions.
More services are available and used, but not everyone has access to treatment where and when they need it
In 2016, the MHC ran an efficient tender process that opened the market to appropriate new providers and expanded the options available.
The MHC’s limited use of performance data means it cannot be sure it is getting best value for money
The MHC’s funding of AOD services is significant. It contracts 41 providers engaged through 115 contracts to deliver services to those seeking alcohol or drug treatment.