There has been a spike in children calling Australia’s family and drug support helpline seeking support while their parents struggle with addiction, ahead of an extra $900,000 in government funds to bolster the service.
The two-decade-old Family Drug Support Australia has been given the federal funds, coinciding with International Family Drug Support Day on Monday, amid a four-year $800 million government blitz to tackle drug and alcohol issues.
Last year, more than 25,000 people phoned the service for assistance, Family Drug Support chief executive Tony Trimingham said. The phone line has 140 volunteers and financial support in the past has come from some state governments and, more recently, a separate program run by the organisation secured $2 million in federal funding.
“We didn’t have any major expectations when we applied [for funding],” Mr Trimingham said. “This will make a major difference for us, we can get volunteers into different regions.”