Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital marks 30 years of excellence

St Vincent’s Hospital achieves Historic Milestone in Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Sydney's St. Vincent's Hospital

One of Australia’s first and best respected drug and alcohol treatment centres celebrated a significant milestone as Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital marked its 30 years since the opening of the pioneering Rankin Court Treatment Centre.

Minister for Mental Health and Assistant Minister for Health Jai Rowell said the opiod treatment facility was a key part of St Vincent’s Alcohol and Drug Service, which has operated for around 50 years and is the largest provider of care for alcohol and drug problems in a single campus in NSW.

“The St Vincent’s Alcohol and Drug Service remains at the forefront of tackling the community’s problematic relationship with alcohol and drugs,” Minister Rowell said.

“The Service has been instrumental in driving recent NSW legislation to limit the availability of alcohol, a move which has dramatically reduced violence in the community due to alcohol misuse.

“Similarly, St Vincent’s has played a central role in responding to the community’s problems with illicit drug use over the decades.

“Since the opening of Rankin Court 30 years ago, the St Vincent’s Alcohol and Drug Service has played an important part in minimising the harms to the community stemming from various drug problems,” Minister Rowell said.

The Service delivers several inpatient and outpatient services, including;

• Inpatient care for severely unwell patients with an alcohol and drug-related diagnosis,
• Gorman House –a 20 bed residential short stay withdrawal unit,
• specialist outpatient drug and alcohol clinics including Stimulant Services, and the Rankin Court Opioid Substitution Treatment Program, and;
• State-wide telephone and internet counselling services including the NSW and ACT Quitlines, the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) and the Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS).

Rankin Court was not only the site of Australia’s first coordinated methadone clinic 30 years ago, it was also the site of Australia’s first needle and syringe exchange program, started in 1986 in the midst of Sydney’s HIV crisis. Later came the establishment of one of the first stimulant treatment centres for methamphetamine addiction.

“These initiatives have served to transform the health landscape in Australia and internationally, pioneering models for harm minimisation – which today have been replicated all over the world – and have saved countless lives over the years.”

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

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