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Central Leader - - News -

The topic of ad­dic­tions was high on the agenda at the in­au­gu­ral Nurs­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Fo­rum held at Welling­ton nsti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy last week.

As­so­ciate Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, the Hon. Heather Roy, de­liv­ered the open­ing ad­dress and spoke about the in­creas­ing recog­ni­tion of the prob­lems fac­ing nurses and the im­por­tance of in­creas­ing un­der­stand­ing in the area of dual di­ag­no­sis within the health work­force.

“ t is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly known that il­le­gal drugs are con­sumed in large uan­ti­ties by those with se­ri­ous psy­chi­atric con­di­tions and they are, of course, the last peo­ple who should be tak­ing them. They are not alone in their drug abuse but they are of par­tic­u­lar con­cern.”

Hosted in Welling­ton by Wel­Tec, a na­tional provider of ad­dic­tions train­ing, the fo­rum fo­cused on the is­sue of ad­dic­tions with lead­ing ex­perts from Aus­trala­sia pre­sent­ing their lat­est find­ings to New Zealand nurses.

The fo­rum is the first in what is hoped to be a se­ries of con­tin­u­ing fo­rums for nurs­ing and al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the health, com­mu­nity and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor present at the event ad­vo­cated the need for nurses to have greater ac­cess to spe­cial­ist train­ing in ad­dic­tions.

With such a grow­ing de­mand in the sec­tor, the need for more skilled ad­dic­tion spe­cial­ists is clear. Nurses, of­ten right at the coal face, un­der­stand this need more than most. Nurses work­ing within emer­gency ser­vices, pub­lic and pri­vate health are af­forded a be­hind the scenes glimpse into a very real is­sue within New Zealand com­mu­ni­ties.

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