About 26 years ago Dr George O’Neil, an Irish born Obstetrician who has worked in many remote parts of the world, decided to start an addiction treatment clinic in Subiaco, and this led to the establishment of the Fresh Start addiction treatment services. CEO Jeff Claughton came along to tell us all about it, and it was an eye-opener for all present. From modest beginnings Fresh Start now has two sites in Subiaco – a GP Clinic in Townshend Road and a Treatment Clinic in York Street – plus a residential rehab facility in Northam and 6 houses around the metro area of Perth. The process starts with Assessment, then moves to Treatment, after which Support is provided until Completion is achieved. Medical services are bulk-billed but clients pay for medicines including 2 implants which cost around $3,200. Eighty per cent of clients are on Centrelink, so it is not surprising that the debt write-off figure is very large. Jeff explained that Fresh Start must rely heavily on donations, but these were badly affected by the Covid pandemic. The average age of clients is 34 years, many of whom have been addicted for around 10 years. Recovery from opiate addiction is a long-term project which may take five to ten years. Jeff went on to outline various types of addiction including amphetamines and alcohol, and it was interesting to learn that some of the medications are similar to the actual problem drugs. An example of this is the Naltrexone implants which are manufactured in Subiaco and which usually last for about six months. There is no Commonwealth funding at all as the Federal Government regards addiction as a State issue. Fresh Start is certainly an amazing service for very vulnerable people.