A TAMWORTH mother has launched an impassioned plea to build a drug and alcohol rehab in town after she claims her son slipped through the cracks without a dedicated service on the ground.
Narelle Langfield has now joined the call to have a drug and alcohol service established in town.
She was spurred on by the harrowing ordeal of her son Jason and his journey with addiction which culminated in him being found barely alive in his home after weeks without contact.
“Here he is dying in hospital with an irreversible brain injury which could have been prevented if he had been hospitalised,” she said.
“It is the most beautiful gentle soul and he has just been left to die like a vagrant, but I love him.”
Mrs Langfield said the city simply needed to get the services.
It comes weeks after Tamworth Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Jeff Bacon called on contenders of all political stripes to join together and rally for a rehab service.
Mrs Langfield said the issue needed to rise above politics.
“The money spent on political advertising could have built this centre,” she said.
The health advocate has a track record in Tamworth playing a key role in lobbying for the North West Cancer Centre to be built and helping circle a 13,000 signature petition to “build a better Banksia” mental health unit.
She suggested it was somewhat easier to get the cancer centre over the line compared to the fight for a rehab unit.
“I had to go away and have my treatment 16 years ago, last year two of my sisters, a cousin, so many of my friends, now my mother, she is going to have her treatment here,” she said
“Why is my life more important than my son’s?”
Mr Bacon said minor parties could make a difference in the political parley on drug and addiction rehabilitation.
He said Tamworth couldn’t afford to wait until late next year for action.
“What people need to know is the NSW Parliament has already conducted an inquiry into drug rehabilitation services in the bush,” he said.
“The key recommendation was for government to ‘significantly increase funding to drug and alcohol-related health services.
“This needs to happen now. They are hardly any services available around Tamworth, particularly for early intervention.”
Last month, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced $365,000 had been secured for an interior upgrade of Banksia and balked at claims funding for an extensive upgrade would be withheld until his election campaign.
Mr Anderson was contacted for comment.