CAHMA is a unique service within the ACT, which operates on a peer based, person centred philosophy, which means we encourage and support people to speak on their own behalf and to participate directly in improving their lives.
CAHMA exists to promote the health and human rights of people who use, or have used, illicit drugs. We believe that people who use drugs should be treated with dignity and respect, both as human beings and as consumers of health and social services. CAHMA works to reduce the discrimination and stigma experienced by drug users. We also try to instill a sense of worth and pride in people who use ilicit drugs.
Self-stigmatisation is a means by which people who use drugs are constantly kept in a state of self imposed alienation from broader society; this is something which CAHMA is continually attempting to address through education and community development initiatives designed to engender a sense of self worth and of community inclusiveness and integration.
As a peer based group we have a first-hand knowledge and understanding of the issues encountered by people who use illicit (and other) drugs. Under the 'CAHMA Services' tab above, you can read about some of the activities we do to make the most of this understanding in our efforts to make the lives of drug users safer, healthier and happier. We do this through providing peer support, education, representation and advocacy. We promote improved health for drug users and, through the provision of education and information, seek to reduce harms associated with illicit, injecting and other drug use. By representing drug users on decision making committees, we provide a drug user perspective and voice in the development of policies and programs that impact on the lives and health of illicit drug users.
CAHMA provides information on Alcohol and Other Drug Services, as well as various other government and community services. We can assist in accessing the most relevant service for your needs, can provide referral to any service you may require and will advocate for you where necessary.