A four-pronged approach will be used to tackle South Australia’s ice scourge, with an $8 million strategy for extra treatment services, police investigations and education being unveiled by the State Government.
Methamphetamine use in South Australia has tripled in the past four years, according to the State Government.
It said the strategy called “Stop the Hurt” was based on community need, with a focus on regional areas.
As part of the strategy, $3.6 million will be spent to boost the number of outpatient counselling appointments by 50 per cent, and the number of rehabilitation beds will be increased by at least 15 in regional areas.
Police are in line for an extra $1 million for covert operations and $500,000 will be spent training more drug dogs.
Another $600,000 will go towards education and prevention strategies.
Michael White from the South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services said the extra resources were crucial.
“We really welcome this as a good first step in increasing the amount of services that are being provided to treat people,” he said.
Not enough support for ice addicts
Ally is from country South Australia and a mother of a 37-year-old ice addict.
She said the drug had changed her son into a completely different person, and treatment options were in short supply.
“To actually have to bring them to town to get into rehab and then be told that you’ve got to wait three months — they need help now not in three months time because then the cycle begins again,” she said.
“It’s absolutely devastating to see a family member destroy themselves.”
Premier Jay Weatherill said the strategy was based on recommendations from its Ice Taskforce, but changes would be made if necessary.
“If it’s working we’ll continue to invest in it, if it’s shown to not be successful in certain areas obviously we’ll continue to modify it,” he said.
Mr Weatherill said the Federal Government had only allocated South Australia $15.5 million to tackle ice use and was not working collaboratively with State health authorities.
This piece by Angelique Donnellan was first seen on ‘ABC News’ June 15 2017.