Minister: Drug test plan is victim blaming
A NATIONAL plan to drug test people receiving welfare is “victim blaming” and doesn’t recognise complex issues addicts have, WA Health Minister Roger Cook says.
Mr Cook today criticised the Federal Government’s proposed trial during the release of the Methamphetamine Action Plan’s (MAP) community consultation report at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH).
“My attitude is that it’s simply victim blaming and it doesn’t recognise the complexities of the issues we confront when it comes to drug addiction,” he said.
“To simply come up with a victim-blaming approach of forcing people who are impacted by drugs in relation to their economic situation doesn’t solve the problem. What we need to do is build complex solutions to complex problems.
“Beware of politicians coming to you with simple answers for complex problems.”
However, former meth user Tom de Souza, who started taking the drug at 14 years old, disagreed. He said any way of breaking the cycle of people using was worth it.
“When you’re stuck in this cycle it’s very difficult to take responsibility for yourself,” he said.
“I was sentenced to a drug court program in Fremantle and that helped me because I was being drug tested three times a week.”
MAP Taskforce chairman Ron Alexander, whose own family has been affected by meth use, said the final action plan would be submitted to government later this year.